Rifting and evolution of the Labrador–Baffin Seaway

C.E. Keen, K. Dickie, L.T. Dafoe, T. Funck, J.K. Welford, S.A. Dehler, U. Gregersen, K.J. DesRoches

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in bookResearchpeer-review


The evolution of the 2000 km long Mesozoic rift system underlying the Labrador-Baffin Seaway is described, with emphasis on results from geophysical data sets, which provide the timing, sediment thickness, and crustal structure of the system. The data sets include seismic reflection and refraction, gravity, and magnetic data, with additional constraints provided by near-surface geology and well data. Many features that characterize rift systems globally are displayed, including: wide and narrow rift zones; magma-rich and magma-poor margin segments; exhumation of continental mantle in distal, magma-poor zones; and occurences of thick basalts, associated with the development of seaward-dipping reflectors, and magmatic under-plating. The magma-rich regions were affected by Paleogene volcanism, perhaps associated with a hotspot or plume. Plate reconstructions help elucidate the plate tectonic history and modes of rifting in the region; however, many questions remain unanswered with respect to this rift system.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGeological synthesis of Baffin Island (Nunavut) and the Labrador– Baffin Seaway
EditorsL.T. Dafoe, N. Bingham-Koslowski
PublisherGeological Survey of Canada
Number of pages37
ISBN (Print)978-0-660-30386-4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2022

Publication series

SeriesGeological Survey of Canada Bulletin


  • Labrador-Baffin Seaway
  • Rifting
  • Conjugate rifted margins
  • East Canada
  • West Greenland

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 3: Energy Resources


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