A hidden succession revealed: Cretaceous and Paleocene sediments and a native-iron-bearing lava flow in cores near Qullissat, Disko, West Greenland

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Resumé

Over long stretches of the north-east coast of Qeqertarsuaq (Disko), the sediments in the Nuussuaq Basin and their relations to the volcanic rocks are concealed beneath numerous landslides. Two cores south of Qullissat drilled by Falconbridge Ltd in 1994, targeting a native-iron-bearing igneous body assumed to be a sill, present well-preserved sections through the hidden succession. We have dated the sediments in the cores palynologically. The lower part comprises 115 m of deltaic deposits, including coal seams, of the Cretaceous Atane Formation, Qilakitsoq Member (late Turonian to early Coniacian age), which has not been recorded on Disko before. The two cores and five short coastal cliff sections are mutually correlatable and correlate further to the coal seams earlier mined at Qullissat; the coals are hereby dated for the first time. The Cretaceous rocks are overlain by 15 m of marine deposits, mainly mudstones, of the Danian Eqalulik Formation, with a hiatus of c. 24 million years. The igneous body of native-iron-bearing basaltic andesite has a thick, red-oxidised, vesiculated and brecciated top zone and is interpreted as a subaerial lava flow belonging to the Asuk Member of the Vaigat Formation. The flow has run perhaps up to 20 km from the eruption site to the sea, where it ponded and attained a thickness of 138 m, the thickest lava flow in the West Greenland Basalt Group. The flow is overlain by 22 m of non-marine sandstones and mudstones of the Atanikerluk Formation. The core correlation indicates the existence of a fault with c. 90 m vertical displacement between the two drill sites. The structural relations of the various parts of the Atane Formation along the north-east coast of Disko necessitate the assumption of another hidden, prevolcanic fault south of Qullissaaqqat.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
Artikelnummer8361
Antal sider27
TidsskriftGEUS Bulletin
Vol/bind57
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 28 mar. 2024

Programområde

  • Programområde 4: Mineralske råstoffer
  • Programområde 3: Energiressourcer

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