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Book Chapter

The North Atlantic Igneous Province: A review of models for its formation

By
Romain Meyer
Romain Meyer
1
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Afd. Geologie, Celestijnenlaan 200E, 3001 Leuven-Heverlee, Belgium
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Jolante van Wijk
Jolante van Wijk
2
Los Alamos National Laboratory, Earth and Environmental Sciences Division, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545, USA
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Laurent Gernigon
Laurent Gernigon
3
Norges Geoligoske Undersøkelse, Geological Survey of Norway, Leiv Eirikssons Vei 39, 7491 Trondheim, Norway
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Published:
January 01, 2007

The mantle plume concept is currently being challenged as an explanation for North Atlantic Igneous Province formation. Alternative models have been suggested, including delamination, meteorite impact, small-scale rift-related convection, and chemical mantle heterogeneities. We review available data sets on uplift, strain localization, age and chemistry of igneous material, and tomography for the North Atlantic Igneous Province and compare them with predictions from the mantle plume and alternative models. The mantle plume concept is quite successful in explaining the formation of the North Atlantic Igneous Province, but unexplained aspects remain. Delamination and impact models are currently not supported. Rift-related small-scale convection models appear to be able to explain volcanic rifted margin volcanism well. However, the most important problem that nonplume models need to overcome is the continuing, long-lived melt anomaly extending via the Greenland and Faeroe ridges to Iceland. Mantle heterogeneities resulting from an ancient subducted slab are included in plate tectonic models to explain the continuing melt production as an alternative to the mantle plume model, but there are still uncertainties related to this idea that need to be solved.

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Contents

GSA Special Papers

Plates, Plumes and Planetary Processes

Gillian R. Foulger
Gillian R. Foulger
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Donna M. Jurdy
Donna M. Jurdy
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Geological Society of America
Volume
430
ISBN print:
9780813724300
Publication date:
January 01, 2007

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