Ultrabasic-basic Magmatism as the Key to Understanding Revolutionary Events in the Earth History and Formation of Unique Mineral Deposits
The concept of lithosphere plate tectonics, which is the basis in teaching Earth geological history in secondary schools, has been extensively transformed over the last three decades. These days, many researchers suppose mantle plums, which emerge from the outer core-mantle boundary (~ 2,900 km deep) and form large igneous provinces in the interior and on the surface of the Earth crust, have a significant influence on planet evolution. The main indicator in identifying such provinces is ultrabasic and basic igneous rocks. Their study on different levels of erosional truncation helps to develop both scenario of the crust geodynamic evolution, climate and organic world change and criteria for large deposit search.
Project Manager, Professor of Tomsk State University and Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada) says, "Large igneous provinces determine major events in Earth geological image and organic world change. For example, 250 million years ago basic magmatism in Eastern and Western Siberia, China and the adjacent areas caused almost utter destruction of existing flora and fauna. It is seen as the border between the Paleozoic and the Mesozoic eras. Such events are not only a catastrophe for planet "inhabitants", but also mean formation of unique mineral deposits." Scientific research held by Richard Ernst to examine large igneous provinces in 2009–2014 was funded by the group of leading international mining companies (Shell, De Beers, etc.). Following this research, Large Igneous Provinces study was published at the beginning of 2015 by Cambridge University Press. Its Russian version will be published under the sponsorship of Tomsk State University in 2016.
The team of Tomsk State University and the Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Novosibirsk), has developed a framework of ultrabasic-basic magmatism in the history of tectonic structure formation in Siberia and the adjacent regions of Central Asia. However, the major part of research is geochronological correlation of such igneous complexes with geologic events and tectonic regimes of specific milestones of the Siberian paleocontinent. In the future the main goal will be to identify formation age of specific rock bodies for further geological legend development, as well as technologies for mineral deposit search and exploration.