Pliocene eclogite exhumation at plate tectonic rates in eastern Papua New Guinea

Suzanne L Baldwin, Brian B. Monteleone, Laura E. Webb, Paul G Fitzgerald, Marty Grove, E. June Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

167 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

As lithospheric plates are subducted, rocks are metamorphosed under high-pressure and ultrahigli-pressure conditions to produce eclogues and eclogite facies metamorphic rocks. Because chemical equilibrium is rarely fully achieved, eclogites may preserve in their distinctive mineral assemblages and textures a record of the pressures, temperatures and deformation the rock was subjected to during subduction and subsequent exhumation. Radioactive parent-daughter isotopic variations within minerals reveal the timing of these events. Here we present in situ zircon U/Pb ion microprobe data that dates the timing of eclogite facies metamorphism in eastern Papua New Guinea at 4.3 ± 0.4 Myr ago, making this the youngest documented eclogite exposed at the Earth's surface. Eclogite exhumation from depths of ∼75 km was extremely rapid and occurred at plate tectonic rates (cm yr-1). The eclogite was exhumed within a portion of the obliquely convergent Australian-Pacific plate boundary zone, in an extending region located west of the Woodlark basin sea floor spreading centre. Such rapid exhumation (>1 cm yr-1) of high-pressure and, we infer, ultrahigh-pressure rocks is facilitated by extension within transient plate boundary zones associated with rapid oblique plate convergence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-267
Number of pages5
JournalNature
Volume431
Issue number7006
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 16 2004

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Exhumation
Papua New Guinea
Pressure
Minerals
Oceans and Seas
Ions
Temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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Pliocene eclogite exhumation at plate tectonic rates in eastern Papua New Guinea. / Baldwin, Suzanne L; Monteleone, Brian B.; Webb, Laura E.; Fitzgerald, Paul G; Grove, Marty; Hill, E. June.

In: Nature, Vol. 431, No. 7006, 16.09.2004, p. 263-267.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Baldwin, Suzanne L ; Monteleone, Brian B. ; Webb, Laura E. ; Fitzgerald, Paul G ; Grove, Marty ; Hill, E. June. / Pliocene eclogite exhumation at plate tectonic rates in eastern Papua New Guinea. In: Nature. 2004 ; Vol. 431, No. 7006. pp. 263-267.
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