Changing tectonic settings through time

Indiscriminate use of geochemical discriminant diagrams

Kent Condie*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Citations (Scopus)


No one method should be used to identify ancient tectonic settings, and this is especially true for rocks older than 2.5. Ga, when Earth was changing from stagnant lid to plate tectonics. The most useful application of geochemical discriminant diagrams should be to constrain mantle source compositions, mantle heterogeneity, the effects of degree of melting, mixing of melts, and crustal contamination. It is only the convergence of evidence from greenstones that includes rock association, stratigraphic variation, sediment types and provenances, information from syntectonic granitoids, and geochemistry of all rock types that we can make progress in understanding evolving tectonic settings on planet Earth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)587-591
Number of pages5
JournalPrecambrian Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Archean greenstone
  • Geochemical discriminant diagram
  • Incompatible elements
  • Stagnant lid tectonics
  • Tectonic setting

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