Conjugate volcanic rifted margins, spreading and micro-continent: Lessons from the Norwegian-Greenland Sea
Friday, 19 December 2014
We have acquired and processed new aeromagnetic data that covers the entire Norway Basin oceanic spreading system located between the Møre volcanic rifted margin and its (intermediate) conjugate system, the Jan Mayen microcontinent (JMMC). The new compilation allows us to revisit its entire structure and spreading evolution from the Early Eocene breakup to the Late Oligocene abortion of the Aegir Ridge. We here discuss the dynamics of conjugate volcanic (rifted) margin formation and reconstruct the subsequent spreading evolution of the Norway Basin until its abortion. We have estimated a new set of Euler poles of rotation for the Norway Basin derived from more than 88,000 km of new magnetic profiles. The new compilation confirms that a fan-shaped spreading evolution of the Norway Basin was particularly active before the cessation of seafloor spreading and abortion of the Aegir Ridge. The Norway Basin shows a more complex system of micro-plates and asymmetric segments locally affected by episodic ridge jumps. The new observations have implications for the syn- and post-breakup stratigraphic and rifted-margin tectonic development of the JMMC and its conjugate margins. In particular, an important Mid-Eocene geodynamic event at around magnetic chron C21r is recognized in the Norway Basin. This event coincides with the onset of diking and rifting between the proto-JMMC and the East Greenland margin, leading to a second phase of breakup in the Norwegian-Greenland Sea ~26 My later in the Oligocene. Restored in its pre-breakup configuration, the new surveys also allow us to discuss further the tectonic and crustal evolution of the conjugate volcanic rifted margins and associated transform and oblique segments. The applicability of magma-poor concepts, off Norway, for example, remains questionable for us. The significant amount of breakup magmatism, the huge amount of pre-breakup sag sedimentation and the presence of thinned and preserved continental crust without the systematic occurrence of underlying and/or exhumed serpentinised terranes. The mid-Norwegian volcanic rifted margins appear quite different from the Iberian type, magma-poor margin, even if the processes leading to the early (and aborted) thinning events seems to be similar to some extent.