A mid-cretaceous alkaline volcano in the Davis strait

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The AT2-1 well in the Davis Strait between Canada and Greenland penetrated an approximately 1.2 km thick sequence of alkaline volcanic rocks with some intercalated sediments at depths between 3690 to 4850 m. These volcanic rocks can be mapped on 2D seismic data and constitute a cone-shaped 5 km × 10 km wide and >1.2 km high structural high named the Atammik Volcano. This sequence comprises two distinct parts, an upper part of phono-tephrite to basaltic trachy-andesite and a lower part of tephriphonolite and phonolite. Rock textures and structures testify to a volcanic origin, with the uppermost units showing textural evidence of being subaerially extruded. Zircon crystals found in a sample of phonolite from 4453 m were dated by in situ laser ablation ICP–MS technique to yield ages between 98 and 93 Ma, indicating a maximum age of the formation of the phonolitic volcano of 93 Ma (Turonian). Further, detrital zircons from the clastic material have been dated yielding Archean ages. The gamma ray log indicates three internal cycles within the phonolites, each cycle displaying a stratigraphically upwards decrease in potassium content, suggesting the existence of a longer-lived system undergoing repeated magmatic differentiation and eruption events. The upper volcanic sequence is less evolved and less alkaline than the lower, suggesting a change in primary magma compositions towards progressively higher degrees of melting of the underlying mantle. This fits into a scheme of progressively higher degrees of melting with time, which in a regional context probably corresponds to a rifting event.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-86
Number of pages18
JournalCanadian Journal of Earth Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Alkaline volcano
  • Davis Strait
  • Mid-Cretaceous
  • U-Pb dating of zircon

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 3: Energy Resources


Dive into the research topics of 'A mid-cretaceous alkaline volcano in the Davis strait'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this