Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

U–Pb geochronology of the Eocene Kærven intrusive complex, East Greenland: constraints on the Iceland hotspot track during the rift-to-drift transition

  • SIGURJÓN B. THÓRARINSSON (a1) (a2), PAUL M. HOLM (a2), SEBASTIAN TAPPE (a3) (a4), LARRY M. HEAMAN (a4) and NIELS-OLE PRÆGEL (a5)...

Abstract

Several major tholeiitic (e.g. the Skaergaard intrusion) and alkaline (e.g. the Kangerlussuaq Syenite) intrusive complexes of the North Atlantic Large Igneous Province are exposed along the Kangerlussuaq Fjord in East Greenland. The Kærven Complex forms a satellite intrusion to the Kangerlussuaq Syenite and includes early tholeiitic gabbros and a series of cross-cutting alkaline intrusions ranging from monzonite to alkali granite. The alkaline intrusions cut the gabbros, and are cut by the outer nordmarkite zone of the Kangerlussuaq Syenite. This study presents the first U–Pb zircon ages from the alkaline units of the Kærven Complex. Fourteen multi-grain zircon fractions have been analysed by thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS). Absolute age differences could not be resolved between the different units, suggesting a relatively rapid succession of intrusions between c. 53.5 and 53.3 Ma. Our compilation of precise radiometric age data shows that most of the alkaline magmatism in the Kangerlussuaq Fjord occurred prior to 50 Ma. Moreover, pre-50 Ma alkaline intrusions and lavas show a SSE-younging trend, which is interpreted as the track of the Iceland hotspot during the rift-to-drift transition of the North Atlantic.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: sith@ign.ku.dk

