Abstract

U–Pb baddeleyite ages and paleomagnetic poles obtained for dykes on Devon Island and Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic and the Thule region of Greenland show that they are associated with the Franklin magmatic event. This study is the only one devoted to Franklin igneous rocks where a primary paleomagnetic remanence and U–Pb age have been obtained from the same rocks. Ages from this study range from 721 to 712 Ma, but paleomagnetic directional data show no clear age progression. The paleomagnetic poles from each of the two regional subsets are significantly different at the 95% confidence level from paleomagnetic results previously published for the Franklin event in the Canadian Shield. The difference in the pole locations can be accounted for, to first approximation, by a simple model of early Cenozoic block rotations among the North American plate, Greenland, and a hypothesized ancient microplate comprising Ellesmere, Devon, Cornwallis, and perhaps Somerset islands. A new grand-mean paleopole for the Franklin event, including restoration of Greenland and the proposed “Ellesmere microplate” to North America, is located at (8.4°N, 163.8°E, A95 = 2.8°, N = 78 sites) and is a key pole for Neoproterozoic supercontinent reconstructions.

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