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A once-only cataclysmic event and other mysteries of earth's crust and upper mantle
Date:4/3/2014

cesses within this geodynamic framework are still poorly constrained. This paper by Moritz Kirsch and colleagues provides evidence for a Triassic tectono-thermal event in southern Mexico as indicated by 40Ar/39Ar step-heating laser-probe ages for amphibole, muscovite and biotite from Carboniferous-Permian rocks of the eastern Acatln Complex. These data suggest rapid cooling from approx. 525 to 300 degrees Celsius between about 239 and 219 million years ago, accompanied by local shearing and thrusting. The cooling ages coincide with an apparent hiatus in magmatic arc activity in southern Mexico, and are interpreted to record a transient change from steep to flat subduction.


Archean andesites in the east Yilgarn craton, Australia: Products of plume-crust interaction?
Stephen J. Barnes and Martin J. Van Kranendonk, Earth Science and Resource Engineering, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Kensington, Perth, Western Australia 6151, Australia. April 2014 issue; http://lithosphere.gsapubs.org/cgi/content/abstract/6/2/80.

The late Archaean, 2700 million years ago, was a period of extraordinary volcanism and ore deposit formation. Vast volumes of magma, of a wide range in composition and temperature, including some of the hottest lavas ever erupted on the planet, were generated over a few tens of millions of years over huge areas. Was this a once-only cataclysmic event representing a major transition in the thermal structure of the Earth? Or was it a combination of plate tectonic processes similar to those in the modern Earth, but with some additional factor that preferentially preserved volcanic rocks of this age? Explanations for the late Archean bonanza have been polarized between business-as-usual plate tectonics, and models based on giant mantle plumes: bursts of superhot upwelling material from the core-mantle b
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Contact: Kea Giles
kgiles@geosociety.org
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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