References

Hide All
Andreasen, R., Peate, D.W. & Brooks, C.K. 2004. Magma plumbing systems in large igneous provinces: inferences from cyclical variations in Palaeogene East Greenland basalts. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 147, 438–52.
Beckinsale, R.B., Brooks, C.K. & Rex, D.C. 1970. K–Ar ages for the Tertiary of East Greenland. Bulletin of the Geological Society of Denmark 20, 2737.
Bernstein, S., Kelemen, P.B., Tegner, C., Kurz, M.D., Blusztajn, J. & Brooks, C.K. 1998. Post-breakup basaltic magmatism along the East Greenland Tertiary rifted margin. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 160, 845–62.
Braun, A., Kim, H.R., Csatho, B. & von Frese, R.R.B. 2007. Gravity-inferred crustal thickness of Greenland. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 262, 138–58.
Brooks, C.K. 1973. Rifting and doming in southern East Greenland. Nature 244, 23–5.
Brooks, C.K. 2011. The East Greenland rifted volcanic margin. Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland Bulletin 24, 196.
Brooks, C.K. & Gill, R.C.O. 1982. Compositional variation in the pyroxenes and amphiboles of the Kangerdlugssuaq intrusion, East Greenland: further evidence for the crustal contamination of syenite magma. Mineralogical Magazine 45, 19.
Brooks, C.K. & Platt, R.G. 1975. Kaersutite-bearing gabbroic inclusions and the late dike swarm of Kangerdlugssuaq, East Greenland. Mineralogical Magazine 40, 259–83.
Brooks, C.K., Tegner, C., Stein, H. & Thomassen, B. 2004. Re–Os and 40Ar–39Ar ages of porphyry molybdenum deposits in the East Greenland volcanic rifted margin. Economic Geology 99, 1215–22.
Burke, K. & Dewey, J.F. 1973. Plume-generated triple junctions: key indicators in applying plate tectonics to old rocks. Journal of Geology 81, 406–33.
Deer, W.A. & Kempe, D.R.C. 1976. Geological investigations in East Greenland: Part XI. The minor peripheral intrusion, Kangerdlugssuaq, East Greenland. Meddelelser om Grønland 197, 125.
Duncan, R.A. & Richards, M.A. 1991. Hotspots, mantle plumes, flood basalts, and true polar wander. Reviews of Geophysics 29, 3150.
Frost, B.R. & Frost, C.D. 2008. A geochemical classification for feldspathic igneous rocks. Journal of Petrology 49, 1955–69.
Gaina, C., Gernigon, L. & Ball, P. 2009. Palaeocene–Recent boundaries in the NE Atlantic and the formation of the Jan Mayen microcontinent. Journal of the Geological Society of London 166, 601–16.
Gleadow, A.J.W. & Brooks, C.K. 1979. Fission track dating, thermal histories and tectonics of igneous intrusions in East Greenland. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 71, 4560.
Hamilton, E.I. 1966. The isotopic composition of lead in igneous rocks. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 1, 30–7.
Hanan, B.B. & Schilling, J.-G. 1997. The dynamic evolution of the Iceland mantle plume: the lead isotope perspective. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 151, 4360.
Hanghøj, K., Storey, M. & Stecher, O. 2003. An isotope and trace element study of the East Greenland Tertiary dyke swarm: constraints on temporal and spatial evolution during continental rifting. Journal of Petrology 44, 20812112.
Hansen, H. & Nielsen, T.F.D. 1999. Crustal contamination in Palaeogene East Greenland flood basalts: plumbing system evolution during continental rifting. Chemical Geology 157, 89118.
Hansen, H., Pedersen, A.K., Duncan, R.A., Bird, D.K., Brooks, C.K., Fawcett, J.J., Gittins, J., Gorton, M. & O’Day, P. 2002. Volcanic stratigraphy of the southern Prinsen af Wales Bjerge region, East Greenland. In The North Atlantic Igneous Province: Stratigraphy, Tectonic, Volcanic and Magmatic Processes (eds Jolley, D.W. & Bell, B.R.), pp. 183218. Geological Society of London, Special Publication no. 197.
Heaman, L.M., Böhm, Ch.O., Machado, N., Krogh, T.E., Weber, W. & Corkery, M.T. 2011. The Pikwitonei Granulite Domain, Manitoba: a giant Neoarchean high-grade terrane in the northwest Superior Province. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 48, 205–45.
