Abstract

We consider the general and specific features of the evolution of the composition of fine-grained terrigenous rocks in the Riphean sedimentary megasequences of the Southern Urals, Uchur-Maya region, and Yenisei Ridge. It has been established that the crust on the southwestern (in the modern frame of references) periphery of the Siberian craton was geochemically the most mature segment of the Riphean continental crust. For example, the fine-grained clastic rocks and metapelites of all Riphean lithostratigraphic units of the Yenisei Ridge have higher median contents of Th than the most mature Paleoproterozoic crust, and in median contents of Y and Cr/Th values they are the most similar to it. In the Southern Urals and Uchur-Maya region, some units of the Riphean sedimentary sequences show median contents of Y and Th and Cr/Th values close to those of primitive Archean crust. Analysis of Cr/Th variations in the fine-grained terrigenous rocks of all three megasequences shows that the minimum Cr/Th values, evidencing a predominance or the abundance of felsic rocks in provenances, are typical of the Riphean argillaceous shales and metapelites of the Yenisei Ridge. The distinct Cr/Th and Cr/Sc increase in the fine-grained clastic rocks of the Chingasan Group of the ridge reflects the large-scale destruction of continental crust during the formation of rift troughs as a result of the Rodinia breakup in the second half of the Late Riphean. The Cr/Th variations in the Lower and Middle Riphean argillaceous shales and mudstones of the Bashkirian mega-anticlinorium and Uchur-Maya region are in agreement, which evidences the subglobal occurrence of rifting in the early Middle Riphean (so-called “Mashak rifting”).

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