Isotropic Depleted Mantle Model Age Map of Australia

Isotropic Depleted Mantle Model Age Map of Australia

Geoscience Australia
Geoscience Australia has released the Samarium-Neodymium (isotope) depleted mantle maps of the Australian continent.

This view included the investigation of Australia’s lithospheric architecture to establish a whole-of-lithosphere architectural framework as a priority. An important component of the Earth’s lithosphere is the crust, most of which is clearly inaccessible.

Studies of these rocks are enhanced by isotopic tracers, such as Samarium-Neodymium, which can affectively see through the granite to provide constraints on crustal formation, and to map the Australian crust. This approach and the application of Samarium-Neodymium isotope data were used by Geoscience Australia for the Archean Yilgarn Craton of Western Australia. Studies in that region showed that regional scale Samarium-Neodymium signatures in felsic igneous rocks (tonalite to granite and volcanic equivalents) were not only able to map crustal architecture but that this architecture had unexpected correlations with mineralisation.

A database of Sm-Nd isotopic data, and associated metadata, for >2650 samples of Australian rocks was compiled from published and unpublished sources. This included location, unit, geochronology and bibliographic data and metadata for all data points; this dataset is available for download at www.ga.gov.au. Data were compiled for a range of lithologies, including felsic and mafic igneous rocks, sedimentary rocks, as well as some mineral data. Just over 1630 of these data points were from felsic igneous rocks which had reliable locational details and a reasonable estimated or known magmatic age. A comparison of the magmatic ages from these samples with compilations of Australian igneous rock ages showed a generally good agreement confirming the representative nature of the compiled Nd data set.

Source: Geoscience Australia

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