Heaman, L.M., Erdmer, P. & Owen, J.V. 2002. U–Pb geochronologic constraints on the crustal evolution of the Long Range Inlier, Newfoundland. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 39, 845–65.
Hirschmann, M.M., Renne, P.R. & McBirney, A.R. 1997. 40Ar/39Ar dating of the Skaergaard intrusion. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 146, 645–58.
Holm, P.M. 1991. Radiometric age determinations in the Kærven area, Kangerdlugssuaq, East Greenland Tertiary igneous Province: 40Ar/39Ar, K/Ar and Rb/Sr isotopic results. Bulletin of the Geological Society of Denmark 38, 183201.
Holm, P.M., Heaman, L.M. & Pedersen, L.E. 2006. Baddeleyite and zircon U–Pb ages from the Kærven area, Kangerlussuaq: implications for the timing of Paleogene continental breakup in the North Atlantic. Lithos 92, 238–50.
Holm, P.M. & Prægel, N.-O. 2006. Cumulates from primitive rift-related East Greenland Paleogene magmas: petrological and isotopic evidence from the ultramafic complexes at Kælvegletscher and near Kærven. Lithos 92, 251–75.
Holm, P.M., Prægel, N.-O. & Egeberg, D.G. 1991. Multiple syenite intrusions at Kærven, Kangerdlugssuaq, East Greenland: evidence from the 1986 field work. Bulletin of the Geological Society of Denmark 38, 173–81.
Holwell, D.A., Selby, D., Boyce, A.J., Gilbertson, J.A. & Abraham-James, T. 2012. A Re–Os date for molybdenite-bearing quartz vein mineralization within the Kangerlussuaq Alkaline Complex, East Greenland: implications for the timing of regional metallogenesis. Economic Geology 107, 713–22.
Irvine, T.N. & Baragar, W.R.A. 1971. A guide to the chemical classification of the common volcanic rocks. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 8, 523–48.
Karson, J.A. & Brooks, C.K. 1999. Structural and magmatic segmentation of the Tertiary East Greenland volcanic rifted margin. In Continental Tectonics (eds MacNiocaill, C. & Ryan, P.D.), pp. 313–38. Geological Society of London, Special Publication no. 164.
Kempe, D.R.C., Deer, W.A. & Wager, L.R. 1970. Geological investigations in East Greenland. Part VIII. The petrology of the Kangerlussuaq alkaline intrusion. East Greenland. Meddelelser om Grønland 190, 149.
Klausen, M.B. & Larsen, H.C. 2002. East Greenland coast-parallel dike swarm and its role in continental breakup. In Volcanic Rifted Margins (eds Menzies, M.A., Klemperer, S.L., Ebinger, C.J. & Baker, J.) pp. 133–58. Geological Society of America, Boulder, Colorado, Special Paper 362.
Kuiper, K.F., Deino, A., Hilgen, F.J., Krijgsman, W., Renne, P.R. & Wijbrans, J.R. 2008. Synchronizing rock clocks of Earth history. Science 320, 500–4.
Larsen, H.C. 1990. The East Greenland shelf. In The Arctic Ocean Region (ed Sweeney, J.F.), pp. 185210. Geological Society of America, Boulder, Colorado, The Geology of North America volume L.
Larsen, H.C. & Saunders, A.D. 1998. Tectonism and volcanism at the southeast Greenland rifted margin: a record of plume impact and later continental rupture. In Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results (eds Saunders, A.D., Larsen, H.C. & Wise, S.W. Jr), vol. 152, pp. 503–33. College Station, Texas (Ocean Drilling Program).
Larsen, L.M., Pedersen, A.K., Sørensen, E.V., Watt, W.S. & Duncan, R.A. 2013. Stratigraphy and age of the Eocene Igtertivâ Formation basalts, alkaline pebbles and sediments of the Kap Dalton Group in the graben at Kap Dalton, East Greenland. Bulletin of the Geological Society of Denmark 61, 118.
Larsen, R.B. & Brooks, C.K. 1994. Origin and evolution of gabbroic pegmatites in the Skaergaard Intrusion, East Greenland. Journal of Petrology 35, 1651–79.
Lawver, L.A. & Müller, R.D. 1994. Iceland hotspot track. Geology 22, 311–4.
Le Maitre, R.W., Streickeisen, A., Zanettin, B., Le Bas, M.J., Bonin, B., Bateman, P., Bellieni, G., Dudek, A., Efremova, S., Keller, J., Lameyre, J., Sabine, P.A., Schmid, R., Sørensen, H. & Woolley, A.R. (eds) 2002. Igneous Rocks: A Classification and Glossary of Terms: Recommendations of the International Union of Geological Sciences Subcommission on the Systematics of Igneous Rocks. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 236 pp.
