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Multi-stage crustal growth and Neoarchean geodynamics in the Eastern Dharwar Craton, southern India

Abstract : The Dharwar Craton is a composite Archean cratonic collage that preserves important records of crustal evolution on the early Earth. Here we present results from a multidisciplinary study involving field investigations, petrology, zircon SHRIMP U–Pb geochronology with in-situ Hf isotope analyses, and whole-rock geochemistry, including Nd isotope data on migmatitic TTG (tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite) gneisses, dark grey banded gneisses, calc-alkaline and anatectic granitoids, together with synplutonic mafic dykes along a wide Northwest – Southeast corridor forming a wide time window in the Central and Eastern blocks of the Dharwar Craton. The dark grey banded gneisses are transitional between TTGs and calc-alkaline granitoids, and are referred to as ‘transitional TTGs’, whereas the calc-alkaline granitoids show sanukitoid affinity. Our zircon U–Pb data, together with published results, reveal four major periods of crustal growth (ca. 3360-3200 Ma, 3000-2960 Ma, 2700-2600 Ma and 2570-2520 Ma) in this region. The first two periods correspond to TTG generation and accretion that is confined to the western part of the corridor, whereas widespread 2670-2600 Ma transitional TTG, together with a major outburst of 2570–2520 Ma juvenile calc-alkaline magmatism of sanukitoid affinity contributed to peak continental growth. The transitional TTGs were preceded by greenstone volcanism between 2746 Ma and 2700 Ma, whereas the calc-alkaline magmatism was contemporaneous with 2570–2545 Ma felsic volcanism. The terminal stage of all four major accretion events was marked by thermal events reflected by amphibolite to granulite facies metamorphism at ca. 3200 Ma, 2960 Ma, 2620 Ma and 2520 Ma. Elemental ratios [(La/Yb)N, Sr/Y, Nb/Ta, Hf/Sm)] and Hf-Nd isotope data suggest that the magmatic protoliths of the TTGs emplaced at different time periods formed by melting of thickened oceanic arc crust at different depths with plagioclase + amphibole ± garnet + titanite/ilmenite in the source residue, whereas the elemental (Ba–Sr, [(La/Yb)N, Sr/Y, Nb/Ta, Hf/Sm)] and Hf-Nd isotope data [εHf(T) = −0.67 to 5.61; εNd(T) = 0.52 to 4.23; ] of the transitional TTGs suggest that their protoliths formed by melting of composite sources involving mantle and overlying arc crust with amphibole + garnet + clinopyroxene ± plagioclase + ilmenite in the residue. The highly incompatible and compatible element contents (REE, K–Ba–Sr, Mg, Ni, Cr), together with Hf and Nd isotope data [εHf(T) = 4.5 to −3.2; εNd(T) = 1.93 to −1.26; ], of the sanukitoids and synplutonic dykes suggest their derivation from enriched mantle reservoirs with minor crustal contamination. Field, elemental and isotope data [εHf(T) = −4.3 to −15.0; εNd(T) = −0.5 to −7.0] of the anatectic granites suggest their derivation through reworking of ancient as well as newly formed juvenile crust. Secular increase in incompatible as well as compatible element contents in the transitional TTGs to sanukitoids imply progressive enrichment of Neoarchean mantle reservoirs, possibly through melting of continent-derived detritus in a subduction zone setting, resulting in the establishment of a sizable continental mass by 2700 Ma, which in turn is linked to the evolving Earth. The Neoarchean geodynamic evolution is attributed to westward convergence of hot oceanic lithosphere, with continued convergence resulted in the assembly of micro-blocks, with eventual slab break-off leading to asthenosphere upwelling caused extensive mantle melting and hot juvenile magma additions to the crust. This led to lateral flow of hot ductile crust and 3D mass distribution and formation of an orogenic plateaux with subdued topography, as indicated by strain fabric data and strong seismic reflectivity along an E-W crustal profile in the Central and Eastern blocks of the Dharwar Craton.
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M. Jayananda, K.R. Aadhiseshan, Monika Kusiak, Simon Wilde, Kowete-U Sekhamo, et al.. Multi-stage crustal growth and Neoarchean geodynamics in the Eastern Dharwar Craton, southern India. Gondwana Research, Elsevier, 2020, 78, pp.228-260. ⟨10.1016/j.gr.2019.09.005⟩. ⟨hal-03153546⟩

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