An oxygen isotope perspective on the break-up of the Rodinia supercontinent

Hao Zou, Chang Cheng Huang, Hua Wen Cao, Chun Mei Liu, Hui Dong Yu, Franco Pirajno, Xian Hua Li

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Oxygen isotopes are essential tracers of crustal evolution. Low-δ18O values of igneous rocks, which are significantly lower than the value of mantle-derived magma, are relative scarcity in the Earth. This scarcity is likely due to the special formation of low-δ18O rocks, which requires high-temperature interactions between meteoric water or seawater and protoliths with high water-to-rock ratios. Numerous mid-Neoproterozoic low-δ18O silicic magmas have been found on Earth, coinciding with the break-up of the Rodinia supercontinent. Researching the Neoproterozoic low-δ18O magmatic aids the understanding of the break-up mechanism of the Rodinia supercontinent. Our work shows that Neoproterozoic low-δ18O magmatic rocks occur in South China, the Malani Igneous Suite in north-western India, the Imorona-Itsindro Suite in Madagascar, Seychelles, Zealandia, and the Leeuwin Complex in southwestern Australia. Neoproterozoic low-δ18O signals were generated by the exchanging of oxygen between rocks and surface water during high temperatures at shallow depths in an extensional regime related to rifting. Such findings provide a zircon oxygen isotope framework for assessing the break-up and reconstruction of the Rodinia supercontinent.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104736
JournalEarth-Science Reviews
Publication statusPublished - May 2024


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