Orogenic climax of Earth

the 1.2-1.1 Ga Grenvillian superevent

Martin J. Van Kranendonk, Christopher L. Kirkland

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    36 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    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 δ¹⁸O, Zr, and Th measurements is interpreted to refl ect decreasing drift rates on a cooling Earth.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)735-738
    Number of pages4
    JournalGeology
    Volume41
    Issue number7
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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  • Cite this

    Van Kranendonk, M. J., & Kirkland, C. L. (2013). Orogenic climax of Earth: the 1.2-1.1 Ga Grenvillian superevent. Geology, 41(7), 735-738. https://doi.org/10.1130/G34243.1