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Type: Thesis
Title: Geochemical and Sm-Nd isotopic composition of Palaeoproterozoic eclogite and associated rocks in the Usagaran Orogenic Belt, Tanzania
Author: Lau, W. K.
Issue Date: 2009
School/Discipline: School of Physical Sciences
Abstract: Eclogites from the Usagaran Orogenic Belt of Tanzania have been reliably dated at 2.0 Ga and are the oldest reported subduction-related eclogites within a well-preserved orogenic belt. Based on limited geochemistry from two samples of eclogite from the Usagaran Belt, Möller et al. (1995) concluded that the protoliths were similar to MORB. This study analyzed a larger number of eclogitic samples and a suite of structurally intercalated mafic and pelitic rocks to establish the tectonic setting of the Usagaran Orogenic Belt rocks. Eclogitic rocks from the Usagaran Orogenic Belt display LILE and LREE enrichment relative to present-day MORB. Variations in εNd values from depleted mantel at 2.0 Ga supported this interpretation. The mantle-derived mafic rocks show strong Nb depletions, indicating that they are subduction-related. Enrichment of mafic rocks in LILE and LREE are likely caused by dehydration of the subducting slab with some contamination from crustally derived materials perhaps via subducted sediment. The intercalated pelites are mainly derived from the Tanzanian Craton, with a significant mafic input evidenced by high Cr & Ni values. Based on the geochemical isotopic compositions and field relationships, the eclogites, mafic rocks and pelites all formed in a subduction setting that operated around 2.0 Ga. Despite the fact that the Earth was hotter in its early history, modern plate tectonics, (i. e., subduction of cold oceanic crust into a warm mantle resulting in high-pressure low-temperature metamorphism), occurred and was recorded in the Usagaran Belt during the Palaeoproterozoic. Thus modern-style plate tectonics have operated since at least 2.0 Ga.
Dissertation Note: Thesis (B.Sc.(Hons)) -- University of Adelaide, School of Physical Sciences, 2009
Where: Usagaran Belt, Tanzanian Craton, Tanzania
Keywords: Honours; Geology; Usagaran Belt; Tanzania; orogenesis; rare earth element geochemistry; Sm-Nd isotopes; subduction; ecologites
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