Oliver Nebel

Oliver Nebel
Monash University (Australia) · School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment

Dr. rer. nat., Westfaelische Wilhelms-Universitaet Muenster

About

153
Publications
53,023
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Introduction
I am a geochemist with a focus on high temperature processes. As a trained isotope geochronologist (the dating of rocks and events using radioactive elements), I use the chemistry of rocks and minerals, stable and radiogenic isotope compositions in particular, to study present and past geologic processes. My current interests lie in the areas of mantle composition, ocean floor volcanic activity and crust-mantle evolution.
Additional affiliations
March 2012 - February 2015
Australian National University
Position
  • Fellow
March 2009 - February 2012
Australian National University
Position
  • Research Associate
March 2006 - February 2009
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
January 2002 - July 2006
Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität
Field of study
  • Geochronology
September 1996 - December 2001
Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Field of study
  • Geology and Paleonthology

Publications

Publications (153)
Article
Full-text available
Intra-plate basalt isotopic trends require mixing between enriched mantle components (EM1, EM2, HIMU) and a primordial component with high 3 He/ 4 He termed FOZO. However, proportions of components, geometric distributions within individual plumes, relative proportions of melting components and loci of mixing of melts and residues remain poorly und...
Article
Archean (>2.5 billion years) komatiites are considered expressions of mantle plumes that originate from and thereby sample the lowermost mantle overlying the Earth's core. Some komatiites have reported Hf isotope signatures that require a mantle source with a time-integrated Lu/Hf that is appreciably higher than average modern depleted mantle. The...
Article
Geophysical observations suggest sub-arc convective flow transports melt-exhausted and metasomatised wedge mantle into deeper mantle regions. Reciprocally, asthenospheric, fertile mantle may supply back-arc ridges distal to the trench by shallow, lateral mantle ingress, insinuating initial wedge mantle depletion in its back-arc region. Here we show...
Article
Full-text available
The bulk silicate Earth (BSE) shows substantial deficits in volatile elements compared to CI-chondrites and solar abundances. These deficits could be caused by pre-accretionary depletion in the solar nebula during condensation of solids, or by later heat-driven evaporation during collision of small bodies that later accreted to form the Earth. The...
Article
Full-text available
We report abundances of major, trace and volatile elements in an orthopyroxenite vein cutting a sub-arc, mantle-derived, spinel harzburgite xenolith from Kamchatka. The orthopyroxenite contains abundant sulfides and is characterised by the presence of glass (formerly melt) both interstitially and as inclusions in minerals, comparable with similar v...
Article
Full-text available
How the geological record of cratons reconciles with the tectonic environments in which they formed has remained debated. We use 2D Cartesian geometry numerical models of mantle convection varying temperatures from present day to Archaean‐inferred values, to address the formation of cratons, accounting for melt depletion‐dependent rheological stiff...
Article
Full-text available
Monazite has the ability to incorporate a broad range of trace elements (TE), including SmNd, in addition to being a reliable UPb geochronometer. Nonetheless, many current isotopic tracer studies mostly focus on laser ablation-multicollector-inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-MC-ICPMS) Hf-in-zircon or whole rock isotope dilution SmNd....
Article
The Winnipeg River terrane is one of three plutonic-gneiss terranes that contains the oldest rocks in the Archean Superior Province and is integral to understanding the evolution of Earth's largest Archean craton. We evaluate the evolution of the Winnipeg River terrane using whole-rock Sr-Nd-Pb isotope data for a suite of 17 samples of the Cedar La...
Article
Full-text available
Significance Understanding when and how subaerial continental crust first formed is crucial, as it likely played a critical role in establishing Earth’s habitability. Although debated, the broad consensus is that the subaerial rise of continents began ∼2.5 billion years ago and was driven by plate tectonics. Here, we integrate the igneous and sedim...
Article
The alkalinity of ocean island basalts (OIB), which form by upwelling thermo-chemical instabilities in the mantle, is often associated with the degree of melting. Yet it remains to be tested if alkalinity and the degree of melting are systematically associated with enriched mantle components. The Tasmantid Seamounts, which are fossil remnants of th...
