Volcanic stratigraphy of the southern Prinsen af Wales Bjerge region, East Greenland

H. Hansen, A.K. Pedersen, R.A. Duncan, D.K. Bird, C.K. Brooks, J.J. Fawcett, J. Gittins, M. Gorton, P. O'Day

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/rapport/konferenceproceedingsBogkapitelForskningpeer review

38 Citationer (Scopus)


The volcanic succession in the inland Prinsen af Wales Bjerge contains the oldest known onshore lava flows (61 Ma) of the Palaeogene East Greenland flood basalt province. These flows and interbedded sediments define the Urbjerget Formation and are found in the southernmost part of Prinsen af Wales Bjerge. Flows of the Urbjerget Formation are chemically similar to the coastal Vandfaldsdalen Formation flows and the two formations may be chronostratigraphical equivalents. The Urbjerget Formation is overlain by the <57 Ma tholeiitic basalts of the Milne Land Formation. Four regional volcanic formations are found along the Blosseville Kyst, but the Milne Land Formation is the only one present in the southern Prinsen af Wales Bjerge. Flows of the absent formations (Geikie Plateau, Rømer Fjord and Skrænterne formations) may not have been able to enter the area due to local uplift, more distal located eruption sites or possibly topographic features. A high-Si (SiO2 > 52 wt%) lava flow succession in the Milne Land Formation consists of crustally contaminated magmas which were arrested in crustal chambers as the magma supply rate from the mantle decreased, either due to a general lowering of potential mantle temperatures or a decrease in the rate of continental rifting. Tholeiitic high-Ti flows (MgO: 10-15wt%, TiO 2: 5-6wt%) within the Milne Land Formation are unique to the Prinsen af Wales Bjerge region, and equivalents have not been reported from other flood basalt provinces. Local flow composition variations in the Milne Land Formation can be explained as the result of melting under lithosphere of variable thickness, small-scale variations in mantle composition and mixing in small magma chambers. Uncon-formably overlying the Milne Land Formation is a succession of c. 53 Ma alkaline flows, known as the Prinsen af Wales Bjerge Formation. Several crater sites are known from this flow succession and this suggests that the Prinsen af Wales Formation was only covered locally by later volcanic or sedimentary units. The duration of alkaline volcanic activity in the Prinsen af Wales Bjerge is not well constrained but may have been less than 2.5 Ma. The hiatus between the Urbjerget and Milne Land formations is a regional feature in the North Atlantic as it occurs at a similar stratigraphic level at Nansen Fjord, the Faroe Islands and in the ODP Leg 152 volcanic succession off SE Greenland at c. 63°N It represents a 3-4 Ma long cessation of, or very low frequency of activity in East Greenland/Faroese volcanism and may be explained as the time interval between two pulses in the palaeo-lcelandic plume.

TitelThe North Atlantic Igneous Province
UndertitelStratigraphy, Tectonic, Volcanic and Magmatic Processes
RedaktørerD.W. Jolley, B.R. Bell
ForlagGeological Society of London
Antal sider36
ISBN (Trykt)1-86239-108-4
StatusUdgivet - 2002


NavnGeological Society, London, Special Publications


  • Programområde 4: Mineralske råstoffer


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