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Tony Kemp

Future Fellow
Centre for Exploration Targeting (CET)

Contact details

Robert Street Building, Rm 215 
Centre for Exploration Targeting (CET)
The University of Western Australia (M006)
35 Stirling Highway

+61 8 6488 7846

Research interests

My research seeks to unravel the generation of the continental crust and the evolution of the crust-mantle system through a combination of detailed field study, trace element geochemistry and stable and radiogenic isotope tracing.

Specific aspects include:

  • igneous processes and the origin of granitic and related rocks.

  • petrological, geochemical and isotopic aspects of crustal melting.

  • the processes and rates of continental crust generation and recycling through time.

  • global links between felsic magmatism, crust generation and recycling through time.

  • geochemical and isotopic evolution of Archean gneiss terranes and greenstone belts.

  • crust-mantle exchange at subduction zones, subduction zone metamorphism.

  • microchemistry and isotope geochemistry of accessory minerals by laser ablation and secondary ionization mass spectrometry.

  • radiogenic and stable isotope geochemistry by multi-collector inductively-coupled plasma-source mass spectrometry.

Key Research Projects and Collaborations

  • Lifting the veil on the GeologicalDark Ages: the search for Hadean crust on Earth (ARC Future Fellowship FT100100059, with GSWA, Simon Wilde, Curtin, Vickie Bennett ANU/RSES and Jeff Vervoort, Washington State).

  • Four dimensional lithospheric evolution and controls on mineral system distribution in Neoarchaean to Palaeoproterozoic terranes (ARC Linkage project LP110100667).

  • Tracking mass transport during subduction zone metamorphism using trace element and radiogenic isotope geochemistry (DP1095280 with Carl Spandler and Nick Oliver, JCU).

  • Proterozoic crust-mantle evolutionof the Northern Australian Craton from hafnium and oxygen isotopes in zircon (ARF and collaborative with Geoscience Australia, GSWA, Chris Hawkesworth, St Andrews, John Valley, Madison and Jeff Vervoort, Washington State Univ.).

  • Tracing the magmatic and metallogenic evolution of the Ordovician-Silurian Macquarie Arc, NSW (with Phil Blevin, NSW DPI, and Geoscience Australia).

  • Silicic magma generation, accretionary orogenesis and crust-mantle evolution in the Lachlan and New England Orogens, NSW (with Phil Blevin, NSW DPI, and Geoscience Australia).

  • Genesis of TTG magmas and formation of Eo- to Paleoarchaean crust in southern West Greenland (with Martin Whitehouse, Stockholm, Anders Scherstén, Lund University, Sweden and Tomas Naeraa, GEUS, Copenhagen).

  • Differentiation processes in the roots of an island arc: the Hidaka metamorphic belt, Hokkaido, Japan (with Toshiaki Shimura, Niigata University).


Kemp, A.I.S. and Hawkesworth, C.J. (2013). Growth and differentiation of the continental crust from isotope studies of accessory minerals. In Treatise On Geochemistry (2nd edition), Volume 12 The Crust (ed. R. Rudnick) Elsevier Science, Oxford.

Vervoort, J.D. and Kemp, A.I.S. (2016). Clarifying the zircon Hf isotope record of crust-mantle differentiation. Chemical Geology 425, 65-75. Citations = 49.

Naeraa, T., Schersten, A., Rosing, M.T., Kemp, A.I.S., Hoffmann, J.E., Kokfelt, T.F. and Whitehouse, M. (2012). Hf isotope evidence for a transition in the geodynamics of continental growth after 3.2 Ga. Nature 485, 627-630. Citations = 115. 

Hawkesworth, C.J., Kemp, A.I.S., Dhuime, B. and Storey, C. Crustal Evolution- A Mineral Archive Perspective. In Parker, A., Herczej, A and Harmon, R. (eds) (2010). Contribution of Geochemistry to the study of the planet: A tribute to Wally Broecker, Wiley-Blackwells, London.

Whitehouse, M.J. and Kemp A.I.S. (2010). On the difficulty of assigning crustal residence, magmatic protolith and metamorphic ages to Lewisian granulites: constraints from combined in situ U-Pb and Lu-Hf. In Law, R.D., Butler, R.W.H., Holdsworth, R.E., Krabbendam, M and Strachan, R.A. (eds) Continental Tectonics and Mountain Building: the Legacy of Peach and Horne. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 335, 79-99.

Naeraa, T., Schersten, A., Rosing, M.T., Kemp, A.I.S., Hoffmann, J.E., Kokfelt, T.F. and Whitehouse, M. (2012). Hf isotope evidence for a transition in the geodynamics of continental growth after 3.2 Ga. Nature 485, 627-630.

Roberts, E.M., Stevens, N.J., O’Connor, P.M., Dirks, P.H.G.M.,Gottfried, M.D., Clyde, W.C., Armstrong, R.A., Kemp, A.I.S. and Hemming, S. (2012). Initiation of the Western Branch of the East African Rift coeval with the Eastern Branch. Nature Geoscience 5, 289-294.

Collins, W. J., Belousova, E.A. Kemp, A.I.S. and Murphy, J.B. (2011). Two contrasting Phanerozoic orogenic systems revealed by hafnium isotope data. Nature Geoscience 4, 333-337.

Rojas-Agramonte, Y., Kroner, A., Garcia-Casco, A., Kemp, A.I.S., Hegner, E., Perez, M., Barth, M., Liu, D-Y., Foncesca-Montero, A. (2011). Zircon ages, Sr-Nd-Hf isotope compositions and geochemistry of granitoids associated with the Northern Ophiolite Melange of central Cuba: tectonic implication for Late Cretaceous magmatismin the northwestern Caribbean. American Journal of Science 310, 1453-1479. 

Kemp A.I.S., Wilde, S.A., Hawkesworth, C.J., Coath, C., Nemchin, A.A., Pidgeon, R.T., Vervoort, J.D. & DuFrane, S.A. (2010). Hadean crustal evolution revisited: new constraints from Pb-Hf isotope systematics of the Jack Hills zircons. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 296, 45-56.

Hawkesworth, C.J., Dhuime, B., Pietranik, A., Cawood, P., Kemp, A.I.S., and Storey, C. (2010). The generation and evolution of the continental crust. Journal of the Geological Society, London 167, 229-248.

Kemp A.I.S., Hawkesworth C.J., Collins, W.J., Gray, C.M. & EIMF. (2009). Isotopic evidence for rapid continental growth in an extensional accretionary orogen: The Tasmanides, eastern Australia. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 285, 455-466.

Hawkesworth, C.J., Cawood, P., Kemp, A.I.S., Dhuime, B. & Storey, C.D. (2009). A matter of preservation. Science 323, 49-50.

Gray, C.M. and Kemp, A.I.S. (2009). The two-component model for the genesis of granitic rocks in southeastern Australia – nature of the metasedimentary-derived and basaltic end members. Lithos 111, 113-124.

Kemp, A.I.S., Foster, G.L., Schersten, A. et al. (2009). Concurrent Pb-Hf isotope analysis of zircon by laser ablation multi-collector ICP-MS, with implications for the crustal evolution of Greenland and the Himalayas. Chemical Geology 261, 244-260.