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Detrital U–Pb zircon age data from five stratigraphically controlled Mesozoic sandstones collected from a relatively continuous section in northwestern Axel Heiberg Island are used to evaluate the sediment dispersal patterns and source areas of the northern Sverdrup Basin. Three distinctive provenance types are identified. Early Triassic, Late Triassic and Middle Jurassic samples are dominated by Permo-Triassic zircons and are inferred to be derived from the Taimyr Peninsula/Polar Urals, the New Siberian Islands or some unexposed source submerged beneath the Arctic Ocean. The presence of chrome spinel in these samples suggests a component of mafic–ultramafic material in the source. An Early Jurassic sample is dominated by late Neoproterozoic–early Silurian zircons, which correlate with the Caledonian and Timanian orogens of the Barents Shelf region. A Late Jurassic sample is dominated by Meso-, Palaeoproterozoic and Archaean zircons interpreted to be sourced from the Canada–Greenland shield.

Supplementary material:

Heavy mineral data (Table S1) and U–Th–Pb ion microprobe analytical data (Table S2) are available at

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