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The tectonic evolution of northwest Svalbard

by Pettersson, Carl Henrik, PhD

Abstract (Summary)
Svalbard represents the uplifted and exhumed northwest corner of the Barents Sea Shelf. Pre-Carboniferous rocks of Svalbard are divided into the Eastern, Northwestern and Southwestern Terranes, were amalgamated during the Caledonian Orogen and are separated by north-south-trending strike-slip faults. Even though our knowledge of Svalbard’s pre-Carboniferous history has increased dramatically during the last two decades, a major issue remains: Where did the different tectonostratigraphic terranes of Svalbard originate? The answer to this question has profound significance for the entire eastern Laurentian margin, which spans two supercontinent cycles, from the amalgamation and breakup of Rodinia to the amalgamation of Pangea. This thesis constrains the tectonothermal evolution of Svalbard’s Northwestern Terrane (NWT) using ion microprobe and LA-ICP-MS U-Pb zircon geochronology and electron microprobe thermobarometry on metasediments, clastic rocks and granitoids. Detrital zircon age populations of metasediments from the NWT suggests that they (e.g. the Krossfjorden Group) were deposited at c. 1000 Ma in a remnant ocean basin setting outboard the Eastern Grenville Province and were subsequently deformed and intruded by Late Grenvillian granitoids during the final suturing of Rodinia. Thus, a northern branch of the Grenvillian/Sveconorwegian orogeny is not present. This older history of the NWT is extensively overprinted by Late Caledonian deformation and metamorphism, with peak metamorphic conditions of 850 °C at >6 kbars, and subsequent migmatization of the Krossfjorden Group at c. 420 Ma. Based on these data, together with the detrital zircon age population from overlying Late Silurian-Early Devonian clastic rocks, a unifying model is proposed involving fragments from the Grampian orogen and Avalonian crust originally accreted to the Laurentian margin, subsequently transported northwards along sinistral strike-slip faults during Scandian deformation.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Stockholms universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:NATURAL SCIENCES; Earth sciences; Endogenous earth sciences; Solid earth geology and petrology; Svalbard; Rodinia; Laurentia; Zircon; Provenance; Migmatites; Clockwise P-T; Geology; geologi

ISBN:978-91-7447-056-7

Date of Publication:01/01/2010

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