Role of tonalite-trodhjemite-granite (TTG) crust subduction on the mechanism of supercontinent breakup

Hiroki Senshu, Shigenori Maruyama, Shuji Rino, M. Santosh

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    68 Citations (Scopus)


    The tonalite-trondhjemite-granite (TTG) crust has been considered to be buoyant and hence impossible to be subducted into the deep mantle. However, recent studies on the juvenile arc in the western Pacific region indicate that immature island arcs subduct into the deep mantle in most cases, except in the case of parallel arc collision. Moreover, sediment trapped subduction and tectonic erosion are also common. This has important implications in evaluating the role of TTG crust in the deep mantle and probably on the bottom of the mantle. Because the TTG crust is enriched in K, U and Th, ca. 20 times more than that of CI chondrite, the accumulated TTG on the Core Mantle Boundary (CMB) would have played a critical role to initiate plumes or superplumes radiating from the thermal boundary layer, particularly after 2.0 Ga, related to the origin of superplume-supercontinent cycle. This is because selective subduction of oceanic lithosphere including sediment-trapped subduction, tectonic erosion and arc- and microcontinent-subduction proceeded under the supercontinent before the final amalgamation ca. 200-300 million years after the formation of the nuclei. We speculate the mechanism of superplume evolution through the subduction of TTG-crust and propose that this process might have played a dominant role in supercontinent breakup.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)433-442
    Number of pages10
    JournalGondwana Research
    Issue number3-4
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009


    • Continental crust
    • Core-Mantle Boundary
    • Earth history
    • Subduction
    • Supercontinents
    • Tectonics

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Geology


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