Article
Full-text available
The magmatic differentiation of cooling arc lavas on their way to the surface is dominated by fractional crystallization, which predominantly occurs at lower crustal arc levels (25–40 km) at continental margins. The magmatic storage in the deep crust is complex and remote, and rarely studied compared to shallow magma fractionation, but carries key...
Article
Full-text available
The formation of stable, evolved (silica-rich) crust was essential in constructing Earth’s first cratons, the ancient nuclei of continents. Eoarchaean (4000–3600 million years ago, Ma) evolved crust occurs on most continents, yet evidence for older, Hadean evolved crust is mostly limited to rare Hadean zircons recycled into younger rocks. Resolving...
Article
Molybdenum isotopes (reported as δ⁹⁸Mo relative to NIST-3134) show resolvable isotope differences in igneous rocks with the continental crust being markedly heavier in isotope composition than mid-ocean ridge lavas, lunar basalts or the Earth’s mantle. The tholeiitic differentiation series at the intra-plate Hekla volcano (Iceland) shows no resolva...
Article
Unlike many Archean diorites and granitoids that arguably formed in different geodynamic settings, their post-Archean counterparts are commonly regarded to have formed at convergent margins, although in detail their petrogenesis remains contentious. Here we present new whole rock data and zircon Hf–O isotope analyses from dioritic (750–730 Ma), gra...
Article
The Singhbhum craton of eastern India preserves an extensive record of basin formation spanning the Paleoarchean to Neoarchean. Although spatially extensive and well exposed, the absolute age, depositional environment, and regional correlations of many of the purportedly Archean basins of this craton remain poorly resolved. We present a detailed li...
Article
The continental crust that dominates Earth’s oldest cratons comprises Eoarchaean to Palaeoarchaean (4.0 to 3.2 Ga) felsic intrusive rocks of the tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite (TTG) series. These are found either within high-grade gneiss terranes, which represent Archaean mid-continental crust, or low-grade granite-greenstone belts, which repre...
Article
Full-text available
Two-thirds of the Earth is covered by mid-ocean ridge basalts, which form along a network of divergent plate margins. Basalts along these margins display a chemical diversity, which is consequent to a complex interplay of partial mantle melting in the upper mantle and magmatic differentiation processes in lower crustal levels. Igneous differentiati...
Article
Lithological heterogeneity is a widely accepted feature of the Earth’s mantle, with recycled crustal material accounting for a significant part of heterogeneity in ocean island basalt (OIB) geochemistry. Fe isotopes have been used to link geochemical heterogeneity in OIB sources to distinct mantle lithologies due to their mineral-specific equilibri...
Article
Full-text available
Recent studies of serpentine-free, spinel peridotite xenoliths from the mantle lithosphere beneath the active Kamchatka and West Bismarck arcs have shown that these rocks are enriched in silica and highly depleted in incompatible elements in comparison with melting residues of either primitive or mid-ocean ridge mantle. It has been suggested that t...
Article
Full-text available
Cratons record the early history of continental lithosphere formation, yet how they became the most enduring part of the lithosphere on Earth remains unknown¹. Here we propose a mechanism for the formation of large volumes of melt-depleted cratonic lithospheric mantle (CLM) and its evolution to stable cratons. Numerical models show large decompress...
Article
Full-text available
Long-lived, widespread intraplate volcanism without age progression is one of the most controversial features of plate tectonics. Previously proposed edge-driven convection, asthenospheric shear, and lithospheric detachment fail to explain the ~5000-km-wide intraplate volcanic province from eastern Australia to Zealandia. We model the subducted sla...
Article
Full-text available
Earth's upper mantle, as sampled by mid-ocean ridge basalts (MORBs) at oceanic spreading centers, has developed chemical and isotopic heterogeneity over billions of years through focused melt extraction and re-enrichment by recycled crustal components. Chemical and isotopic heterogeneity of MORB is dwarfed by the large compositional spectrum of lav...
