Yilgarn Craton

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The Yilgarn Craton is a large craton which constitutes the bulk of the Western Australian land mass. It is bounded by a mixture of sedimentary basins and Proterozoic fold and thrust belts. Zircon grains in the Jack Hills, Narryer Terrane have been dated at ~4.27 Ga, with one detrital zircon dated as old as 4.4 Ga.


The Yilgarn Craton appears to have been assembled between ~2.94 and 2.63 Ga by the accretion of a multitude of formerly present blocks or terranes of existing continental crust, most of which formed between 3.2 Ga and 2.8 Ga.

This accretion event is recorded by widespread granite and granodiorite intrusions, which comprise over 70% of the Yilgarn craton; voluminous tholeiitic basalt and komatiite volcanism; regional metamorphism and deformation as well as the emplacement of the vast majority of the craton's endowment in gold mineralisation.

These accretion events occurred in several phases, probably by accretion of continental fragments separated by pauses in subduction, with renewed activity occurring episodically.

The craton is primarily composed of approximately 2.8 billion year old (~2.8 Ga) granite-gneiss metamorphic terrain (the...
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