Crustal settings and nature of tectonic uplifts in the Archean
The formation of continents and initiation of plate tectonics caused substantial changes to the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and, consequently, the biosphere. A decades-long dispute in the study of the earliest preserved rock sequences concerns whether they developed on older, evolved continental crust or whether they formed as mainly mafic to ultramafic terranes with small inclusions of felsic rocks. Similarly, the nature of tectonic processes in the early Archean is still highly debated: we don’t even know yet if the geodynamic system involved plate tectonics or some other form of crustal process. New developments in provenance analyses coupled with stratigraphic techniques have been underutilized in resolving these kinds of problems although they are routinely applied to Phanerozoic systems. I use multiproxy analyses for regional basin reconstructions by combining stratigraphic and provenance analyses with zircon geochemistry (εHf, δ18O, and trace element geochemistry) to constrain the tectonic setting and crustal processes recorded in one of the oldest exposed siliciclastic basins on Earth, the 3.28 to 3.23 Ga Fig Tree basin.