Abstract

Field evidence, map compilation, geochemistry, geochronology, and potential field data document six intervals of Cretaceous magmatism in the central Sverdrup Basin. These are: (1) Hauterivian (ca. 130 Ma) volcaniclastic deposition in the lower Isachsen Formation; (2) 126.6 ± 1.2 Ma (U-Pb zircon) gabbroic intrusion; (3) 120.8 ± 0.8 Ma (U-Pb baddeleyite) diabasic intrusion; (4) 105.40 ± 0.22 Ma (U-Pb detrital zircon) pyroclastic deposition at the top of the Invincible Point Member, Christopher Formation; (5) upper Albian (ca. 103 Ma) pillow and hydroclastic breccia in the upper Christopher Formation; and (6) uppermost Albian (ca. 101 Ma) volcanic breccia and scoria in the Hassel Formation. Whole-rock geochemical data show that these magmatic rocks are similar to previously documented High Arctic large igneous province tholeiitic basalts, but analyses of fresh glass in tuffs reveal evolved ferroandesite to dacite compositions not recorded in whole-rock data. Approximate ages of saucer-shaped sills inferred from the relationship of sill width to depth of emplacement suggest at least three intervals of sill emplacement between 130 and 120 Ma. The new data show that volcanism in the Sverdrup Basin was of greater spatial extent, and that magmatism occurred more frequently, than was previously recognized. Comparison of the new central Sverdrup Basin data and interpretations with other data sets from the Sverdrup Basin, Svalbard, and Franz Josef Land suggests that High Arctic large igneous province magmatism occurred over a more extended period of time in the central Sverdrup Basin than in other regions.

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