Hadean greenstones and the origin of the Earth's early continental crust

John Adam, Tracy Rushmer, Jonathon O'Neil, Don Francis

    Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract


    Partial-melting experiments, at 1.0-3.0 GPa and 900-1100 degrees C, were conducted on two greenstones of Early Archaean (Hadean) age from the Nuvvuagittuq Complex of northern Quebec. For comparison, similar experiments were also conducted on a modern boninite (from the North Tongan Arc) with compositional similarities to the Nuvvuagittuq greenstones. Partial-melts produced by these experiments are compositionally similar to some TTGs, including a 3.66 billion year old tonalite that encloses the Nuvvuagitttuq Complex. Because the degree of melting needed to produce the tonalitic melts is comparatively high (> 30 %), the relative concentrations of most incompatible elements in the melts are similar to those in their greenstone and bonninite parent rocks. Thus many of the incompatible element characteristics of TTGs may have been inherited from previously fractionated source rocks that already possessed similar characteristics. If this was true, early continental crust production may have been closely associated with some form of crustal re-cycling that duplicated many of the magmatic consequences of modern plate tectonics.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)407
    Number of pages407
    JournalMineralogical Magazine
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    EventGoldschmidt Conference (21st : 2011) - Prague, Czech Republic
    Duration: 14 Aug 201119 Aug 2011


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