Exhumation rates in the Archean from pressure-ime paths: Examplefrom the Skjoldungen Orogen (SE Greenland)

Berger, Alfons; Kokfelt, Thomas Find; Kolb, Jochen (2014). Exhumation rates in the Archean from pressure-ime paths: Examplefrom the Skjoldungen Orogen (SE Greenland). Precambrian research, 255(3), pp. 774-790. Elsevier 10.1016/j.precamres.2014.04.011

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The discussions on the orogenic evolution during Earth's history converge to the question of a different thermal structure in the Archean compared to the Phanerozoic and the applicability of the plate tectonic paradigm. However, geothermal structures are transient in orogens and are difficult to translate into large-scale tectonics and exhumation rates. Therefore, we propose depth–time data in the Archean Skjoldungen Orogen (SE Greenland, North Atlantic Craton) that allow for reconstruction of an exhumation rate independent of geothermal gradients. The resulting exhumation rate of ca. 0.4 km/Ma is similar to exhumation rates during erosion-controlled processes in modern orogens. These exhumation rates can only be established by erosion time constants similar to modern orogens. The occurrence of erosion-controlled exhumation is best explained by a stiff foreland promoting localized deformation in the orogen. Therefore, a switch from magmatic-dominated processes to localized deformation is proposed in the Skjoldungen Orogen area. This is supported by a change in magma composition and volume, from widespread granodiorite to localized alkaline intrusions. In addition, the involved metasedimentary rocks include detrital zircons of the only 50 Ma older foreland, which also correspond to erosion and tectonics as in modern orogens, i.e. flysh-type sediments. Relatively fast exhumation rates and the structural-magmatic evolution of the Neoarchean Skjoldungen Orogen thus indicate modern-style tectonic processes where stiff Mesoarchean continental crust forms a foreland to a collisional orogen instead of typical accretionary tectonics of weak island arc-like terranes in granite-greenstone terranes.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Berger, Alfons


500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology








Sarah Antenen

Date Deposited:

14 Aug 2015 12:56

Last Modified:

15 Aug 2015 00:10

Publisher DOI:






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