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::A glance at today's paper::  
Stern, T., G. Houseman, M. Salmon, L. Evans, Instability of a lithospheric step beneath western Northy Island, New Zealand, Geology, 41, 423-426, 2013.


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:: Notice Board ::

Instability Migration (Delamination) and the Geological Record

Tim Stern


Rifted continental margins: Geometric control on crustal architecture and melting

E.R. Lundin, T.F. Redfield, & G. Peron-Pindivic


Melting of the oceanic crust in stagnant slabs in the transition zone: Constraints from alkaline basalts in eastern China

J.-I. Kimura, Y. Fukao, Y. Hirahara, T. Takahashi, R. Senda, Q. Chang, T. Miyazaki, M. Obayashi, H. Kawabata, & Y. Tatsumi


Themed issue in Journal of Asian Earth Sciences

Flood Basalts of Asia

in memory of John Joseph Mahoney (1952–2012)

Edited by Hetu C. Sheth and Loÿc Vanderkluysen


Themed issue in Geophere on:

Anatomy of Rifting: Tectonics and Magmatism in Continental Rifts, Oceanic Spreading Centers, and Transforms

Eds: Francesco Mazzarini, Carolina Pagli, Derek Keir, Eleonora Rivalta & Tyrone O. Rooney


The Central European, Tarim & Siberian LIPs, Late Palaeozoic orogeny, & Coeval Metallogeny

H. de Boorder


Global Seamount Distribution (Clarke, 2009; Kitchingman & Lai, 2004; K&L Appendix 1)


EGU
Vienna, Austria, 27 April – 2 May, 2014

GD5.1/GMPV64/SM6.11/TS6.7: The first step of the Wilson Cycle: Rifting to post-breakup processes of passive continental margins with special emphasis on the Atlantic Ocean

TS6.4: Why and how does continental rifting lead to break-up?

TS6.1: Rifted continental margins: The offshore sedimentary, volcanic and crustal architecture

TS6.3: Onshore-offshore relationships at rifted margins

GMPV21/TS7.9: Interplay of magmatism and plate tectonic processes in a complex geodynamic setting - case studies in the Mediterranean and surrounding regions

GD5.2/GMPV65/TS6.5: Geodynamics of Rift Basins and Passive Margins from Surface to Depth: Observations and Modelling




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"It was a reaction from the old idea of protoplasm, a name which was a mere repository of ignorance."

J.B.S. Haldane, "Perspectives in Biochemistry", 1938


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Dear WM, I recently came across the paper by Don Anderson in the Australian Journal of Earth Sciences "The persistent mantle plume myth". It is an informative, entertaining and devastatingly logical demolition of the plume 'hypothesis'. The author provides a cogent summary of what is wrong with the physics of plumes, as well as delving into the philosophical and psychological aspects of the plume story. In the almost indiscriminate invocation of plumes in many LIP and ore-deposit studies, plumes appear to have the same role as the Joker in a pack of cards: something that can be pulled out to trump any other card (hypothesis). Probably one of the most maddening aspects to plumes is the apparent lack of agreed upon criteria that can be used to test the model and its alternatives. For example, magmatism related to a plume should be an intense, very short-lived event. Apparently. Unless of course the magmatic event is prolonged, in which case the magmatism may be related to a cluster of plumes or a superplume! It is this polycephalic aspect to the plume story (in more ways than one) that raises the most questions about its legitimacy as a hypothesis.

Don Anderson's paper is also notable for its reference to various plume models published in some of the most elite journals, such as Science and Nature. Like others I pretty much gave up on those journals some years ago, finding them speculative and unhelpful to progress. Unfortunately, many still seem to regard papers in these journals as gospel, rather than somewhat subjective and unreliable material at the "frontier of science" that has been made widely available.–Steve Sheppard


Dear WM, This recent paper published by Mallik & Dasgupta concludes "mantle potential temperatures of 1330-1350°C appear sufficient to produce high-MgO, primitive basanite-nephelinite if carbonated eclogite melt and peridotite interaction is taken into account.".

This is more evidence that the geochemistry of mafic Mg-rich alkaline rocks can be explained with "normal" temperature, simply assuming a non-pyrolitic mantle source.–Michele Lustrino


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