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Volcanic stratigraphy of the southern Prinsen af Wales Bjerge region, East Greenland

By
H. Hansen
H. Hansen
1
Danish Lithosphere Centre, Øster Voldgade 10, DK-1350 Copenhagen K, Denmark
2
Geologica Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Department of Geological Mapping, Øster Voldgade 10, DK-1350 Copenhagen K, Denmark
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A. K. Pedersen
A. K. Pedersen
1
Danish Lithosphere Centre, Øster Voldgade 10, DK-1350 Copenhagen K, Denmark
3
Geological Museum, Øster Voldgade 5-7, DK-1350 Copenhagen K, Denmark
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R. A. Duncan
R. A. Duncan
4
College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
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D. K. Bird
D. K. Bird
5
Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Stanford University, Standford, CA 94305-2115, USA
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C. K. Brooks
C. K. Brooks
1
Danish Lithosphere Centre, Øster Voldgade 10, DK-1350 Copenhagen K, Denmark
6
Geological Institute, University of Copenhagen, Øster Voldgade 10, DK-1350 Copenhagen K, Denmark
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J. J. Fawcett
J. J. Fawcett
7
Department of Geology, University of Toronto, 22 Russell St., Toronto, M5S 3B1, Ontario, Canada
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J. Gittins
J. Gittins
7
Department of Geology, University of Toronto, 22 Russell St., Toronto, M5S 3B1, Ontario, Canada
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M. Gorton
M. Gorton
7
Department of Geology, University of Toronto, 22 Russell St., Toronto, M5S 3B1, Ontario, Canada
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P. O’Day
P. O’Day
8
Department of Geological Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-1404, USA. Presently at: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, L-219, PO Box 808, Livermore, CA 94550, USA
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Published:
January 01, 2002

Abstract

The volcanic succession in the inland Prinsen af Wales Bjerge contains the oldest known onshore lava flows (61 Ma) of the Palaeogene East Greenland flood basalt province. These flows and interbedded sediments define the Urbjerget Formation and are found in the southernmost part of Prinsen af Wales Bjerge. Flows of the Urbjerget Formation are chemically similar to the coastal Vandfaldsdalen Formation flows and the two formations may be chronostratigraphical equivalents. The Urbjerget Formation is overlain by the < 57 Ma tholeiitic basalts of the Milne Land Formation. Four regional volcanic formations are found along the Blosseville Kyst, but the Milne Land Formation is the only one present in the southern Prinsen af Wales Bjerge. Flows of the absent formations (Geikie Plateau, Rømer Fjord and Skrænterne formations) may not have been able to enter the area due to local uplift, more distal located eruption sites or possibly topographic features. A high-Si (SiO2 > 52 wt%) lave flow succession in the Milne Land Formation consists of crustally contaminated magmas which were arrested in crustal chambers as the magma supply rate from the mantle decreased, either due to a general lowering of potential mantle temperatures or a decrease in the rate of continental rifting. Tholeiitic high-Ti flows (MgO: 10–15 wt%, TiO2: 5–6 wt%) within the Milne Land Formation are unique to the Prinsen af Wales Bjerge region, and equivalents have not been reported from other flood basalt provinces. Local flow composition variations in the Milne Land Formation can be explained as the result of melting under lithosphere of variable thickness, small-scale variations in mantle composition and mixing in small magma chambers. Unconformably overlying the Milne Land Formation is a succession of c. 53 Ma alkaline flows, known as the Prinsen af Wales Bjerge Formation. Several crater sites are known from this flow succession and this suggests that the Prinsen af Wales Formation was only covered locally by later volcanic or sedimentary units. The duration of alkaline volcanic activity in the Prinsen af Wales Bjerge is not well constrained but may have been less than 2.5 Ma. The hiatus between the Urbjerget and Milne Land formations is a regional feature in the North Atlantic as it occurs at a similar stratigraphic level at Nansen Fjord, the Faroe Islands and in the ODP Leg 152 volcanic succession off SE Greenland at c. 63°N. It represents a 3–4 Ma long cessation of, or very low frequency of activity in East Greenland/Faroese volcanism and may be explained as the time interval between two pulses in the palaeo-Icelandic plume.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

The North Atlantic Igneous Province: Stratigraphy, Tectonic, Volcanic and Magmatic Processes

D. W. Jolley
D. W. Jolley
University of Sheffield, UK
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B. R. Bell
B. R. Bell
University of Glasgow, UK
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Geological Society of London
Volume
197
ISBN electronic:
9781862394452
Publication date:
January 01, 2002

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