Lenoir, X., Féraud, G. & Geoffrey, L. 2003. High-rate flexure of the East Greenland volcanic margin: constraints from 40Ar/39Ar dating of basaltic dykes. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 213, 515–28.
Ludwig, K.R. 2003. Isoplot/Ex 3.00. A geochronological toolkit for Microsoft Excel. Berkeley Geochronology Center, Special Publication no. 4, 75 pp.
McBirney, A.R. 1989. The Skaergaard Layered Series: I. Structure and average compositions. Journal of Petrology 30, 363–99.
McDougall, I. & Harrison, T.M. 1988. Geochronology and thermochronology of the 40Ar/39Ar method. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Oxford Monographs on Geology and Geophysics, 212 pp.
Miller, J.S., Matzel, J.E.P., Miller, C.F., Burgess, S.D. & Miller, R.B. 2007. Zircon growth and recycling during the assembly of large composite arc plutons. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 167, 282–99.
Miller, J.S. & Wooden, J.L. 2004. Residence, resorption and recycling of zircons in Devils Kitchen rhyolite, Coso Volcanic Field, California. Journal of Petrology 45, 2155–70.
Min, K., Mundil, R., Renne, P.R. & Ludwig, K.R. 2000. A test for systematic errors in 40Ar/39Ar geochronology through comparison with U/Pb analysis of a 1.1 Ga rhyolite. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 64, 7398.
Myers, J.S. 1980. Structure of the coastal dyke swarm and associated plutonic intrusions of East Greenland. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 46, 407–18.
Myers, J.S., Dawes, P.R. & Nielsen, T.F.D. 1988. Geological map of Greenland 1:500 000, Kangerdlugssuaq, Sheet 13. Geological Survey of Greenland and Denmark, Copenhagen.
Nevle, R.J., Brandriss, M.E., Bird, D.K., McWiliams, M.I. & O’Neill, J.R. 1994. Tertiary plutons monitor climate change in East Greenland. Geology 22, 775–8.
Nielsen, T.F.D. 1978. Tertiary dike swarms of the Kangerdlugssuaq area, East Greenland. An example of magmatic development during continental break-up. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 69, 235–44.
Nielsen, T.F.D. 1987. Tertiary alkaline magmatism in East Greenland: a review. In Alkaline Igneous Rocks (eds. Fitton, J.G. & Upton, B.G.J.), pp. 489515. Geological Society of London, Special Publication no. 30.
Pankhurst, R.J., Beckinsale, R.D. & Brooks, C.K. 1976. Strontium and oxygen isotope evidence relating to the petrogenesis of the Kangerdlugssuaq alkaline intrusion, East Greenland. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 54, 1742.
Peate, D.W. & Stecher, O. 2003. Pb isotope evidence for contributions from different Iceland mantle components to Palaeogene East Greenland flood basalts. Lithos 67, 3952.
Peate, D.W., Baker, J.A., Blichert-Toft, J., Hilton, D.R., Storey, M., Kent, A.J.R., Brooks, C.K., Hansen, H., Pedersen, A.K. & Duncan, R.A. 2003. The Prinsen af Wales Bjerge Formation lavas, East Greenland: the transition from tholeiitic to alkalic magmatism during Palaeogene continental break-up. Journal of Petrology 44, 279304.
Peate, D.W., Barker, A.K., Riishuus, M.S. & Andreasen, R. 2008. Temporal variations in crustal assimilation of magma suites in the East Greenland flood basalt province: Tracking the evolution of magmatic plumbing systems. Lithos 102, 179–97.
Riishuus, M.S., Peate, D.W., Tegner, C., Wilson, J.R. & Brooks, C.K. 2008. Petrogenesis of cogenetic silica-oversaturated and -undersaturated syenites by periodic recharge in a crustally contaminated magma chamber: the Kangerlussuaq intrusion, East Greenland. Journal of Petrology 49, 493522.
Riishuus, M.S., Peate, D.W., Tegner, C., Wilson, J.R., Brooks, C.K. & Harris, C. 2006. Temporal evolution of a long-lived syenitic centre: the Kangerlussuaq Alkaline Complex, East Greenland. Lithos 92, 276–99.
Riishuus, M.S., Peate, D.W., Tegner, C., Wilson, J.R., Brooks, C.K. & Waight, T.E. 2005. Petrogenesis of syenites at a rifted continental margin: origin, contamination and interaction of alkaline mafic and felsic magmas in the Astrophyllite Bay Complex, East Greenland. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 149, 350–71.