Article
Full-text available
Shear zones accommodate strain and facilitate migration of hydrothermal fluid and magma through the crust. Unravelling the deformation history of shear zones requires correspondence between the closure temperature of mineral geochronometers and the temperature of deformation. Here, we adopt apatite U-Pb-trace element analysis as a tool for dating d...
Preprint
Full-text available
The tectonic setting and pressure-temperature conditions responsible for the formation of felsic crust on the early Earth remain debated. Rare earth elements (REE) have been extensively used to study the formation of tonalite-trondhjemites-granodiorites (TTGs)- the building blocks of the early felsic crust, but conclusive interpretations based on t...
Poster
The isobaric decay of 87 Rb to 87 Sr has traditionally stymied in situ application of Rb/Sr geochronology. With the advent of 'triple quadrupole' laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (LA-ICP-MS/MS), in situ Sr isotope and Rb-Sr geochemistry is now possible. The innovative geometry of the Agilent 8900 ICP-MS/MS enables online...
Poster
Full-text available
The isobaric decay of 87 Rb to 87 Sr has traditionally stymied in situ application of Rb/Sr geochronology. With the advent of 'triple quadrupole' laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (LA-ICP-MS/MS), in situ Sr isotope and Rb-Sr geochemistry is now possible. The innovative geometry of the Agilent 8900 ICP-MS/MS enables online...
Article
Full-text available
Layered mafic-ultramafic intrusions (LMI) are among the largest igneous bodies on Earth, and represent aggregations of large volumes of mantle- and some crustal-derived melts. Melts are emplaced over time-intervals of less than 1 million years, predominantly through multiple pulses of injections into pre-existing melt-crystal slurries. The dynamic...
Article
Full-text available
We undertook ⁸⁷Sr/⁸⁶Sr analyses for a range of carbonate bearing geological reference materials, and combined these with δ²⁶Mg for a subset of samples. Following chemical purification in a series of chromatographic extractions, isotope ratios were measured by Multi-Collector-ICP-MS using a Plasma II (Nu instruments, Wrexham, UK). To validate effici...
Article
Full-text available
Underexplored accessory minerals such as titanite and apatite have the potential to give insights into the nature and the petrogenesis of their host rock. Their trace element and REE-rich compositions carry a record of crystallisation history and chemical characteristics of their source. Moreover, titanite and, to a certain extent, apatite are resi...
Article
Full-text available
Archean cratons are composites of terranes formed at different times, juxtaposed during craton assembly. Cratons are underpinned by a deep lithospheric root, and models for the development of this cratonic lithosphere include both vertical and horizontal accretion. How different Archean terranes at the surface are reflected vertically within the li...
Article
Neodymium (Nd) stable isotopes have the potential to provide new constraints on a diverse range of geological processes from planetary formation and magmatic differentiation to weathering and ocean circulation. In...
Conference Paper
The processes that operated on the early Earth and the tectonic regimes in which it was shaped are poorly constrained, reflecting the highly fragmentary rock record and uncertainty in geodynamic conditions. Surface motions, compression and processes commonly related to modern plate tectonics are required to explain tectonics and craton formation in...
Article
The transition from the Proterozoic to the Phanerozoic Eon was accompanied by the rise of metazoan life, a key and unique biogeochemical milestone in Earth's history. Concomitant continental re-organization and collision were associated with enhanced continental reworking and changes in global ocean currents, with profound impacts on continental we...
Article
Monazite is an abundant accessory mineral in metasedimentary rocks and their anatectic products. Trace element analysis combined with U-Pb dating of monazite is widely used to reconstruct P-T-t histories of high-grade metamorphic terranes. This approach relies on interpreting U-Pb dates, which requires understanding the processes that cause isotopi...
Article
Full-text available
Monazite is a common accessory phosphate mineral that occurs under a wide range of pressure and temperature conditions in sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rocks. Monazite contains high amounts of Th and U, rendering single monazite grains suitable for in-situ U-Th/Pb dating using laser ablation inductively-coupled mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS)....
