Greenland, the largest island in the world, is situated at the northeast corner of the North American plate. Nares Strait, a channel in places as narrow as 20 km, separates western North Greenland from Ellesmere Island. Geologi- cally the are as on the two sides of the strait have much in common, and there is little evidence to support the large sinistral strike-slip movements proposed along the strait in response to seafloor spreading farther south (see Dawes and Kerr, 1982; Okulitch et al., 1990). Baffin Bay and Labrador Sea, which separate the coast of West Greenland from the coasts of Baffin Island and Labrador, developed by seafloor spreading that began at about the Cretaceous- Tertiary boundary and terminated by the Early Oligocene. East of Greenland the North Atlantic Ocean opened during the Tertiary, and fragmented the Caledonide Orogen (Fig. 12.1). In East Greenland the Caledonides can be traced from latitude 70° to 82°N. Predrift reconstructions produce a variety of configurations for the reassembled Caledonide Orogen, but there is a general consensus that parts of Spitsbergen represent the northern extension of the East Greenland Caledonides, whereas the Southern extension is to be seen in the Caledonides of the British Isles and the Appalachians of eastern North America (Harland and Gayer, 1972; Harland, 1985; Ziegler, 1985). General reviews of the East Greenland Caledonides are given by Haller (1971), Henriksen and Higgins (1976), Higgins and Phillips (1979), and Henriksen (1985).
The East Greenland Caledonides form a coastal belt 1200 km long and up
Figures & Tables
This volume focuses on the highly populated Canadian Appalachian region. The chapter on the East Greenland Caledonides stands alone and there is no attempt to integrate the geological accounts of the two far removed regions. Rocks of the Canadian Appalachian region are described under four broad temporal divisions: lower Paleozoic and older, middle Paleozoic, upper Paleozoic, and Mesozoic. The rocks of these temporal divisions define geographic zones, belts, basins, and graben, respectively. The area is of special interest because so many modern concepts of mountain building are based on Appalachian rocks and structures.