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Orogenic climax of Earth; the 1.2-1.1 Ga Grenvillian superevent

Martin J. van Kranendonk and Christopher L. Kirkland
Orogenic climax of Earth; the 1.2-1.1 Ga Grenvillian superevent
Geology (Boulder) (April 2013) 41 (7): 735-738


The rate of growth of the continental crust is controversial. We present an evaluation of time-constrained analyses of oxygen isotopes in zircon grains and incompatible element (Zr, Th) concentrations in magmatic rocks to test for variations in the degree of crustal recycling through geological time. The data indicate a rise in these geochemical proxies from ca. 3.0 Ga to a statistically significant peak at 1.2-1.1 Ga during the amalgamation of supercontinent Rodinia, and a decrease thereafter. When combined with other geological and geophysical observations, the data are interpreted as a consequence of an unprecedented level of crustal recycling and sediment subduction during Rodinia assembly, arising from a "Goldilocks" (i.e., just right) combination of larger, thicker plates on a warmer Earth with more rapid continental drift relative to modern Earth. The subsequent decrease in delta (super 18) O, Zr, and Th measurements is interpreted to reflect decreasing drift rates on a cooling Earth.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 41
Serial Issue: 7
Title: Orogenic climax of Earth; the 1.2-1.1 Ga Grenvillian superevent
Affiliation: University of New South Wales, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Kensington, N.S.W., Australia
Pages: 735-738
Published: 20130429
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 49
Accession Number: 2013-043457
Categories: Solid-earth geophysicsIsotope geochemistry
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: GSA Data Repository item 2013205
Illustration Description: illus. incl. geol. sketch map
S35°00'00" - S14°00'00", E113°00'00" - E129°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Geological Survey of Western Australia, AUS, Australia
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201327
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