Large igneous provinces and silicic large igneous provinces : progress in our understanding over the last 25 years

Bryan, Scott Edward & Ferrari, Luca (2013) Large igneous provinces and silicic large igneous provinces : progress in our understanding over the last 25 years. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 125(7-8), pp. 1053-1078.

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Large Igneous Provinces are exceptional intraplate igneous events throughout Earth’s history. Their significance and potential global impact is related to the total volume of magma intruded and released during these geologically brief events (peak eruptions are often within 1-5 Myrs duration) where millions to tens of millions of cubic kilometers of magma are produced. In some cases, at least 1% of the Earth’s surface has been directly covered in volcanic rock, being equivalent to the size of small continents with comparable crustal thicknesses. Large Igneous Provinces are thus important, albeit episodic episodes of new crust addition. However, most magmatism is basaltic so that contributions to crustal growth will not always be picked up in zircon geochronology studies that better trace major episodes of extension-related silicic magmatism and the silicic Large Igneous Provinces. Much headway has been made on our understanding of these anomalous igneous events over the last 25 years, driving many new ideas and models. This includes their: 1) global spatial and temporal distribution, with a long-term average of one event approximately every 20 Myrs, but a clear clustering of events at times of supercontinent break-up – Large Igneous Provinces are thus an integral part of the Wilson cycle and are becoming an increasingly important tool in reconnecting dispersed continental fragments; 2) compositional diversity that in part reflects their crustal setting of ocean basins, and continental interiors and margins where in the latter setting, LIP magmatism can be silicicdominant; 3) mineral and energy resources with major PGE and precious metal resources being hosted in these provinces, as well as magmatism impacting on the hydrocarbon potential of volcanic basins and rifted margins through enhancing source rock maturation, providing fluid migration pathways, and trap formation; 4) biospheric, hydrospheric and atmospheric impacts, with Large Igneous Provinces now widely regarded as a key trigger mechanism for mass extinctions, although the exact kill mechanism(s) are still being resolved; 5) role in mantle geodynamics and thermal evolution of the Earth, by potentially recording the transport of material from the lower mantle or core-mantle boundary to the Earth's surface and being a fundamental component in whole mantle convection models; and 6) recognition on the inner planets where the lack of plate tectonics and erosional processes and planetary antiquity means that the very earliest record of LIP events during planetary evolution may be better preserved than on Earth.

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ID Code: 58551
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: 040313, 040303, 040304, 040314
DOI: 10.1130/B30820.1
ISSN: 0016-7606
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Geological Society of America
Deposited On: 22 Mar 2013 02:40
Last Modified: 08 May 2014 16:45

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