Filling and plugging of a marine basin by volcanic rocks: the Tunoqqu Member of the Lower Tertiary Vaigat Formation on Nuussuaq, central West Greenland

Asger Ken Pedersen, Lotte Melchior Larsen, Gunver Krarup Pedersen, Keld S. Dueholm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The volcanic Tunoqqu Member formed at the end of the second of three volcanic cycles in the Paleocene Vaigat Formation. The Tunoqqu Member consists of brown aphyric and feldspar-phyric basalts and forms a marker horizon within the grey picritic rocks of the Vaigat Formation. Most of the basalts are siliceous and were produced by contamination with crustal rocks of magmas ranging in composition from picrite to evolved basalt. Some of the basalts were erupted from local volcanic centres of which four have been identified, whereas other basalts form more regional flows. The four identified eruption centres are located along fault lines and zones of uplift and subsidence, indicating tectonic control. Tectonic control is also inferred to be important in terminating the volcanic cycle and causing the development of high-level magma chambers where the magmas stagnated, fractionated, and became contaminated. The basalts of the Tunoqqu Member form subaerial lava flows in western Nuussuaq. Central Nuussuaq constituted a marine embayment in which the volcanics were deposited as eastward prograding foreset-bedded hyaloclastite breccia fans which indicate water depths of up to 160 m. Eastern Nuussuaq was a gneiss highland with a more than 700 m high NW-SE-elongated gneiss promontory stretching into the sea. During Tunoqqu Member time the volcanic rocks reached the gneiss promontory and blocked the outlet from the south to the sea in the north. This resulted in increased water levels in the enclosed embayment and transformation of the outlet into a torrential river. This river eroded the concomitantly forming Tunoqqu Member volcanics and the gneiss promontory and deposited the material in up to more than 250 m thick foreset-bedded boulder conglomerates in the sea where the north coast of Nuussuaq is now situated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-28
Number of pages24
JournalBulletin Grønlands Geologiske Undersøgelse
Volume171
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1996

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 4: Mineral Resources

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Filling and plugging of a marine basin by volcanic rocks: the Tunoqqu Member of the Lower Tertiary Vaigat Formation on Nuussuaq, central West Greenland'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this