Evidence from ophiolites, blueschists, and ultrahigh-pressure metamorphic terranes that the modern episode of subduction tectonics began in Neoproterozoic time

  title={Evidence from ophiolites, blueschists, and ultrahigh-pressure metamorphic terranes that the modern episode of subduction tectonics began in Neoproterozoic time},
  author={Robert J. Stern},
  • R. Stern
  • Published 1 July 2005
  • Geology
  • Geology
Earth is the only known planet with subduction zones and plate tectonics, and this fact demonstrates that special conditions are required for this mode of planetary heat loss. Sinking of cold, dense lithosphere in subduction zones is the principal plate-driving force, so plate tectonics could not have begun until Earth cooled sufficiently to allow lithosphere to collapse into the underlying asthenosphere. Direct geologic evidence for when the modern episode of subduction tectonics began focuses… 
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the Neoarchean Duality of thermal regimes is the distinctive characteristic of plate tectonics since
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Eoarchean subduction-like magmatism recorded in 3750 Ma mafic–ultramafic rocks of the Ukaliq supracrustal belt (Québec)
Our understanding of the nature of crustal formation in the Eoarchean is limited by the scarcity and poor preservation of the oldest rocks and variable and imperfect preservation of protolith
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Abstract Fifty years ago, geologic conditions attending the formation of blueschists, eclogites, and garnet lherzolites were not known. But, with the advent of high-pressure phase-synthesis equipment
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Abstract How and when continents grew and plate tectonics started on Earth remain poorly constrained. Most researchers apply the modern plate tectonic paradigm to problems of ancient crustal


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Alpine-type orogenic belts are produced by short-lived subduction of an ocean basin and the underflow of continental crust, resulting in suturing. Old, relatively competent sialic basement and
A Thermotectonic Model for Preservation of Ultrahigh-Pressure Phases in Metamorphosed Continental Crust
Continental rocks subjected to ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) metamorphism contain relict minerals indicating formation at mantle depths approaching or exceeding 100-125 km. Thermobarometric calculations
Ophiolite pulses, mantle plumes and orogeny
  • Y. Dilek
  • Geology
    Geological Society, London, Special Publications
  • 2003
Abstract Ophiolites show a wide range of internal structure, pseudostratigraphy and chemical fingerprints suggesting various tectonic settings of their origin. In general, they are characterized as
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Ultrahigh‐pressure (UHP) metamorphism began at 540–530 Ma near the Precambrian–Cambrian boundary, and repeated more than 10 times through the Phanerozoic, indicating one of the most prominent
Purtuniq ophiolite, Cape Smith belt, northern Quebec, Canada: A reconstructed section of Early Proterozoic oceanic crust
The crustal part of a dismembered ophiolite is preserved in the structurally highest thrust sheets of the Early Proterozoic Cape Smith belt in northern Quebec, Canada. The rocks of the ophiolite
The Archean Dongwanzi Ophiolite Complex, North China Craton: 2.505-Billion-Year-Old Oceanic Crust and Mantle
The documentation of a complete Archean ophiolite implies that mechanisms of oceanic crustal accretion similar to those of today were in operation by 2.5 billion years ago at divergent plate margins and that the temperature of the early mantle was not extremely elevated, as compared to the present-day temperature.
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The Coast Range ophiolite of California is one of the most extensive ophiolite terranes in North America, extending over 700 km from the northernmost Sacramento Valley to the southern Transverse
Global UHP Metamorphism and Continental Subduction/Collision: The Himalayan Model
Continental crust (density ~2.8 g·cm-3) resists subduction into the earth's mantle (~3.3 g·cm-3) because of buoyancy. However, more than 20 recognized ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) terranes have been