Palaeoproterozoic arc related supracrustal units from the Tasiilaq Region, SE Greenland: Insights into the convergence of the Rae and North Atlantic Cratons

Catherine Crotty, Vincent van Hinsberg, Kristoffer Szilas, Majken Djurhuus Poulsen

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The Tasiilaq region in SE Greenland contains Palaeoproterozoic supracrustal rocks, which record the collision and suturing of the Rae Craton and North Atlantic Craton during the 1.9 Ga Nagssugtoqidian orogeny. The original mineralogy and textures of the supracrustal rocks have been largely overprinted by amphibolite facies metamorphism, obscuring the original protoliths and complicating the interpretation of the early Earth surface environment in which these rocks formed. Here, we present new major and trace element data for the Schweizerland, Kuummiut and Isertoq Terranes, with the former two representing the Rae craton, and the latter the northern margin of the North Atlantic Craton. Supracrustal lithologies include metapelites, marbles, calc-silicate rocks and mafic to felsic volcanic rocks and/or shallow intrusive rocks. Pelites normalised to Post Archaean Australian shales have (sub)horizontal rare earth element patterns, with La/SmCN: 1.61 – 23.91 and Eu/Eu* 0.34 – 1.83 and Th/Sc 1. The volcanic rocks are enriched relative to the primitive mantle (PM) with parallel to sub parallel PM-normalised heavy rare earth elements. They have a suprasubduction zone signature with distinct Nb-Ta troughs. The amphibolites can be further divided into those that interacted with the crust; back-arc basalts with subtle Nb-Ta troughs; and fore-arc basalts with distinct Nb-Ta and Zr-Hf troughs and negative Ti anomalies. The marbles consist of a Mg-rich dolomite group with δ13C 0.48 to 0.91 ‰ and δ18O −6.13 to −7.57 ‰; and Mg-poor calcitic carbonates with δ13C −0.74 to 0.17 ‰ and δ18O −10.81 to −14.87 ‰. This isotopic composition suggests formation at ∼ 2050 Ma during the low δ13C excursion following the Great Oxidation Event. We propose that the supracrustals of the Tasiilaq region were deposited at 2050 Ma in a series of interconnected basins during dual subduction convergence of the North Atlantic and Rae cratons, with development of an island arc with back arc basin in the north, and a continental arc in the south. These basins were inverted during continental collision, thrust, and folded into the Archaean Kuummiut and Isertoq TTG-dominated terrane basement, before being subjected to the region-wide amphibolite facies metamorphism at ∼ 1840 Ma during the Nagssugtoqidian orogeny.
TidsskriftPrecambrian Research
StatusUdgivet - 1 sep. 2022


  • Programområde 4: Mineralske råstoffer