Special Issue "Continental Accretion and Evolution"

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A special issue of Geosciences (ISSN 2076-3263).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2013)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. David A. Foster

Department of Geological Sciences, University of Florida, 241 WIlliamson Hall, P.O. Box 112120, Gainesville, Florida 32611, USA
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +1 3523922241
Interests: tectonics; geochronology; thermochronology; structural geology; continental evolution; isotope geochemistry

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Understanding the evolution of the continental crust continues to be a challenge because of the diversity of environments where continental crust and subcontinental lithosphere is formed, recycled, and stabilized. This is further complicated by long-term changes in continental formation and growth processes over geological time, and subsequent modifications to the continents. Advances over recent years have come from large-scale geophysical experiments, improvements analytical methods for in-situ isotopic and elemental analysis of accessory phases, experimental petrology (igneous and metamorphic), and geodynamic modeling. This special issue will focus on the accretion and evolution of continents in the broadest sense including: (1) continental growth from juvenile materials extracted from the mantle; (2) recycling of continental lithosphere through subduction, sediment subduction/accretion, and delamination; (3) continental evolution in convergent margins through arc magmatism and accretion; and (4) role of large igneous provinces and mantle plumes in the evolution and growth continents.

Prof. Dr. David A. Foster
Guest Editor

Submission

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Keywords

  • continental lithosphere
  • arc magmatism
  • accretionary orogens
  • continental crust
  • large igneous provinces
  • tectonics
  • isotope geochemistry
  • granitic magmatism
  • metamorphism
  • continental growth

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Modification of the Continental Crust by Subduction Zone Magmatism and Vice-Versa: Across-Strike Geochemical Variations of Silicic Lavas from Individual Eruptive Centers in the Andean Central Volcanic Zone
Geosciences 2013, 3(4), 633-667; doi:10.3390/geosciences3040633
Received: 2 May 2013 / Revised: 8 November 2013 / Accepted: 14 November 2013 / Published: 27 November 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (2541 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
To better understand the origin of across-strike K2O enrichments in silicic volcanic rocks from the Andean Central Volcanic Zone, we compare geochemical data for Quaternary volcanic rocks erupted from three well-characterized composite volcanoes situated along a southeast striking transect between 21°
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To better understand the origin of across-strike K2O enrichments in silicic volcanic rocks from the Andean Central Volcanic Zone, we compare geochemical data for Quaternary volcanic rocks erupted from three well-characterized composite volcanoes situated along a southeast striking transect between 21° and 22° S latitude (Aucanquilcha, Ollagüe, and Uturuncu). At a given SiO2 content, lavas erupted with increasing distance from the arc front display systematically higher K2O, Rb, Th, Y, REE and HFSE contents; Rb/Sr ratios; and Sr isotopic ratios. In contrast, the lavas display systematically lower Al2O3, Na2O, Sr, and Ba contents; Ba/La, Ba/Zr, K/Rb, and Sr/Y ratios; Nd isotopic ratios; and more negative Eu anomalies toward the east. We suggest that silicic magmas along the arc front reflect melting of relatively young, mafic composition amphibolitic source rocks and that the mid- to deep-crust becomes increasingly older with a more felsic bulk composition in which residual mineralogies are progressively more feldspar-rich toward the east. Collectively, these data suggest the continental crust becomes strongly hybridized beneath frontal arc localities due to protracted intrusion of primary, mantle-derived basaltic magmas with a diminishing effect behind the arc front because of smaller degrees of mantle partial melting and primary melt generation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Continental Accretion and Evolution)
Open AccessArticle Evaluating Complex Magma Mixing via Polytopic Vector Analysis (PVA) in the Papagayo Tuff, Northern Costa Rica: Processes that Form Continental Crust
Geosciences 2013, 3(3), 585-615; doi:10.3390/geosciences3030585
Received: 4 July 2013 / Revised: 19 August 2013 / Accepted: 23 August 2013 / Published: 29 August 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2183 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Over the last forty years, research has revealed the importance of magma mixing as a trigger for volcanic eruptions, as well as its role in creating the diversity of magma compositions in arcs. Sensitive isotopic and microchemical techniques can reveal subtle evidence of
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Over the last forty years, research has revealed the importance of magma mixing as a trigger for volcanic eruptions, as well as its role in creating the diversity of magma compositions in arcs. Sensitive isotopic and microchemical techniques can reveal subtle evidence of magma mixing in igneous rocks, but more robust statistical techniques for bulk chemical data can help evaluate complex mixing relationships. Polytopic vector analysis (PVA) is a multivariate technique that can be used to evaluate suites of samples that are produced by mixing of two or more magma batches. The Papagayo Tuff of the Miocene-Pleistocene Bagaces Formation in northern Costa Rica is associated with a segment of the Central American Volcanic Arc. While this segment of the arc is located on oceanic plateau, recent (<8 Ma) ignimbrites bear the chemical signatures of upper continental crust, marking the transition from oceanic to continental crust. The Papagayo Tuff contains banded pumice fragments consistent with one or more episodes of mixing/mingling to produce a single volcanic deposit. The PVA solution for the sample set is consistent with observations from bulk chemistry, microchemistry and petrographic data from the rocks. However, without PVA, the unequivocal identification of the three end-member solution would not have been possible. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Continental Accretion and Evolution)
Figures

