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Magmatic and Crustal Differentiation History of Granitic Rocks from Hf-O Isotopes in Zircon

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Science  16 Feb 2007:
Vol. 315, Issue 5814, pp. 980-983
DOI: 10.1126/science.1136154

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Abstract

Granitic plutonism is the principal agent of crustal differentiation, but linking granite emplacement to crust formation requires knowledge of the magmatic evolution, which is notoriously difficult to reconstruct from bulk rock compositions. We unlocked the plutonic archive through hafnium (Hf) and oxygen (O) isotope analysis of zoned zircon crystals from the classic hornblende-bearing (I-type) granites of eastern Australia. This granite type forms by the reworking of sedimentary materials by mantle-like magmas instead of by remelting ancient metamorphosed igneous rocks as widely believed. I-type magmatism thus drives the coupled growth and differentiation of continental crust.

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