1989 Edition

Archaean volcanism

  • A. M. Goodwin
Reference work entry

The products of Archaean volcanism are a major component of Archaean greenstone belts that are present in most Precambrian shields of the world and that show worldwide similarities in first-order features despite their many significant and fundamental points of difference when considered in detail. Being repositories of major mineral deposits, particularly of Au, they have received wide attention.

Archaean greenstone belts are typically linear to irregular-shaped, synformal supracrustal successions, 5–250 km wide and up to several hundred kilometers long ( Fig. 1). Exposed thicknesses are 10–20 km, although true stratigraphic thicknesses are often uncertain. Most belts represent faulted synforms with fold axes and major faults parallel to synformal axes. The typical keel-shaped outline is partly the product of diapiric intrusive plutons. Metamorphic grade is typically greenschist but may be up to granulite facies; it may also be higher near intrusive contacts. Primary textures and...
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Copyright information

© Van Nostrand Reinhold 1989

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  • A. M. Goodwin

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