Petrography of Lower Cretaceous sandstones on Spitsbergen

Article English OPEN
Maher, Jr. ; Hays, Troy ; Shuster, Robert ; Mutrux, Jeremy (2004)

The sandstone petrography of sample suites from four sites spanning the Rurikfjellet (Hauterivian) to Carolinefjellet (Aptian–Albian) formations in central Spitsbergen was investigated. The sandstones show a distinct stepwise shift in composition from quartz arenites to sublitharenites and lithic arenites, typically within the upper part of the Helvetiafjellet Formation. This shift is related to the introduction of 10 - 25 % (grain %) plagioclase grains and volcanic lithics, and a notable increase in basement and sedimentary lithics. Quartz grain character also changes, and grain shapes become more varied. The shift is also associated with the transgressive arrival of marine sediments in the area, and the introduction of sands from the east-northeast by shore-parallel transport. Regional regression and subsequent transgression, and the change in sandstone composition is attributed to the development of the High Arctic Large Igneous Province in the region. The relative constancy of sand composition and volume of volcanic detritus within the Carolinefjellet Formation suggests long term (? 20 M) stability of the sediment system and a large volcanic source area, consistent with LIP (Large Igneous Province) derivation, along with significant exposure of basement rocks. Sample spacing and sediment recycling and mixing do not allow detection of events that would have changed sandstone composition that were less than ? 1 M duration. Preservation of significant amounts of plagioclase in a sediment-starved shelf can be explained by relatively cold climatic conditions.
  • References (35)
    35 references, page 1 of 4

    Bailey, J. C. & Brooks, C. K. 1988: Petrochemistry and tectonic setting of Lower Cretaceous tholeiites from Franz Josef Land, U.S.S.R. Bull. Geol. Soc. Den. 37, 31-49.

    Bailey, J. C. & Rasmussen, M. H. 1997: Petrochemistry of Jurassic and Cretaceous tholeiites from Kong Karls Land, Svalbard, and their relation to Mesozoic magmatism in the Arctic. Polar Res. 16, 37-62.

    Boles, J. R. 1982: Active albitization of plagioclase, Gulf Coast Tertiary. Am. J. Sci. 282, 165-180.

    Coffin, M. & Eldholm, O. 1993: Scratching the surface: estimating dimensions of large igneous provinces. Geology 21, 515-518.

    Dallmann, W. K. (ed.) 1999: Lithostratigraphic lexicon of Svalbard. Tromsø, Norway: Norwegian Polar Institute.

    Dallmann, W. K., Ohta, Y., Elvevold, S. & Blomeier, D. (eds.) 2002: Bedrock map of Svalbard and Jan Mayen. Nor. Polarinst. Temakart 33.

    De Lurio, J. & Frakes, L. A. 1999: Glendonites as a paleoenvironmental tool: implications for early Cretaceous high latitude climates in Australia; Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 63, 1039-1048.

    Dibner, V. D. (ed.) 1998: Geology of Franz Josef Land. Nor. Polarinst. Medd. 146.

    Dott, R. H., Jr. 1964: Wacke, graywacke and matrix - What approach to immature sandstone classification? J. Sediment. Petrol. 34, 625-632.

    Dypvik, H., Håkansson, E. & Heinberg, C. 2002: Jurassic and Cretaceous palaeogeography and stratigraphic comparisons in the North Greenland-Svalbard region. Polar Res. 21, 91-108.

  • Metrics
    No metrics available
Share - Bookmark