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GEOLOGY starts 2013 with 25 new articles posted online ahead of print
Date:1/30/2013

ed the similarities in geochemistry of magmas erupted 3.8 billion years ago and modern subduction zone magmas to argue for subduction-style tectonics early in the Earth's history. However, the lack of evidence for non-subduction related volcanic rocks older than 3 billion years, such as mid-ocean ridge and/or oceanic island magmas, may instead indicate that the subduction-like compositions of these ancient volcanic suites resulted from early chemical differentiation of the Earth and/or crustal contamination instead of modern-style tectonic processes. New analyses of a suite of 3.8-billion-year-old volcanic rocks from the island of Innersuartuut, southwest Greenland, show no evidence for crustal contamination or subduction-related magmatism. Instead, their compositions are comparable to those erupting at modern oceanic islands, such as Hawaii. These new data can be used to demonstrate that the range in tectonic settings 3.8 billion years ago was comparable to present. This new finding strengthens previous arguments that subduction of oceanic crust into the mantle has been taking place for at least 3.8 billion years.


Strong rocks sustain ancient postorogenic topography in southern Africa
Taryn E. Scharf et al., Earth Surface Geochemistry, Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum (GFZ), Potsdam D-14478, Germany; and Africa Earth Observatory Network (AEON), Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth 6031, South Africa. Posted online 17 Jan. 2013; http://dx.doi.org/10.1130/G33806.1.

The Cape Mountains of southern Africa exhibit an alpine-like topography in conjunction with some of the lowest denudation rates in the world. This presents an exception to the often-cited coupling of topography and erosion and suggests that steep slopes alone are not sufficient to incite the high erosion rates with which they are commonly associated. Taryn E. Scharf and colleagues attribute
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Contact: Kea Giles
kgiles@geosociety.org
303-357-1057
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert  

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