Detrital zircon U–Pb laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry age data for Paleocene and Eocene sandstones from the Central Tertiary Basin on Spitsbergen, Arctic Norway are used to investigate provenance and to test the filling history of the basin in response to the evolving Eurekan orogeny. The zircon age data from 16 analysed samples allow us to distinguish five sources. The zircon age populations of the Paleocene Firkanten and Basilika formations have a distinct Uralide signature (c. 275 Ma) and are interpreted to represent four mixtures of reworked Late Triassic, Jurassic and older sandstones affected by Early Cretaceous volcanism. The zircon age population of the Eocene Battfjellet Formation lacks Uralide- and Early Cretaceous-aged zircons and is dominated by Proterozoic and Archaean zircons indicating sourcing from Middle Triassic and older rocks. The data support models implying a marked shift from easterly to westerly source areas during the evolution of the basin in response to the evolving Eurekan orogeny. The population of Cretaceous-aged zircons indicates that volcanism in the High Arctic Large Igneous Province took place during two separate events at 80–100 and 118–150 Ma, thus supporting previous models for Cretaceous volcanic activity in the High Arctic.

Supplementary materials: Operating conditions, data acquisition parameters and zircon discordances are available at https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.2187247.

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