Late Cretaceous and Paleocene Atlantic Sea-Floor Spreading and Alpine Collision
In the North Atlantic domain, sea-floor spreading continued during the Cenomanian to early Campanian along axes established during the Aptian and Albian. During the Campanian, crustal separation was achieved between the Labrador Shelf and Greenland and the southern margin of the Rockall-Hutton Bank. With this, the North Atlantic sea-floor spreading axis rapidly propagated northward into the Labrador Sea (Plate 16).
At the same time, the sea-floor spreading axes in the Bay of Biscay and the southern part of the Rockall Trough became extinct (Kristoffersen, 1977; Srivastava, 1978; Olivet et al., 1984). Following this reorganization of sea-floor spreading axes, the North Atlantic-Labrador sea-floor spreading system dominated the late Senonian to Paleocene evolution of the Arctic-North Atlantic rift systems.
Sea-floor spreading in the North Atlantic domain and continued crustal distension in the Baffin Bay and the Norwegian-Greenland Sea rifts (see Opening of the Labrador Sea and Norwegian-Greenland Sea Rift System, this chapter) was accompanied by the rotation of the Eurasian Craton relative to Greenland and also a rotation of Greenland relative to the North American Craton. This induced transpressional deformations in the northeastern parts of the Sverdrup Basin and possibly also in Svalbard (Kerr, 1981a, 1981b; Price and Shade, 1982; Hanisch, 1983). In the Canada Basin, in which clearly identifiable magnetic sea-floor anomalies are lacking, sea-floor spreading is thought to have terminated during the Late Cretaceous (Sweeney, 1985).
Despite the rotation of Eurasia relative to North America, the sinistral translation between Europe and Africa continued during the Late Cretaceous. This was accompanied