Rates of volcanic deposition, facies changes and movements in a dynamic basin: the Nuussuaq Basin, West Greenland, around the C27n-C26r transition
Asger K. Pedersen, Lotte M. Larsen, Peter Riisager, Keld S. Dueholm, 2002. "Rates of volcanic deposition, facies changes and movements in a dynamic basin: the Nuussuaq Basin, West Greenland, around the C27n-C26r transition", The North Atlantic Igneous Province: Stratigraphy, Tectonic, Volcanic and Magmatic Processes, D. W. Jolley, B. R. Bell
Download citation file:
The initial stages of Palaeogene volcanism in the Nuussuaq Basin in West Greenland were characterized by eruption of basaltic and picritic magmas through sediments of Cretaceous to early Paleocene age into a marine or lowlying coastal environment. Recent magnetostratigraphic work has recognized the C27n-C26r transition (estimated duration less than 10 ka and here assumed to be 5 ka) as a c. 170 m thick zone within a succession of thin picritic lava flows. Multimodel photogrammetry combined with chemical and lithological analysis of the volcanic rocks has allowed detailed 3D analysis of the facies variation within this narrow time window. Subaerial lavas flowed eastwards over a more than 40 km wide front. On northern Disko they covered an existing lava plateau and buried a subaerial landscape of dipping Cretaceous sandstones, while on Nuussuaq they flowed into an up to 700 m deep marine embayment and formed prograding hyaloclastite fans passing into fine-clastic mass flows. With a progradation rate of 0.5–1 m a−1 the palaeogeography of the basin changed considerably during the short time interval. In addition to substantial basin subsidence, the volcanic facies changes have also preserved a record of synvolcanic differential movement of extensional fault blocks. The following parameters are estimated for the volcanism within the Nuussuaq Basin during the C27n-C26r transition: Production rate c. 0.042 km3 a−1, productivity c. 1.2 × 10−3 km3 a−1 km−1 (rift), volcanic aggradation c. 33 m ka−1, subsidence c. 25 m ka−1. If the volcanism evolved continuously at this high aggradation rate, all of the Vaigat Formation could have erupted in 70 ka. However, the complex geological record indicates a much longer total duration, and the volcanism must have had an intermittent character.
Figures & Tables
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.