Open AccessArticle The Lost South Gobi Microcontinent: Protolith Studies of Metamorphic Tectonites and Implications for the Evolution of Continental Crust in Southeastern Mongolia
Geosciences 2013, 3(3), 543-584; doi:10.3390/geosciences3030543
Received: 16 June 2013 / Revised: 22 July 2013 / Accepted: 3 August 2013 / Published: 21 August 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (13056 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Central Asian Orogenic Belt, or Altaids, is an amalgamation of volcanic arcs and microcontinent blocks that records a complex late Precambrian–Mesozoic accretionary history. Although microcontinents cored by Precambrian basement are proposed to play an integral role in the accretion process, a lack
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The Central Asian Orogenic Belt, or Altaids, is an amalgamation of volcanic arcs and microcontinent blocks that records a complex late Precambrian–Mesozoic accretionary history. Although microcontinents cored by Precambrian basement are proposed to play an integral role in the accretion process, a lack of isotopic data hampers volume estimates of newly produced arc-derived versus old-cratonic crust in southeastern Mongolia. This study investigates metamorphic tectonites in southern Mongolia that have been mapped as Precambrian in age, largely on the basis of their high metamorphic grade and high strain. Here we present results from microstructural analyses and U-Pb zircon geochronology on samples from Tavan Har (44.05° N, 109.55° E) and the Yagan-Onch Hayrhan metamorphic core complex (41.89° N, 104.24° E). Our results show no compelling evidence for Precambrian basement in southeastern Mongolia. Rather, the protoliths to all tectonites examined are Paleozoic–Mesozoic age rocks, formed during Devonian–Carboniferous arc magmatism and subsequent Permian–Triassic orogenesis during collision of the South Mongolia arc with the northern margin of China. These results yield important insights into the Paleozoic accretionary history of southern Mongolia, including the genesis of metamorphic and igneous basement during the Paleozoic, as well as implications for subsequent intracontinental reactivation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Continental Accretion and Evolution)
Open AccessArticle Nd Isotope Mapping of Crustal Terranes in the Parent-Clova Area, Quebec: Implications for the Evolution of the Laurentian Margin in the Central Grenville Province
Geosciences 2013, 3(3), 448-465; doi:10.3390/geosciences3030448
Received: 16 May 2013 / Revised: 4 July 2013 / Accepted: 10 July 2013 / Published: 18 July 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (4069 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Over 100 new Nd isotope analyses for the central Grenville Province in the Parent-Clova region of Quebec help fill a major gap in understanding the crustal accretion history of the province. Nd model ages show that the Parent-Clova region consists of three crustal
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Over 100 new Nd isotope analyses for the central Grenville Province in the Parent-Clova region of Quebec help fill a major gap in understanding the crustal accretion history of the province. Nd model ages show that the Parent-Clova region consists of three crustal blocks: the Archean parautochthon in the north; a central block with mixed ages interpreted as an ensialic arc; and a southerly block forming an extension of the Mesoproterozoic Quebecia arc terrane. The Allochthon Boundary Thrust is believed to define the edge of the Archean parautochthon, which is bordered for a distance of 300 km by the ensialic arc block, within which model ages decrease consistently away from the craton. A similar negative correlation between Nd model age and distance from the craton is seen in published data for the Algonquin terrane in Ontario, but with a lower range of model ages. These comparisons show that in the Parent-Clova region, a Mesoproterozoic ensialic arc was established directly on the Archean margin, but further west, the Mesoproterozoic arc was built on a younger margin consisting of accreted Palaeoproterozoic arc crust. The use of large Nd data sets allows these distinct regional growth patterns to become clear and, hence, allows an understanding of Mesoproterozoic crustal evolution in the province as a whole. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Continental Accretion and Evolution)
Open AccessArticle Mesozoic–Cenozoic Evolution of the Western Margin of South America: Case Study of the Peruvian Andes
Geosciences 2013, 3(2), 262-310; doi:10.3390/geosciences3020262
Received: 20 March 2013 / Revised: 2 May 2013 / Accepted: 21 May 2013 / Published: 4 June 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (7478 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Based on the structural style and physiographic criteria, the Central Andes of Peru can be divided into segments running parallel to the Pacific coast. The westernmost segment, the Coastal Belt, consists of a Late Jurassic–Cretaceous volcanic arc sequence that was accreted to the
