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On apatite fission track dating and the Tertiary evolution of West Greenland topography

T. F. Redfield
On apatite fission track dating and the Tertiary evolution of West Greenland topography
Journal of the Geological Society of London (March 2010) 167 (2): 261-271


Combined with geological information, apatite fission track (AFT) data can impose valid thermal and temporal constraints. However, their uncritical interpretation may also lead to unsupported conclusions. Because fission tracks in apatite undergo measurable shortening even at surface temperatures, model artefacts can potentially be mistaken for geological cooling events. This problem can be especially acute when older fanning kinetic models are utilized instead of the newest curvilinear ones. In any circumstances, AFT model results must be interpreted with considerable caution and should rarely be considered to supersede conventional geological wisdom. The possibility that young cooling events are simply artefacts ought always to be entertained. As an example, this study considers AFT data and model results that have been cited to suggest that today's high mountains of West Greenland are erosional remnants of a landmass uplifted during the Neogene. However, in the best of circumstances the AFT data in question are heavily contaminated, and in the worst case they carry virtually no geological meaning. Although geological constraints require the faulted, westward-facing escarpment of West Greenland's Disko region to have been erected after commencement of sea-floor spreading in Baffin Bay, the AFT model-based hypothesis that it was constructed in purely Neogene time remains an unproven speculation.

ISSN: 0016-7649
EISSN: 2041-479X
Serial Title: Journal of the Geological Society of London
Serial Volume: 167
Serial Issue: 2
Title: On apatite fission track dating and the Tertiary evolution of West Greenland topography
Author(s): Redfield, T. F.
Affiliation: Geological Survey of Norway, Lade, Norway
Pages: 261-271
Published: 201003
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of London, London, United Kingdom
References: 102
Accession Number: 2010-030910
Categories: GeochronologyStratigraphy
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sects., 2 tables, geol. sketch map
N66°00'00" - N73°00'00", W55°00'00" - W45°00'00"
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data from The Geological Society, London, London, United Kingdom
Update Code: 201018
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