Saunders, A.D., Fitton, J.G., Kerr, A.C., Norry, M.J. & Kent, R.W. 1997. The North Atlantic igneous province. In Large Igneous Provinces: Continental, Oceanic, and Planetary Flood Volcanism (eds Coffin, M.F. & Mahoney, J.J.), pp. 4593. American Geophysical Union, Geophysical Monograph no. 100.
Schärer, U. 1984. The effect of initial 230Th disequilibrium on young U–Pb ages: the Makalu case, Himalaya. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 67, 191204.
Smallwood, J.R. & White, R.S. 2002. Ridge–plume interaction in the North Atlantic and its influence on continental breakup and seafloor spreading. In The North Atlantic Igneous Province: Stratigraphy, Tectonic, Volcanic and Magmatic Processes (eds Jolley, D.W. & Bell, B.R.), pp. 1537. Geological Society of London, Special Publication no. 197.
Steiger, R.H. & Jäger, E. 1977. Subcomission on geochronology: convention on the use of decay constants in geo- and cosmochronology. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 36, 359–62.
Stein, H.J., Markey, R.J., Morgan, J.W., Hannah, J.L. & Scherstén, A. 2001. The remarkable Re–Os chronometer in molybdenite: how and why it works. Terra Nova 13, 479–86.
Storey, M., Duncan, R.A. & Swisher III, C.C. 2007. Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum and the opening of the northeast Atlantic. Science 316, 587–9.
Storey, M., Duncan, R.A. & Tegner, C. 2007. Timing and duration of volcanism in the North Atlantic Igneous Province: implications for geodynamics and links to the Iceland hotspot. Chemical Geology 241, 264–81.
Stracke, A., Zindler, A., Salters, V.J.M., McKenzie, D., Blichert-Toft, J., Albarède, F. & Grönvold, K. 2003. Theistareykir revisted. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 4, doi: 10.1029/2001GC000201.
Tappe, S., Foley, S.F., Stracke, A., Romer, R.L., Kjarsgaard, B.A., Heaman, L.M. & Joyce, N. 2007. Craton reactivation on the Labrador Sea margins: 40Ar/39Ar age and Sr–Nd–Hf–Pb isotope constraints from alkaline and carbonatite intrusives. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 256, 433–54.
Tegner, C., Brooks, C.K., Duncan, R.A., Heister, L.E. & Bernstein, S. 2008. 40Ar–39Ar ages of intrusions in East Greenland: rift-to-drift transition over the Iceland hotspot. Lithos 101, 480500.
Tegner, C., Duncan, R.A., Bernstein, S., Brooks, C.K., Bird, D.K. & Storey, M. 1998. 40Ar–39Ar geochronology of Tertiary mafic intrusions along the East Greenland rifted margin: relation to flood basalts and the Iceland hotspot track. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 156, 7588.
Todt, M.W., Cliff, R.A., Hanser, A. & Hofmann, A.W. 1996. Evaluation of a 202Pb–205Pb double spike for high-precision lead isotope analysis. Geophysical Monograph 95, 429–37.
Torsvik, T.H., Mosar, J. & Eide, E.A. 2001. Cretaceous–Tertiary geodynamics: a North Atlantic exercise. Geophysical Journal International 146, 850–66.
Wager, L.R. 1965. The form and internal structure of the alkaline Kangerdlugssuaq intrusion, East Greenland. Mineralogical Magazine 34, 487–97.
Waight, T., Baker, J. & Willigers, B. 2002. Rb isotope dilution analyses by MC-ICPMS using Zr to correct for mass fractionation: towards improved Rb–Sr geochronology? Chemical Geology 186, 99116.
White, R. & McKenzie, D. 1989. Magmatism at rift zones. The generation of volcanic continental margins and flood basalts. Journal of Geophysical Research 94, 7685–729.
Wotzlaw, J.-F., Bindeman, I.N., Schaltegger, U., Brooks, C.K. & Naslund, H.R. 2012. High-resolution insights into episodes of crystallization, hydrothermal alteration and remelting in the Skaergaard intrusive complex. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 355–356, 199212.

Keywords

Related content

Powered by UNSILO
Type Description Title
PDF
Supplementary materials

Thórarinsson supplementary material
Figure S1-S3

 PDF (1.5 MB)
1.5 MB

U–Pb geochronology of the Eocene Kærven intrusive complex, East Greenland: constraints on the Iceland hotspot track during the rift-to-drift transition

  • SIGURJÓN B. THÓRARINSSON (a1) (a2), PAUL M. HOLM (a2), SEBASTIAN TAPPE (a3) (a4), LARRY M. HEAMAN (a4) and NIELS-OLE PRÆGEL (a5)...

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.