Abstract

The Jeanne d'Arc Basin is a relatively small passive-margin rift basin that underlies what is now the northeastern corner of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. In the Late Cretaceous and early Paleogene, the basin formed an elongated depression where sediment accumulated in and along the margins of a shallow-shelf sea. Seismic and well data were used to examine the Late Cretaceous and Paleogene evolution of the basin and to formally revise the existing stratigraphic classification scheme. In the Late Cretaceous, the western margin of the basin was characterized by a well-developed shelf and slope system comprised of the sand-prone Otter Bay and Fox Harbour members and the distally equivalent shale-prone Red Island and Bay Bulls members, respectively. These members record two main progradational episodes that are separated by a regional unconformity and a thick shale interval corresponding to the Bay Bulls Member. East of the shelf-slope system, Upper Cretaceous shale and sparse sandstone of the Dawson Canyon Formation and chalk of the Petrel Member and Wyandot Formation were deposited in a relatively condensed section. In the early part of the Paleogene, two main sandstone units, herein named the Avondale and South Mara members, were deposited east of the well-developed latest Cretaceous slope in the lower part of the Banquereau Formation. The Avondale Member corresponds to small sand-prone submarine fans deposited on the basin floor in the early Paleocene. The submarine fans were fed primarily by two canyons that incised the western margin of the basin, eroding the Late Cretaceous shelf and slope. Also in the Paleocene, siliceous shale and siltstone of the Tilton Member were deposited above bathymetric highs along the western and southern basin margins. The exact temporal relationship between the Tilton and Avondale members is poorly understood. The South Mara Member was deposited in the latest Paleocene and early Eocene. In the southern parts of the basin, it forms a regressive sandstone unit above the Tilton Member, deposited during a period of renewed shelf-slope progradation. In the central and northern parts of the basin, the South Mara Member corresponds to small, sand-prone submarine fans, similar to those deposited in the early Paleocene.

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