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Open AccessArticle

An Automated Method to Generate and Evaluate Geochemical Tectonic Discrimination Diagrams Based on Topological Theory

1
State Key Laboratory of Hydraulic Engineering Simulation and Safety, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300354, China
2
Institute of Geology and Geophysics, China Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
3
Department of Construction Management, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Minerals 2020, 10(1), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10010062
Received: 24 October 2019 / Revised: 19 December 2019 / Accepted: 6 January 2020 / Published: 10 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Mineral Deposits)
Discrimination diagrams can be used to distinguish different tectonic settings of igneous rocks. To improve the quality and efficiency of the design of discrimination diagrams, an automatic design and assessment method for discrimination diagrams is proposed based on topology theory. The method is aimed at programming the traditional process of discrimination diagram design, enabling computers to simulate the visual discrimination process. It thus automatically designs tectonic setting discrimination diagrams by investigating all possible combinations of geochemical elements. In the experiment, analyses of 3803 gabbro samples were collected from three tectonic settings, including island arc, ocean island, and mid-oceanic ridge. Using the proposed method, we found thousands of discrimination diagrams with fields overlapping less than 10%. By analyzing these diagrams, the most critical elements (or element ratio pairs) are identified. Based on the result, the feasibility of using gabbroic rocks to discriminate between tectonic settings is illustrated and four representative discrimination diagrams, including the La/Y–Nb/Ba diagram, Nb/Sc–Sc/Ba diagram, Ba/Nb–Ba/Sc diagram, and La/Na2O–Nb/Ba diagram, are recommended for use. This research supports the view that gabbroic rocks can also be used to discriminate between different tectonic settings. The method could also be applied to other rock types. View Full-Text
Keywords: discrimination diagram; topology theory; overlap rate; gabbroic rock; tectonic setting discrimination diagram; topology theory; overlap rate; gabbroic rock; tectonic setting
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MDPI and ACS Style

Han, S.; Li, M.; Zhang, Q.; Song, L. An Automated Method to Generate and Evaluate Geochemical Tectonic Discrimination Diagrams Based on Topological Theory. Minerals 2020, 10, 62.

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