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TitleDeep continental roots and cratons
 
AuthorPearson, D G; Scott, J M; Liu, J; Schaeffer, A JORCID logo; Wang, H; van Hunen, J; Szilas, K; Chacko, T; Kelemen, P B
SourceNature vol. 596, issue 7871, 2021 p. 199-210, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03600-5 Open Access logo Open Access
Image
Year2021
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20200736
PublisherNature Research
Documentserial
Lang.English
Mediaon-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProvinceCanada; Canada; British Columbia; Alberta; Saskatchewan; Manitoba; Ontario; Quebec; New Brunswick; Nova Scotia; Prince Edward Island; Newfoundland and Labrador; Northwest Territories; Yukon; Nunavut
NTS1; 2; 3; 10; 11; 12; 13; 14; 15; 16; 20; 21; 22; 23; 24; 25; 26; 27; 28; 29; 30; 31; 32; 33; 34; 35; 36; 37; 38; 39; 40; 41; 42; 43; 44; 45; 46; 47; 48; 49; 52; 53; 54; 55; 56; 57; 58; 59; 62; 63; 64; 65; 66; 67; 68; 69; 72; 73; 74; 75; 76; 77; 78; 79; 82; 83; 84; 85; 86; 87; 88; 89; 92; 93; 94; 95; 96; 97; 98; 99; 102; 103; 104; 105; 106; 107; 114O; 114P; 115; 116; 117; 120; 340; 560
Lat/Long WENS-180.0000 180.0000 90.0000 -90.0000
Lat/Long WENS-141.0000 -50.0000 90.0000 41.7500
SubjectsScience and Technology; surficial geology/geomorphology; continental crust; craton; lithosphere; mantle
Illustrationsschematic representations; location maps; figures; plots; cross-sections
Released2021 08 11
AbstractThe formation and preservation of cratons-the oldest parts of the continents, comprising over 60 per cent of the continental landmass-remains an enduring problem. Key to craton development is how and when the thick strong mantle roots that underlie these regions formed and evolved. Peridotite melting residues forming cratonic lithospheric roots mostly originated via relatively low-pressure melting and were subsequently transported to greater depth by thickening produced by lateral accretion and compression. The longest-lived cratons were assembled during Mesoarchean and Palaeoproterozoic times, creating the stable mantle roots 150 to 250 kilometres thick that are critical to preserving Earth's early continents and central to defining the cratons, although we extend the definition of cratons to include extensive regions of long-stable Mesoproterozoic crust also underpinned by thick lithospheric roots. The production of widespread thick and strong lithosphere via the process of orogenic thickening, possibly in several cycles, was fundamental to the eventual emergence of extensive continental landmasses-the cratons.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
Cratons are the oldest cores of the continents as we see them today, comprising over 60% of the land surface of the Earth. The formation and preservation of these regions remains a key question in Earth Sciences today. In this work, we examine the history of the cratonic roots, the cold and thick cores of the continents, assessing their evolution through time, and derive a more modern definition for what constitutes these cratonic cores.
GEOSCAN ID328061

 
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