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Based on the structural style and physiographic criteria, the Central Andes of Peru can be divided into segments running parallel to the Pacific coast. The westernmost segment, the Coastal Belt, consists of a Late Jurassic–Cretaceous volcanic arc sequence that was accreted to the South American craton in Cretaceous times. The Mesozoic strata of the adjacent Western Cordillera represent an ENE-vergent fold-and-thrust belt that formed in Eocene times. Tight upright folds developed above a shallow detachment horizon in the West, while more open folds formed above a deeper detachment horizon towards the East and in the neighboring Central Highlands. A completely different style with steeply dipping reverse faults and open folds affecting the Neoproterozoic crystalline basement is typical for the Eastern Cordillera. The Subandean Zone is characterized by mainly NE-vergent imbricate thrusting which occurred in Neogene times. A quantitative estimate of the shortening of the orogen obtained from balanced cross-sections indicates a total shortening of 120–150 km (24%–27%). This shortening was coevel with the Neogene westward drift of South America, occurred at rates between 3 and 4.7 mm/year and was responsible for the high elevation of the Peruvian Andes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Continental Accretion and Evolution)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Preservation and Recycling of Crust during Accretionary and Collisional Phases of Proterozoic Orogens: A Bumpy Road from Nuna to Rodinia
Geosciences 2013, 3(2), 240-261; doi:10.3390/geosciences3020240
Received: 19 April 2013 / Revised: 22 May 2013 / Accepted: 22 May 2013 / Published: 29 May 2013
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (2165 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Zircon age peaks at 2100–1650 and 1200–1000 Ma correlate with craton collisions in the growth of supercontinents Nuna and Rodinia, respectively, with a time interval between collisions mostly <50 Myr (range 0–250 Myr). Collisional orogens are two types: those with subduction durations <500
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Zircon age peaks at 2100–1650 and 1200–1000 Ma correlate with craton collisions in the growth of supercontinents Nuna and Rodinia, respectively, with a time interval between collisions mostly <50 Myr (range 0–250 Myr). Collisional orogens are two types: those with subduction durations <500 Myr and those ≥500 Myr. The latter group comprises orogens with long-lived accretionary stages between Nuna and Rodinia assemblies. Neither orogen age nor duration of either subduction or collision correlates with the volume of orogen preserved. Most rocks preserved date to the pre-collisional, subduction (ocean-basin closing) stage and not to the collisional stage. The most widely preserved tectonic setting in Proterozoic orogens is the continental arc (10%–90%, mean 60%), with oceanic tectonic settings (oceanic crust, arcs, islands and plateaus, serpentinites, pelagic sediments) comprising <20% and mostly <10%. Reworked components comprise 20%–80% (mean 32%) and microcratons comprise a minor but poorly known fraction. Nd and Hf isotopic data indicate that Proterozoic orogens contain from 10% to 60% of juvenile crust (mean 36%) and 40%–75% reworked crust (mean 64%). Neither the fraction nor the rate of preservation of juvenile crust is related to the collision age nor to the duration of subduction. Regardless of the duration of subduction, the amount of juvenile crust preserved reaches a maximum of about 60%, and 37% of the volume of juvenile continental crust preserved between 2000 and 1000 Ma was produced in the Great Proterozoic Accretionary Orogen (GPAO). Pronounced minima occur in frequency of zircon ages of rocks preserved in the GPAO; with minima at 1600–1500 Ma in Laurentia; 1700–1600 Ma in Amazonia; and 1750–1700 Ma in Baltica. If these minima are due to subduction erosion and delamination as in the Andes in the last 250 Myr; approximately one third of the volume of the Laurentian part of the GPAO could have been recycled into the mantle between 1500 and 1250 Ma. This may have enriched the mantle wedge in incompatible elements and water leading to the production of felsic magmas responsible for the widespread granite-rhyolite province of this age. A rapid decrease in global Nd and in detrital zircon Hf model ages between about 1600 and 1250 Ma could reflect an increase in recycling rate of juvenile crust into the mantle; possibly in response to partial fragmentation of Nuna. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Continental Accretion and Evolution)

