Geochemistry in the Age of Open Data: New Insights Into the Formation and Evolution of Earth's Continental Crust

Brenhin Keller, Princeton University

Earth's unique continental crust is crucial to life on our planet as we know it: as a source for raw materials, a substrate for growth and a component in the silicate weathering feedback that stabilizes Earth's equable climate on billion-year timescales. However, much is still unknown about the processes by which the continental crust forms and evolves over time, in part because that compositional heterogeneity at any one point in geologic time typically dwarfs any systematic temporal trends. New computational approaches – enabled by the emergence of large, freely accessible geochemical datasets – provide a way to see through this heterogeneity and extract quantitative information about underlying processes and variables that drive the evolution of Earth's crust over geologic time.

Abstract Author(s): B. Keller, B. Schoene