Evolution of the early Earth – Faculty of Science

University academics: Associate Professor Patrice Rey, Associate Professor Derek Wyman, Dr Vasileios Chatzaras

In the early Earth, a wide range of phenomena, including the formation of gold deposits and volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposits, as well as the development of sulfur ecosystems at the level of hydrothermal vents were linked to the mobilization of fluids. mineralized through the crust and their channeling to the surface. Therefore, the identification and characterization of crustal-scale Archean plumbing systems and their tectonic parameters is one of the most fundamental problems in Archean geology and exobiology.

The Eastern Craton of Pilbara, Western Australia is home to some of the oldest gold vein deposits, VMS deposits, and traces of biological activity on Earth, all within a few dozen kilometers. It is one of the best-preserved and easily accessible Archean cratons, a natural laboratory for the first terrestrial processes, and a region of unique importance to geoscientists and geobiologists around the world.

Thanks to projects funded by the ARC, we are decoding, with a multidisciplinary team of researchers, the geological archives of the eastern craton of Pilbara. Our tools range from structural geology to X-ray fluorescence of synchrotron radiation, including numerical modeling.

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