Abstract

This paper describes intraplate deformation and the palaeostress state along the East Greenland margin during the Paleocene between 65 and 55 myr ago, prior to the onset of the NE Atlantic spreading. It is shown that the pre-break-up deformation is the result of dip-oblique/strike-slip tectonics in the SE and compressive tectonics in the north. The reduced palaeostress tensors derived from inversion of the fault-slip data show that the maximum horizontal stress σ1 is compressive and the orientations of σ1 change from ENE–WSW in the south to NNE–SSW in the north. The reconstructed palaeostress trajectory map demonstrates that the σ1 orientations reflect the plate motion path and define small circles whereas the trends of the minimum horizontal stress σ3 converge and cluster around an area in the Arctic that is interpreted as the rotation pole of Greenland. The intraplate deformation, folding and uplift that affected the Greenland and European margins, the Barents Sea and the North Sea during the Paleocene can be explained by the counter-clockwise rotation of Greenland. The present paper calculates the pole of rotation of Greenland using the kinematics of brittle faults along the plate margin and the palaeostress derived from inversion of fault-slip data analysis as an indicator of motion path.

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