Isotope analysis data from NERC grant "The Processes that Shape the Continental Record" NERC grant NE/J021822/1

Dataset description

Isotope analysis data. Project details: The continental crust is our only archive of Earth history; not just of the crust itself but of the hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere, and of the deep Earth through its interactions with the crust. This archive, like the rock record itself, is incomplete and much effort is focused on interrogating the crust to gain a clearer and more complete picture of Earth history. The continental rock record is episodic with, for example, ages of igneous crystallization, metamorphism, continental margins, and seawater and atmospheric proxies distributed about a series of peaks and troughs that in part correspond with the cycle of supercontinent assembly and dispersal. At the core of the debate is what these well-established peaks of ages in the geological record represent and how they develop. The peaks of ages correspond with periods of global assembly of continents to form supercontinents. The project will address whether the peaks of ages are primary features associated with supercontinent assembly or break up, or they are they secondary features representing greater preservation potential at the times of supercontinent assembly. Our work will focus on the Rodinian supercontinent cycle, which extends from initiation of convergent plate interaction around 1.7 Ga, to continental collision at 1.1-1.0 Ga during the Grenville orogeny, to final breakup of the supercontinent by 0.54 Ga. Detrital zircons from sedimentary units throughout the supercontinent cycle provide a record of the magmatic activity for which the igneous rocks are often no longer preserved. We will determine (i) the ages ranges of magmatic activity preserved in the sedimentary rocks in the 600 Ma pre-collision phase, and (ii) how and when the distinctive Grenville peak of ages developed by comparing the zircon record from samples pre-, syn- and post- Rodinian supercontinent assembly with estimated volumes of magma and numbers of zircons produced during the same interval. This will differentiate primary generation processes from secondary processes, constraining when the dominant age peak developed, the tectonic processes that operated, and hence the method by which it developed. The wider implications of when the continental crust formed are considerable. Studies of continental growth continue to uncritically assume that the geological and isotopic record provide insight into processes of crust formation. Until it can be established whether the record is the outcome of generational or preservational processes, or a combination of both, then drawing conclusions on this fundamental question in the Earth Sciences are premature. If the record is a preservational record then this impacts on understanding continental growth through time and on secondary questions of how the crustal record is used to unravel the temporal evolution of the hydrosphere and biosphere, and the distribution of mineral deposits.

Further information

For more information please contact:

Enquiries

Environmental Science Centre, Nicker Hill, Keyworth
Nottingham
NG12 5GG

Tel : +44 (0)115 936 3143
Fax :+44 (0)115 936 3276
Email :enquiries@bgs.ac.uk

 

Dataset details

Author(s) Not available
Principal Investigator(s) Not available
Language English
Curator British Geological Survey
Supply media/format Not available
Storage format Not available
Frequency of update not applicable
Start of capture {ts '2015-12-01 00:00:00'} Before December 2015
End of capture {ts '2015-12-01 00:00:00'} Before December 2015
Contact details
Department Enquiries
Organisation British Geological Survey
Address Environmental Science Centre, Nicker Hill, Keyworth
City Nottingham
County Nottinghamshire
Country United Kingdom
Postcode NG12 5GG
E-mail enquiries@bgs.ac.uk
Telephone +44 (0)115 936 3143
Fax +44 (0)115 936 3276
Keywords
Topic category code (ISO) geoscientificInformation (information pertaining to earth sciences)
Keywords CONTINENTAL CRUST
GEOCHEMICAL DATA
ISOTOPES
OXYGEN ISOTOPES
ZIRCON
SAMPLE ANALYSIS
Keyword source BGS Keyphrases
Spatial details
Spatial Reference System Latitude and Longitudes on undefined datum and spheroid []
Dataset extent
Coverage (Lat/Long) North boundary : 90
East boundary  : 180
South boundary : -90
West boundary  : -180
Metadata
Metadata language English
Metadata last updated 28th September 2016
Metadata standard compliance NERC profile of ISO19115:2003
Copyright and IPR
The copyright of materials derived from the British Geological Survey's work is vested in the Natural Environment Research Council [NERC]. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a retrieval system of any nature, without the prior permission of the copyright holder, via the BGS Intellectual Property Rights Manager. Use by customers of information provided by the BGS, is at the customer's own risk. In view of the disparate sources of information at BGS's disposal, including such material donated to BGS, that BGS accepts in good faith as being accurate, the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) gives no warranty, expressed or implied, as to the quality or accuracy of the information supplied, or to the information's suitability for any use. NERC/BGS accepts no liability whatever in respect of loss, damage, injury or other occurence however caused.