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Isua Supracrustal Belt, West Greenland: Geochronology


Isua greenstone belt


The 35-km-long by up to 4-km-wide Isua supracrustal belt (ISB) lying within the Isukasia terrane, southern West Greenland (Fig. 1), consists of ca. 3,700 and 3,800 million years old (Ma) volcanic and sedimentary rocks that are among the oldest on the Earth. The ISB is the most significant and highly studied region for understanding early Earth chemistry and environments. This is because of its great antiquity and excellent exposures of a diverse range of rock types, including pillow basalts and banded iron formations (BIF).

Fig. 1
figure 1

Summary geological map of the Isua area, Nuuk region, West Greenland. The arcuate Isua supracrustal belt is composed of two temporally distinct terranes, both containing a range of volcanic and metasedimentary rocks. The northern terrane has rocks with ages of ca. 3,700 million years old and the southern terrane with rock ages of ca. 3,800 million years old (constrained by >30 zircon U/Pb age determinations – see...


  • Volcanic Rock
  • Detrital Zircon
  • Zircon Crystal
  • Band Iron Formation
  • Great Antiquity

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Correspondence to Vickie C. Bennett .

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Bennett, V.C., Nutman, A.P. (2014). Isua Supracrustal Belt, West Greenland: Geochronology. In: Rink, W., Thompson, J. (eds) Encyclopedia of Scientific Dating Methods. Springer, Dordrecht.

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