ABSTRACT

Detrital zircon provenance studies of Terra Nova oil field strata, offshore Newfoundland, were conducted to constrain the depositional age and correlation of synrift sandstone units in the Jeanne d’Arc basin and test continuity with coeval rocks in adjacent regions. Braided fluvial sandstone intervals of the Jeanne d’Arc Formation from delineation wells K-18, C-09, and E-79 yield Mesozoic to Archean detrital zircon U-Pb populations that are consistent across the Terra Nova field. A Tithonian to Berriasian maximum depositional age for the Jeanne d’Arc Formation is proposed from circa 145 Ma detrital zircon grains in each of the nine sandstone samples analyzed. Tithonian to Berriasian detrital zircon grains have chondritic to superchrondritic Hf isotope compositions and indicate that synrift drainage systems carved valleys into the existing landscape during mantle-derived volcanism. Polycyclic Paleozoic to Archean detrital zircon grains were derived from mature, upper Paleozoic sedimentary rocks of the Avalon uplift south-southwest of the Jeanne d’Arc basin and have original provenance from the Newfoundland Appalachians, Canadian shield, and Iberia. Coeval synrift fluvial strata from the frontier Flemish Pass basin yield analogous Tithonian to Berriasian and Paleozoic to Archean detrital zircon populations and suggest potential Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous continuity with Jeanne d’Arc basin units. Tithonian to Berriasian deltaic strata of the Scotian basin, southwest of the southwest Grand Banks fault zone, lack Mesozoic detrital zircon grains typical of Grand Banks basins and demonstrate that regional faulting and igneous activity controlled Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous drainage patterns along the nascent Atlantic Canadian margin.

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