Abstract

Some major segments of continental crust display a narrow range of Sm-Nd crustal formation ages. The sizes of the Canadian shield, the Svecokarelian province of northern Europe, the west-central United States, and the Arabian-Nubian shield suggest rapid crustal growth. Island-arc accretion models rank among the most favored tectonic models for the formation of these areas. A quantitative comparison of the growth rates of these crustal segments to Mesozoic-Cenozoic arc-addition rates shows, however, that island-arc accretion alone seems insufficient to account for the amount of crust that was produced in each of these terrains. Other additional mechanisms, such as hot-spot volcanism and underplating, may have been active in addition to arc accretion. Alternatively, large amounts of preexisting basement have gone so far undetected.

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