Abstract

Ion microprobe dating in Wedel Jarlsberg Land, southwestern Spitsbergen, provides new evidence of early Neoproterozoic (c. 950 Ma) meta-igneous rocks, the Berzeliuseggene Igneous Suite, and late Neoproterozoic (c. 640 Ma) amphibolite-facies metamorphism. The older ages are similar to those obtained previously in northwestern Spitsbergen and Nordaustlandet where they are related to the Tonian age Nordaustlandet Orogeny. The younger ages complement those obtained recently from elsewhere in Wedel Jarlsberg Land of Torellian deformation and metamorphism at 640 Ma. The Berzeliuseggene Igneous Suite occurs in gently N-dipping, top-to-the-S-directed thrust sheets on the eastern and western sides of Antoniabreen where it is tectonically intercalated with younger Neoproterozoic sedimentary formations, suggesting that it provided a lower Tonian basement on which upper Tonian to Cryogenian sediments (Deilegga Group) were deposited. They were deformed together during the Torellian Orogeny, prior to deposition of Ediacaran successions (Sofiebogen Group) and overlying Cambro-Ordovician shelf carbonates, and subsequent Caledonian and Cenozoic deformation. The regional importance of the late Neoproterozoic Torellian Orogeny in Svalbard's Southwestern Province and its correlation in time with the Timanian Orogeny in the northern Urals as well as tectonostratigraphic similarities between the Timanides and Pearya (northwestern Ellesmere Island) favour connection of these terranes prior to the opening of the Iapetus Ocean and Caledonian Orogeny.

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