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Large Igneous Provinces and supercontinents: Toward completing the plate tectonic revolution [Editorial]

Ernst, Richard E., Bleeker, Wouter, Söderlund, Ulf and Kerr, Andrew Craig ORCID: 2013. Large Igneous Provinces and supercontinents: Toward completing the plate tectonic revolution [Editorial]. Lithos 174 , pp. 1-14. 10.1016/j.lithos.2013.02.017

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Regional groupings of a majority, or all, of Earth's crustal blocks have occurred several times in Earth history, but only the most recent supercontinent Paleozoic Pangea/Gondwana, is well characterized. Prior Precambrian supercontinents are postulated: Rodinia (ca. 1 to 0.7 Ga), Nuna/Columbia (ca. 1.8 to 1.3 Ga) and Kenorland/supercratons (ca. > 2.7 to 2.0 Ga), but the configuration of each is poorly known. A new methodology using Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs) offers an opportunity for fast-tracking progress toward robust Precambrian reconstructions. Comparison of the LIP ‘barcode’ record between crustal blocks allows identification of which blocks were likely to have been nearest neighbors in past supercontinents. Restoration of the primary geometry (radiating or linear) of regional dyke swarms (the plumbing system of LIPs) offers another reconstruction criterion. A consortium of companies is providing funding for dating of essentially all major regional dyke swarms and sill provinces to complete the ‘barcoding of all major crustal blocks, and 13 of the papers in this special issue provides examples of this progress. Seven additional papers provide overviews of important LIPs. Together these 20 papers illustrate the potential for rapid progress using the LIP record for Precambrian supercontinent reconstructions toward completing the plate tectonic revolution which began nearly five decades ago.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GC Oceanography
Q Science > QE Geology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Large Igneous Provinces; LIPs; Supercontinents; U–Pb geochronology
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0024-4937
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 08:56

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