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Geology covers multiple disciplines and substantial territory in April's new postings
Date:4/18/2013

Wesselton kimberlite (South Africa) was quantitatively mapped using XANES spectroscopy. The garnets were shown to have a rim and a core. The oxygen fugacity of the rim is more oxidized than that of the core and would have caused diamond to breakdown. The rim was only preserved because the time between metasomatism and transport to the surface must have been short. More commonly, the effects of metasomatism would be smoothed out at mantle temperatures by diffusive re-equilibration. As a result, homogeneous garnets that exhibit metasomatic signatures probably represent a re-equilibrated average of the original (core) and metasomatic (rim) oxygen fugacities. Metasomatism of the lithospheric mantle may thus be more oxidizing, and hence have a greater impact on diamond stability, than previously thought.


Cooling of the Bushveld Complex, South Africa: Implications for paleomagnetic reversals
R. Grant Cawthorn and Susan J. Webb, School of Geosciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Private Bag 3, 2050 Wits, South Africa. Published online ahead of print on 16 April; http://dx.doi.org/10.1130/G34033.1.

There are magnetic minerals in nearly all igneous rocks. When these rocks cool below their Curie temperature (600 degrees C), they permanently preserve their magnetic orientation at that time. Earth reverses its magnetic polarity (i.e., the north pole becomes the south pole) with variable frequency, between 200,000 and over a million years. By taking a short drill core from igneous rocks it is possible to determine whether the Earth had a normal polarity (i.e. as of now) or a reverse polarity at the time of cooling. This property has proved very useful in studying the time intervals between lava flows in ancient volcanic sequences. The oldest flows are obviously at the bottom. The Bushveld Complex, South Africa, is an extremely thick (up to 8 km) igneous intrusion, em
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Contact: Kea Giles
kgiles@geosociety.org
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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