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The initiation of the Phanerozoic eon was accompanied by a unique (bio-) geochemical revolution in Earth´s history, leading to the rise of metazoan life. Concomitant continent reorganization and collision is associated with enhanced continental reworking and mixing of water masses through changing global ocean currents, affecting the weathering of...
Article
Full-text available
Thermomechanical models of mantle convection and melting in an inferred hotter Archean Earth show the emergence of pressure-temperature (P-T) regimes that resemble present-day plate tectonic environments yet developed within a non–plate tectonics regime. The models’ P-T gradients are compatible with those inferred from evolving tonalite-trondhjemit...
Article
The processes that operated on the early Earth and the tectonic regimes in which it was shaped are poorly constrained, reflecting the highly fragmentary rock record and uncertainty in geodynamic conditions. Most models of early Earth geodynamics invoke a poorly mobile lid regime, involving little or episodic movement of the lithosphere, above a con...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Hybridization-melting is a concept that emerged from highpressure experimental studies by P.J. Wyllie’s group in the 80’s [1, 2]. The experiments have highlighted that liquidus phase relationships of tonalite-peridotite mixtures from 1.5 to 3 GPa are characterised by (orthopyroxene ± garnet)-rich mineral assemblages. Recent data from the lithospher...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Many island arc lavas (IAL) in the western Pacific carry a distinct DupAl-or Indian-type mantle signature in radiogenic Pb isotopes. This isotope anomaly, consequent to elevated, time-integrated Th/U in the mantle, is considered a result of eastward mantle flow from the mantle domain underlying and feeding Indian Ocean ridges. Boninites, a distinct...
Article
Full-text available
Continental crust forms and evolves above subduction zones as a result of heat and mass transfer from the mantle below. The nature and extent of this transfer remain debated. Although it has been recognized that arc magmatism at active continental margins can be cyclical at 50- to 1-Myr timescales, such cyclicity has not been recognized in the back...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Magmatism on Earth mainly occurs at mid-ocean ridges and subduction zones, where it is generated by mantle melting at different redox conditions. This study examines the role of sulfur in redox reactions within subduction zones by determining the sulfur valence state in glass inclusions in mantle minerals.
Article
Full-text available
We report the abundances of major and lithophile trace elements and volatiles (H2O, Cl and S) in orthopyroxenite veins cutting mantle-derived, spinel harzburgite xenoliths from the active Ritter volcano in the West Bismarck Arc (Papua New Guinea). The veins preserve sulfide-bearing glass coexisting with crystals. The glass formed by the quench of r...
Article
Full-text available
The Precambrian-Cambrian (PЄ-Є) transition is a unique period in Earth’s history known for the “Cambrian Explosion”. Here, we present a continuous radiogenic and stable isotope (87Sr/86Sr, δ13CVPDB, carb, δ18OVPDB, carb) and elemental (incl. REE) record across the PЄ-Є transition, preserved in phosphatic and carbonate shallow-water deposits from tw...
Article
Full-text available
The secular evolution of the Earth's crust is marked by a profound change in average crustal chemistry between 3.2 and 2.5 Ga. A key marker for this change is the transition from Archaean sodic granitoid intrusions of the tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite (TTG) series to potassic (K) granitic suites, akin (but not identical) to I-type granites tha...
Article
Full-text available
Plate tectonics, involving a globally linked system of lateral motion of rigid surface plates, is a characteristic feature of our planet, but estimates of how long it has been the modus operandi of lithospheric formation and interactions range from the Hadean to the Neoproterozoic. In this paper, we review sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic proxi...
Article
Full-text available
Changes in the oxygen fugacity (fO2) of the Earth’s mantle have been proposed to control the spatial and temporal distribution of arc-related ore deposits, and possibly reflect the evolution of the atmosphere over billions of years. Thermodynamic calculations and natural evidence indicate that fluids released from subducting slabs can oxidise the m...