Svalbard: a fragment of the Laurentian margin
The last decade of structural and isotope-age dating studies in Svalbard and East Greenland has provided strong support for the close correlation of these segments of the Caledonide Orogen, as had previously been inferred from stratigraphic evidence. Prior to Tertiary opening of the Norweigan–Greenland Sea, Svalbard's Caledonian terranes were an essential part of the Laurentian margin, as witnessed not only by the Early Palaeozoic depositional environments and fauna, but also by the character of the Palaeoproterozoic basement, the Meso- to Neoproterozoic cover, the evidence of late Grenvillian tectono-thermal activity, Caledonian structural style and timing of movements, Caledonian granitic magmatism and Old Red Sandstone (ORS) deposition.
Recently published maps of East Greenland show the hinterland allochthons of central East Greenland to strike out obliquely into the continental shelf. The hypothesis promoted here requires that they continue offshore northwards, extending to the northern edge of the NE Greenland shelf and that most of the Svalbard terranes were northerly continuations of the East Greenland Caledonides. Only along the west coast of central Spitsbergen are ‘foreign’ terranes exposed that have affinity with Pearya, having been located north of the North Greenland foldbelt, apparently unrelated to Laurentia, prior to Ellesmerian Orogeny.
The unambiguous affinity of the Svalbardian and Greenlandian (Laurentian) Caledonides contrasts markedly with the Timanide evolution of northeastern Baltica. It confirms previous interpretations that an important Caledonian suture-zone transgresses northeast-wards across the Barents Sea, separating Laurentian domains in the NW from the Timanides of Baltica in the SE. The Timanides of northeastern Europe are truncated by, and terminate in the Barentsian Caledonides of the Barents Shelf.
Figures & Tables
The Neoproterozoic Timanide Orogen of Eastern Baltica
The Neoproterozoic Timanide Orogen of eastern Baltiea extends from the high Arctic to the southern Ural Mountains and represents significant crustal growth of the northeastern European continental margin in the late Neoproterozoic. This volume, a co-operation between Western European and Russian scientists within the framework of the European Science Foundation’s EUROPROBE programme, provides a comprehensive overview of the orogen and represents a new synthesis of Timanian Orogeny. It includes: the pre-Timanian passive margin deposits of the northern and northeastern flank of the East European Craton; the magmatic, metamorphic and structural evolution of the orogen across the Timan Mountain and Pechora Basin regions to the Ural Mountains; the post-Timanian platform successions, important for interpreting the timing of orogeny and the return to an early Palaeozoic passive margin setting; and the extension of the orogen northwards to Novaya Zemlya. Relationships westwards to the Caledonides of Greenland and Scandinavia and eastwards to the Baikalides of Siberia are also treated.
This volume will be of interest to geoseientists, students and researchers concerned with orogenic processes and regional tectonics.