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Lithospheric dynamics and geochemical cycles on Earth through time

Wednesday, September 22, 2021 - 06:30 to 07:30
Online via zoom
Dr. Vinod Oommen Samuel
Postdoctoral Researcher, Yonsei University, South Korea
Earth is a dynamic planet, continuously undergoing geochemical cycling due to its internal and external thermal processes. Geochemical signatures of the interactions of Earth’s surface and its solid interior are imprinted on various rock types exposed in the planet’s solid outer layer, called the crust. Various rock types formed throughout Earth’s history are fortuitously preserved in the continental crust, in part due to lithospheric dynamics and its relatively lower density as compared to oceanic crust. The presence of an evolved continental crust, that preserves details of Earth’s history, makes Earth a unique planet in the solar system. In this talk, I present a broad overview of my study that shows how detailed field, petrological, geochemical and isotopic characteristics of various rock types can be used to improve our understanding of Earth’s history. Remnants of the continental crust (cratonic nuclei) that formed on early Earth still exist. For example, the Indian landmass is made up of five such cratons and their associated mobile belts. Of these, the lithological and geochemical variations that developed through the interactions of atmospheric, crustal and mantle components imprinted in the crustal blocks associated to the Dharwar Craton in southern India are significant. Interpreting and quantifying the lithospheric dynamics (e.g. plate tectonic and mantle interactions) and geochemical signatures additionally requires detailed comparative studies of various lithologies in different geologic settings in India and abroad. Such studies would also help us correlate tectonic settings in different parts of the world to improve our understanding of super-continental cycles through time. Furthermore, such projects could be extended to trace out mineralization zones for exploring elements important for the future energy industry.
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