GSA Connects 2021 in Portland, Oregon

Paper No. 204-2
Presentation Time: 8:25 AM


SPENCER, Christopher, Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering, Queen’s University, 36 Union Street, Kingston, ON K7L2N8, Canada, MITCHELL, Ross N., State Key Laboratory of Lithospheric Evolution, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IGGCAS), Beijing, 100029, China and BROWN, Michael, Department of Geology, University of Maryland, 237 Regents Drive, College Park, MD 20742

Since the Archean, secular change in orogenic style is demonstrated through evolution of metamorphic conditions and geochemical proxies. Linked to orogenic style is the amount of crustal thickening and elevation, whereas orogenic vigor is related to the supercontinent cycle. An array of Proterozoic orogens spanned the assembly of supercontinents Columbia and Rodinia, but the vigor of orogenesis is debated, with proposals for both Mesoproterozoic quiescence and climax. We show mid-Proterozoic orogenesis occurred globally and was broadly continuous; furthermore, orogens exhibit elevated metamorphic thermobaric ratios with large volumes of high-temperature felsic magmatic rocks. These features reflect higher mantle heat flux leading to increased mid-crustal flow and lower elevation. In this context, proposals that geochemical proxies for crustal thickness record orogenic quiescence are inconsistent with the geological record. Alternatively, secular change in crustal thickness is attributed to orogenic style, namely the prevalence of hot, thin, and low orogens in the Mid-Proterozoic.