About: Continental crust is a research topic. Over the lifetime, 11104 publications have been published within this topic receiving 677572 citations. The topic is also known as: sial.
Papers published on a yearly basis
01 Jan 1985
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors describe the composition of the present upper crust and deal with possible compositions for the total crust and the inferred composition of lower crust, and the question of the uniformity of crustal composition throughout geological time is discussed.
Abstract: This book describes the composition of the present upper crust, and deals with possible compositions for the total crust and the inferred composition of the lower crust. The question of the uniformity of crustal composition throughout geological time is discussed. It describes the Archean crust and models for crustal evolution in Archean and Post-Archean time. The rate of growth of the crust through time is assessed, and the effects of the extraction of the crust on mantle compositions. The question of early pre-geological crusts on the Earth is discussed and comparisons are given with crusts on the Moon, Mercury, Mars, Venus and the Galilean Satellites.
TL;DR: In this paper, the present-day composition of the continental crust, the methods employed to derive these estimates, and the implications of continental crust composition for the formation of the continents, Earth differentiation, and its geochemical inventories are discussed.
Abstract: This chapter reviews the present-day composition of the continental crust, the methods employed to derive these estimates, and the implications of the continental crust composition for the formation of the continents, Earth differentiation, and its geochemical inventories. We review the composition of the upper, middle, and lower continental crust. We then examine the bulk crust composition and the implications of this composition for crust generation and modification processes. Finally, we compare the Earth's crust with those of the other terrestrial planets in our solar system and speculate about what unique processes on Earth have given rise to this unusual crustal distribution.
TL;DR: In this paper, a new calculation of the crustal composition is based on the proportions of upper crust (UC) to felsic lower crust (FLC) to mafic lower-crust (MLC) of about 1.6:0.4.
Abstract: A new calculation of the crustal composition is based on the proportions of upper crust (UC) to felsic lower crust (FLC) to mafic lower crust (MLC) of about 1:0.6:0.4. These proportions are derived from a 3000 km long refraction seismic profile through western Europe (EGT) comprising 60% old shield and 40% younger fold belt area with about 40 km average Moho depth. A granodioritic bulk composition of the UC in major elements and thirty-two minor and trace elements was calculated from the Canadian Shield data (Shaw et al., 1967, 1976). The computed abundance of thirty-three additional trace elements in the UC is based on the following proportions of major rock units derived from mapping: 14% sedimentary rocks, 25% granites, 20% granodiorites, 5% tonalites, 6% gabbros, and 30% gneisses and mica schists. The composition of FLC and MLC in major and thirty-six minor and trace elements is calculated from data on felsic granulite terrains and mafic xenoliths, respectively, compiled by Rudnick and Presper (1990). More than thirty additional trace element abundances in FLC and MLC were computed or estimated from literature data. The bulk continental crust has a tonalitic and not a dioritic composition with distinctly higher concentrations of incompatible elements including the heat producing isotopes in our calculation. A dioritic bulk crust was suggested by Taylor and McLennan (1985). The amount of tonalite in the crust requires partial melting of mafic rocks with about 100 km thickness (compared with about 7 km in the present MLC) and water supply from dehydrated slabs and mafic intrusions. At the relatively low temperatures of old crustal segments MLC was partly converted into eclogite which could be recycled into the upper mantle under favourable tectonic conditions. The chemical fractionation of UC against FLC + MLC was caused by granitoidal partial melts and by mantle degassing which has controlled weathering and accumulation of volatile compounds close to the Earth's surface.
TL;DR: A survey of the dimensions and composition of the present continental crust is given in this paper, where it is concluded that at least 60% of the crust was emplaced by the late Archean (ca. 2.7 eons).
