Volcanic rocks, forming hyaloclastites and subaqueous lava flows, were deposited intercalated with clastic sediments in a water-filled basin in West Greenland in the Early Tertiary. Three main stages of basin infilling occurred in the Disko-Nuussuaq area. The distribution of dinoflagellate cysts in the sediments shows that the basin was marine in the first stage and non-marine in the second stage of infilling. In the third stage the basin was displaced towards the south and was marginally marine. The dinoflagellate cysts form a typical mid-Paleocene assemblage which may be correlated with the calcareous nannoplankton (NP) zonation. The stratigraphically lowest investigated localities are coeval with the uppermost part of nannoplankton zone NP4, whereas the overlying localities within the marine basin (first stage) may be correlated with NP5-6. The localities from the non-marine second stage cannot be correlated with the NP zonation because they do not contain dinoflagellate cysts. Localities from the third stage are coeval with NP7-8. Younger volcanics are subaerially deposited. The total known range of the volcanics now falls within the NP3 to NP8 interval, giving a minimum duration for the main plateau-building stage of the volcanism of 4–6 million years. The subaerial basalts have previously been found to be mainly reversely magnetised, with one normally magnetised sequence which can now be stratigraphically correlated with NP4, and thereby identified as anomaly 27. The basalts in East Greenland started erupting during the NP9 zone, so that the volcanic activity in East Greenland largely succeeded that in West Greenland. In relation to the postulated mantle plume in the North Atlantic this means that the volcanic activity started in the peripheral part of the plume and only later switched to the central part.
- Programme Area 4: Mineral Resources