Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Where your horizon expands every day.


Uncovering the Origins of Australia’s Ancient Landmass

Diagram from the study

AGU’s journal editors provide Editors’ Highlights, which are condensed versions of the most recent papers.

“Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems” is the source.

The Kimberley Craton, located in Western Australia, is a well-known area for kimberlite – a type of igneous rock derived from the mantle. This rock is known for bringing diamonds from the deep mantle to near the surface where they can be extracted. Additionally, this ancient region of the Australian continent serves as a prime example of long-lasting and stable continental structures that have endured the impacts of plate tectonics for billions of years.

In 2023, Sudholz and colleagues presented a detailed collection of data on the mineral compositions of mantle-derived materials found in various locations and time periods within the Craton. By examining the pressure and temperature conditions, as well as geochemical properties, of individual crystals of pyroxene and garnet, they were able to reconstruct the layered composition and structure of the Craton over time. This information provides insight into the thickness, geothermal gradient, and past processes of melting or adding materials within each layer of the mantle lithosphere.

Citation Sudholz, Z. J., Jaques, A. L., Yaxley, G. M., Taylor, W. R., Czarnota, K., Haynes, M. W., et al. (2023). Mapping the structure and metasomatic enrichment of the lithospheric mantle beneath the Kimberley Craton, Western Australia. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 24, e2023GC011040. https://doi.org/10.1029/2023GC011040

—Paul Asimow, Editor, G-Cubed

Update, October 26, 2023: The initial statement in the passage has been modified for improved categorization of the Kimberley Craton.

This is copyrighted material from the year 2023 and was written by the authors. It falls under the CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 license.

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