Abstract: A survey is given of the dimensions and composition of the present continental crust. The abundances of immobile elements in sedimentary rocks are used to establish upper crustal composition. The present upper crustal composition is attributed largely to intracrustal differentiation resulting in the production of granites senso lato. Underplating of the crust by ponded basaltic magmas is probably a major source of heat for intracrustal differentiation. The contrast between the present upper crustal composition and that of the Archean upper crust is emphasized. The nature of the lower crust is examined in the light of evidence from granulites and xenoliths of lower crustal origin. It appears that the protoliths of most granulite facies exposures are more representative of upper or middle crust and that the lower crust has a much more basic composition than the exposed upper crust. There is growing consensus that the crust grows episodically, and it is concluded that at least 60% of the crust was emplaced by the late Archean (ca. 2.7 eons, or 2.7 Ga). There appears to be a relationship between episodes of continental growth and differentiation and supercontinental cycles, probably dating back at least to the late Archean. However, such cycles do not explain the contrast in crustal compositions between Archean and post-Archean. Mechanisms for deriving the crust from the mantle are considered, including the role of present-day plate tectonics and subduction zones. It is concluded that a somewhat different tectonic regime operated in the Archean and was responsible for the growth of much of the continental crust. Archean tonalites and trond-hjemites may have resulted from slab melting and/or from melting of the Archean mantle wedge but at low pressures and high temperatures analogous to modern boninites. In contrast, most andesites and subduction-related rocks, now the main contributors to crustal growth, are derived ultimately from the mantle wedge above subduction zones. The cause of the contrast between the processes responsible for Archean and post-Archean crustal growth is attributed to faster subduction of younger, hotter oceanic crust in the Archean (ultimately due to higher heat flow) compared with subduction of older, cooler oceanic crust in more recent times. A brief survey of the causes of continental breakup reveals that neither plume nor lithospheric stretching is a totally satisfactory explanation. Speculations are presented about crustal development before 4000 m.y. ago. The terrestrial continental crust appears to be unique compared with crusts on other planets and satellites in the solar system, ultimately a consequence of the abundant free water on the Earth.
TL;DR: In this paper, the average chemical compositions of the continental crust and the oceanic crust (represented by MORB), normalized to primitive mantle values and plotted as functions of the apparent bulk partition coefficient of each element, form surprisingly simple, complementary concentration patterns.
Abstract: The average chemical compositions of the continental crust and the oceanic crust (represented by MORB), normalized to primitive mantle values and plotted as functions of the apparent bulk partition coefficient of each element, form surprisingly simple, complementary concentration patterns. In the continental crust, the maximum concentrations are on the order of 50 to 100 times the primitive-mantle values, and these are attained by the most highly incompatible elements Cs, Rb, Ba, and Th. In the average oceanic crust, the maximum concentrations are only about 10 times the primitive mantle values, and they are attained by the moderately incompatible elements Na, Ti, Zr, Hf, Y and the intermediate to heavy REE. This relationship is explained by a simple, two-stage model of extracting first continental and then oceanic crust from the initially primitive mantle. This model reproduces the characteristic concentration maximum in MORB. It yields quantitative constraints about the effective aggregate melt fractions extracted during both stages. These amount to about 1.5% for the continental crust and about 8-10% for the oceanic crust. The comparatively low degrees of melting inferred for average MORB are consistent with the correlation of Na20 concentration with depth of extrusion , and with the normalized concentrations of Ca, Sc, and AI (= 3) in MORB, which are much lower than those of Zr, Hf, and the HREE ( = 10). Ca, A1 and Sc are compatible with clinopyroxene and are preferentially retained in the residual mantle by this mineral. This is possible only if the aggregate melt fraction is low enough for the clinopyroxene not to be consumed. A sequence of increasing compatibility of lithophile elements may be defined in two independent ways: (1) the order of decreasing normalized concentrations in the continental crust; or (2) by concentration correlations in oceanic basalts. The results are surprisingly similar except for Nb, Ta, and Pb, which yield inconsistent bulk partition coefficients as well as anomalous concentrations and standard deviations. The anomalies can be explained if Nb and Ta have relatively large partition coefficients during continental crust production and smaller coefficients during oceanic crust production. In contrast, Pb has a very small coefficient during continental crust production and a larger coefficient during oceanic crust production. This is the reason why these elements are useful in geochemical discrimination diagrams for distinguishing MORB and OIB on the one hand from island arc and most intracontinental volcanics on the other. The results are consistent with the crust-mantle differentiation model proposed previously . Nb and Ta are preferentially retained and enriched in the residual mantle during formation of continental crust. After separation of the bulk of the continental crust, the residual portion of the mantle was rehomogenized, and the present-day internal heterogeneities between MORB and OIB sources were generated subsequently by processes involving only oceanic crust and mantle. During this second stage, Nb and Ta are highly incompatible, and their abundances are anomalously high in both OIB and MORB. The anomalous behavior of Pb causes the so-called "lead paradox", namely the elevated U/Pb and Th/Pb ratios (inferred from Pb isotopes) in the present-day, depleted mantle, even though U and Th are more incompatible than Pb in oceanic basalts. This is explained if Pb is in fact more incompatible than U and Th during formation of the continental crust, and less incompatible than U and Th during formation of oceanic crust.
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