Review

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Open AccessReview Continental Growth and Recycling in Convergent Orogens with Large Turbidite Fans on Oceanic Crust
Geosciences 2013, 3(3), 354-388; doi:10.3390/geosciences3030354
Received: 9 May 2013 / Revised: 13 June 2013 / Accepted: 14 June 2013 / Published: 5 July 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (3335 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Convergent plate margins where large turbidite fans with slivers of oceanic basement are accreted to continents represent important sites of continental crustal growth and recycling. Crust accreted in these settings is dominated by an upper layer of recycled crustal and arc detritus (turbidites)
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Convergent plate margins where large turbidite fans with slivers of oceanic basement are accreted to continents represent important sites of continental crustal growth and recycling. Crust accreted in these settings is dominated by an upper layer of recycled crustal and arc detritus (turbidites) underlain by a layer of tectonically imbricated upper oceanic crust and/or thinned continental crust. When oceanic crust is converted to lower continental crust it represents a juvenile addition to the continental growth budget. This two-tiered accreted crust is often the same thickness as average continental crustal and is isostatically balanced near sea level. The Paleozoic Lachlan Orogen of eastern Australia is the archetypical example of a tubidite-dominated accretionary orogeny. The Neoproterozoic-Cambrian Damaran Orogen of SW Africa is similar to the Lachlan Orogen except that it was incorporated into Gondwana via a continent-continent collision. The Mesozoic Rangitatan Orogen of New Zealand illustrates the transition of convergent margin from a Lachlan-type to more typical accretionary wedge type orogen. The spatial and temporal variations in deformation, metamorphism, and magmatism across these orogens illustrate how large volumes of turbidite and their relict oceanic basement eventually become stable continental crust. The timing of deformation and metamorphism recorded in these rocks reflects the crustal thickening phase, whereas post-tectonic magmatism constrains the timing of chemical maturation and cratonization. Cratonization of continental crust is fostered because turbidites represent fertile sources for felsic magmatism. Recognition of similar orogens in the Proterozoic and Archean is important for the evaluation of crustal growth models, particularly for those based on detrital zircon age patterns, because crustal growth by accretion of upper oceanic crust or mafic underplating does not readily result in the addition of voluminous zircon-bearing magmas at the time of accretion. This crust only produces significant zircon when and if it partially melts, which may occur long after accretion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Continental Accretion and Evolution)

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