Abstract

Detrital zircons from the Lower Cretaceous Isachsen Formation of the Sverdrup Basin, Canadian Arctic Archipelago, have been dated by the U–Pb method and analyzed for Hf isotopes by laser ablation microprobe – inductively coupled plasma – mass spectrometry (LAM–ICP–MS). Five samples from four locations on Ellesmere and Axel Heiberg islands display similar ranges of U–Pb ages, with significant zircon populations at 2.8–2.6, 1.9–1.8, 1.7–1.6, and 1.2–1.0 Ga. Major hiatuses occur between 2.4 and 2.0 Ga and from 0.96 to 0.5 Ga. Low initial εHf values indicating recycled crust components are significant in Palaeoproterozoic (1.9–1.8 Ga) and Neoarchaean (2.8–2.6 Ga) zircon populations. Other U–Pb age populations in the studied samples are dominated by zircon with positive εHf values, indicating a significant contribution from mantle-derived protoliths. The εHf values seen within a given U–Pb age population are generally consistent, with only minor scatter among the different samples. U–Pb and Hf data closely resemble previously published data from Lower Cretaceous rocks in northern Greenland, suggesting they have the same origin. The data are also largely consistent with the East Greenland Caledonides and the Precambrian basement of Greenland and northern Canada as predominant sources of zircon for the studied sandstones. However, based on the level of similarity between data from the Wandel Sea Basin and Sverdrup Basin sediments and on previous Nd isotope work in the Sverdrup Basin, it is likely that the sediments represent redeposited lower and middle Palaeozoic sediments.

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