Abstract

The uplift history of the Upper Cretaceous–Paleocene sedimentary successions underneath the extensive Tertiary flood basalts of West and East Greenland supports recently described models for the generation of flood basalt provinces in response to rising, hot, mantle plumes. However, the sedimentary development indicates that the period of plume-related uplift prior to eruption of volcanic rocks was very short (<5 m.y.). Substantial regional uplift and faulting took place in West and East Greenland in the early Paleocene to earliest(?) late Paleocene, resulting in a basinwide unconformity. In West Greenland, the uplift was associated with fluvial peneplanation, valley incision, and catastrophic deposition; in East Greenland, it was associated with fluvial peneplanation. The cumulative uplift in West Greenland is probably on the order of several hundred meters, whereas in East Greenland, the observed uplift cannot be quantified. In both West and East Greenland, this phase was shortly followed by rapid, major subsidence associated with extensive volcanism. It is suggested that this sequence of events reflects the arrival of the North Atlantic mantle plume or plumes.

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