Record of modern-style plate tectonics in the Palaeoproterozoic Trans-Hudson orogen

Weller, O. M. and St-Onge, M. R. (2017) Record of modern-style plate tectonics in the Palaeoproterozoic Trans-Hudson orogen. Nature Geoscience, 10 (March). pp. 305-311. ISSN 1752-0894 EISSN:1752-0908 DOI 10.1038/ngeo2904

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Abstract

The Trans-Hudson orogen of North America is a circa 1,800 million year old, middle Palaeoproterozoic continental collisional belt. The orogen may represent an ancient analogue to the Himalayan orogen, which began forming 50 million years ago and remains active today. Both mountain belts exhibit similar length scales of deformation and timescales of magmatism and metamorphism. A notable divergence in this correlation has been the absence of high-pressure, low-temperature metamorphic rocks in the Trans-Hudson compared with the Himalaya. It has been debated whether this absence reflects a secular tectonic change, with the requisite cool thermal gradients precluded by warmer ambient mantle temperatures during the Palaeoproterozoic, or a lack of preservation. Here we identify eclogite rocks within the Trans-Hudson orogen. These rocks, which typically form at high pressures and cool temperatures during subduction, fill the gap in the comparative geologic record between the Trans-Hudson and Himalayan orogens. Through the application of phase equilibria modelling and in situ U–Pb monazite dating we show that the pressure–temperature conditions and relative timing of eclogite-facies metamorphism are comparable in both orogenies. The results imply that modern-day plate tectonic processes featuring deep continental subduction occurred at least 1,830 million years ago. This study highlights that the global metamorphic rock record (particularly in older terrains) is skewed by overprinting and erosion.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: NILAREP; IA72;
Subjects: 05 - Petrology - Igneous, Metamorphic and Volcanic Studies
Divisions: 05 - Petrology - Igneous, Metamorphic and Volcanic Studies
08 - Green Open Access
Journal or Publication Title: Nature Geoscience
Volume: 10
Page Range: pp. 305-311
Identification Number: 10.1038/ngeo2904
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2017 12:52
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2017 17:32
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/3853

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