Stratigraphy and age of the Eocene Igtertivâ Formation basalts, alkaline pebbles and sediments of the Kap Dalton Group in the graben at Kap Dalton, East Greenland

Lotte Melchior Larsen, Asger Ken Pedersen, Erik Vest Sørensen, W. Stuart Watt, Robert A. Duncan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


A NE-SW-trending graben at Kap Dalton on the Blosseville Kyst contains an at least 600 m thick succession of Eocene basalt lavas and sediments. The succession has been investigated by new field work, geochemical analysis and radiometric dating by the 40Ar-39Ar incremental heating method. The results show that the volcanic succession comprises about 220 m of the uppermost plateau basalt formation, the Skrænterne Formation. This is separated from the overlying lava flows of the Igtertivâ Formation by 7 m of sediments that represent a period of around six million years. The two formations can be distinguished by different trace element ratios. The Igtertivâ Formation comprises an at least 300 m thick main succession of flows dated to 49.09 ± 0.48 Ma, overlain by sediments of the Bopladsdalen Formation. A basal conglomerate in the sediments contains pebbles of alkaline igneous rocks of which three were dated at 49.17 ± 0.35 Ma, 47.60 ± 0.25 Ma, and 46.98 ± 0.24 Ma. The sediments are thus younger than 47 Ma. Above 30 m of sediments occur two Igtertivâ Formation lava flows dated to 43.77 ± 1.08 Ma. The overlying sediments of the Bopladsdalen and Krabbedalen Formations are therefore not older than about 44 Ma and palynological evidence shows that they are also not much younger than this. Use of the Geological Time Scale 2012 has resulted in good agreement between radiometric and palynological ages. The Igtertivâ Formation lava flows were fed from a regional coast-parallel dyke swarm indicating a new rifting episode at 49-44 Ma. This coincides with a major mid-Eocene plate reorganisation event in the North Atlantic and the start of northward-propagation of the Reykjanes Ridge through the continent. The Igtertivâ rift may have been directly instrumental for the initiation of this process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalBulletin of the Geological Society of Denmark
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2013


  • Alkaline pebbles
  • Bopladsdalen Formation
  • East Greenland
  • Igtertivâ Formation
  • Kap Dalton
  • Plateau basalts
  • Radiometric ages
  • Ridge propagation

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 4: Mineral Resources


Dive into the research topics of 'Stratigraphy and age of the Eocene Igtertivâ Formation basalts, alkaline pebbles and sediments of the Kap Dalton Group in the graben at Kap Dalton, East Greenland'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this