Stanford University

Geological Sciences Seminar: Nadja Drabon, Stanford University – “Detrital zircon from the early Earth: Insights into crustal evolution in the Hadean and Archean”

Tuesday, Feb 12, 2019 12:00 PM
GeoCorner 220 - 450 Serra Mall, Building 320
Faculty/Staff, Students, Alumni/Friends
Department of Geological Science

** Please join us for coffee and cookies in the GeoCorner Undergraduate lounge (bldg. 320, rm 114) before the talk, at 11:30am! - Seminar will be in room 220~

Surface conditions on Earth were initially hostile as the planet was covered by a magma ocean and frequently struck by giant meteorites. The questions of when the first solid crust evolved and when the first continents emerged are still unresolved.  The first 600 million years of Earth’s history, the Hadean Eon, are poorly understood due to the lack of a rock record. Only Hadean detrital zircon populations serve as a direct record of this time period, providing insights into the evolution of the early Earth. Until recently, our understanding of the Hadean was primarily based on a single location with abundant Hadean zircons, the Jack Hills region in Western Australia. We discovered a new location with Hadean detrital zircons as old as 4.2 Ga called the Green Sandstone Bed in the 3.6 to 3.2 Ga Barberton greenstone belt, South Africa. This recent discovery will be discussed along with the constraints the geochemistry of these zircons provides on the Hadean crust.

Nadja Drabon is a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University working with Prof. Donald Lowe. She earned her Ph.D. from Stanford University and her B.S. from the Free University of Berlin, Germany. Her research focuses on crustal conditions in the Hadean and Archean and integrates stratigraphic, provenance and geochemical analyses with detailed knowledge of complex geology at outcrop to basin scale.

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