Genesis and age of the Erlend Volcano, NE Atlantic Margin
David W. Jolley, Brian R. Bell, 2002. "Genesis and age of the Erlend Volcano, NE Atlantic Margin", The North Atlantic Igneous Province: Stratigraphy, Tectonic, Volcanic and Magmatic Processes, D. W. Jolley, B. R. Bell
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The Palaeogene Erlend Volcano subcrops in the Faroe-Shetland Basin on the NE Atlantic Margin and was first recognized on the basis of its pronounced positive gravity and magnetic anomalies. Three hydrocarbon exploration wells (209/3-1; 209/4-1A; 209/9-1) have penetrated thick sequences of subaerial facies basaltic lavas and subaqueous volcanic breccias (the ‘Basaltic Suite’), overlying Palaeogene (Thanetian) and Cretaceous (Maastrichtian and Campanian) sedimentary rocks interbedded with medium to fine-grained silicic igneous rocks (the ‘Acidic Suite’). Detailed palynological and petrological analysis indicates that the basaltic rocks were contemporaneous with the Faroes Lower Lava Formation at c. 56.6-55 Ma, and were erupted into environments ranging between dry land and brackish to freshwater lagoons at the margin of a marine channel separating the Erlend Volcano from the Brendan’s Volcano to the north. The subjacent Acidic Suite is interpreted as a series of sills emplaced approximately contemporaneously with the volcanic rocks on the basis of their diachronous relationship with interbedded sedimentary rocks, together with high Thermal Alteration Index values of in situ fossils.
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The North Atlantic Igneous Province has been the subject of extensive scientific investigation over the past thirty years, with a wide field of knowledge being accumulated. Recently, recognition of the potential role of Large Igneous Provinces in affecting ocean and atmosphere systems and biotic evolutionary pathways has lead to increased interest in this province. This has been further stimulated by the expansion in the search for oil and gas in Mesozoic and Tertiary sediments along the NE Atlantic Margin. An improved understanding of the interaction between igneous and sedimentary processes is vital for the identification of potential hydrocarbon resources.
The regions covered include continental margin Norway, east and west Greenland, the Faroe-Shetland Basin and the Faroe Islands themselves. The papers in this book contain new data and interpretations of North Atlantic Igneous Province magmatic processes, rift evolution, tectonics, stratigraphy (chemostratigraphy, biostratigraphy, seismic and isotope stratigraphy) and sediment dispersal. Many of the papers adopt a multidisciplinary approach to tha analysis and interpretation of complex volcanic and sedimentary sequences. These new data, and the reviews and compilations of existing data provide the reader with access to current research directions in North Atlantic Igneous Province geology.