The Importance of Eurekan Mountains on Cenozoic Sediment Routing on the Western Barents Shelf

The importance of topography generated by Eocene Eurekan deformation as a sediment source for sandstones deposited on the western Barents Shelf margin is evaluated through a sediment provenance study conducted on wellbore materials retrieved from Spitsbergen and from the Vestbakken Volcanic Province and the Sørvestsnaget Basin in the southwest Barents Sea. A variety of complementary techniques record a provenance change across the Paleocene-Eocene boundary in wellbore BH 10-2008, which samples Paleogene strata of the Central Tertiary Basin in Spitsbergen. Sandstones containing K-feldspar with radiogenic Pb isotopic compositions, chrome spinel in the heavy mineral assemblage, and detrital zircons and rutiles with prominent Palaeoproterozoic and Late Palaeozoic—Early Mesozoic U-Pb age populations are up-section replaced by sandstone containing albitic plagioclase feldspar, metasedimentary schist rock fragments, a heavy mineral assemblage with abundant chloritoid, metamorphic apatite with low REE contents, metapelitic rutile with Silurian U-Pb ages and zircons with predominantly Archaean and Palaeoproterozoic U-Pb age populations. Our results clearly demonstrate the well-known regional change in source area from an exposed Barents Shelf terrain east of the Central Tertiary Basin during the Paleocene to the emerging Eurekan mountains west and north of the Central Tertiary Basin during the Eocene. Eocene sandstones deposited in the marginal basins of the southwestern Barents Shelf, which were sampled in wellbores 7316/5-1 and 7216/11-1S, contain elements of both the Eurekan and the eastern Barents Shelf provenance signatures. The mixing of the two sand types and delivery to the southwest margin of the Barents Shelf is consistent with a fill and spill model for the Central Teritary Basin, with transport of Eurekan-derived sediment east then south hundreds of kilometres across the Shelf.


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Authors: Flowerdew, Michael J., Fleming, Edward J., Chew, David M., Morton, Andrew C., Frei, Dirk, Benedictus, Aukje, Omma, Jenny, Riley, Teal. R. ORCIDORCID record for Teal. R. Riley, Badenszki, Eszter, Whitehouse, Martin J.

On this site: Teal Riley
21 March, 2023
Geosciences / 13
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