Aeromagnetic expression of the central Nagssugtoqidian Orogen, South-East Greenland

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The Paleoproterozoic Nagssugtoqidian Orogen is one of the principal tectonic features related to the assembly of Nuna, extending across Greenland from east to west and forming an orogenic belt separating the North Atlantic Craton on the south from the Rae Craton on the north. In South-East Greenland, the Ammassalik Intrusive Complex (AIC) (∼1910 to 1870 Ma) occupies the central part of the orogenic belt, was formed by subduction- and magmatic arc-related processes, and has significant potential for undiscovered deposits of critical minerals. Previous interpretations of aeromagnetic data have been hindered by terrain effects, and we use a novel mix of geophysical analysis tools to develop new tectonomagmatic interpretations of the central Nagssugtoqidian Orogen in South-East Greenland. These interpretations extend into areas covered by ocean and ice. Results show that Archean rocks of the juxtaposed North Atlantic (Isertoq Terrane) and Rae (Kuummiut Terrane) Cratons are relatively weakly magnetized (with the exception of rocks of the Schweizerland Terrane) and have a NW-striking structural fabric that likely formed or was enhanced during the Nagssugtoqidian Orogeny. The AIC is structurally complex, with weakly magnetized metasedimentary rocks, and both weakly and strongly magnetized intrusions, arrayed in a NW-striking tectonic fabric. The strongly magnetized intrusions are largely concealed and distributed in a broader and more spatially complex fashion than previously known, suggesting that additional areas may be considered for mineral exploration. Strongly magnetized NW-striking dikes are imaged within the AIC, where they are spatially closely related to the strongly magnetized intrusions, and extend southward into the North Atlantic Craton (Isertoq Terrane). This spatial pattern of arc magmatism is consistent with previously developed models of SW-directed subduction that preceded collision during the Nagssugtoqidian Orogeny. The strongly magnetized Ammassalik Batholith (∼1670 Ma) and related intrusions form a cluster of plutons within ∼ 50 km of the Nagssugtoqidian suture. Their tectonomagmatic setting is unknown, although are speculatively related to delamination of a lithospheric keel formed during the Nagssugtoqidian Orogeny ∼ 200 m.y. prior. Numerous strongly magnetized NNE-striking Paleogene dikes, related to the opening of the Atlantic Ocean, are imaged cutting most other geologic units.
Original languageEnglish
Article number107060
Number of pages19
JournalPrecambrian Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2023


  • Aeromagnetic data
  • Ammassalik Batholith
  • Ammassalik Intrusive Complex
  • Critical minerals
  • Greenland
  • Nagssugtoqidian Orogen

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 4: Mineral Resources


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