Eoarchean crust in East Antarctica: Extension from Enderby Land into Kemp Land

Monika A. Kusiak, Daniel J. Dunkley, Simon A. Wilde, Martin J. Whitehouse, Anthony I.S. Kemp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Eoarchean rocks in the Napier Complex of East Antarctica are largely known from a few localities in the western Tula Mountains of Enderby Land. Zircon from trondhjemitic and mafic gneisses from Aker Peaks in Kemp Land, 200 km further east, were analysed by secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), yielding concordant U[sbnd]Pb dates between 3860 and 3700 Ma, which can be attributed to magmatic and possibly metamorphic activity. Concurrent analysis of 207Pb/206Pb ratios and Lu[sbnd]Hf isotopes in the trondhjemitic sample by laser ablation ICPMS provide initial εHf(t) estimates for this age range that are slightly sub-chondritic (ca 0 to −2). This can be attributed to the incorporation of older crust into the magmatic protoliths of the gneisses, although there is no requirement that this crustal source be older than Eoarchean. Much scatter in the U[sbnd]Pb dataset is attributable to isotopic disturbance of Pb during high-temperature metamorphism at 2.5 Ga, and if not corrected for, can lead to overestimation of model crust formation ages, a critical problem in the search for evidence of Hadean crust in Eoarchean rocks, and for estimating the timing and rate of ancient continental growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-241
Number of pages15
JournalGondwana Research
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


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