, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 1-22

First online:

Stabilization and breakdown of Archean Cratons: Formation of sedimentary basins, mafic magmatism, and metallogenic productivity

  • O. M. RosenAffiliated withGeological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences Email author 

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The Kenorland supercontinent was created as a result of the ascent of the most powerful mantle plumes in the Earth’s geological history and accompanied by the formation of the continental crust and its subsequent accretion into a supercontinent 2.7 Ga ago. The geological phenomena that occurred at that time in Australia, Canada, and South Africa reflecting its features are considered in this paper. The first sedimentary basins resting upon the sialic basement give evidence for long-existing peneplanes formed in the Early Precambrian, i.e., for stabilization of the underlying cratons; this is also supported by the appearance of rapakivi granite 2.8 Ga ago. The platform regime existed as early as the Mesoarchean 3.5 Ga ago. The platform sedimentary basins developed almost continuously over a billion years. Layered mafic intrusions were frequently emplaced into sedimentary sequences. Unique gold, uranium, PGE, chrome, and other deposits are hosted in sedimentary basins and layered intrusions. The extremely high intensity of plume activity determined the origin and breakdown of the Kenorland supercontinent and the cause of transport of ore elements concentrated in unique deposits. In terms of the intensity of plume-related magmatism and ore formation, the considered period of geological history has no more recent analogues and was critical for the Earth’s evolution.