A TECTONIC-MAGMATIC TRIGGER FOR EARLY CENOZOIC HYPERTHERMALS? (Invited Presentation)
Formation of the NE Atlantic Igneous Province commenced around 62 Ma and continued throughout the Cenozoic. A shallow sheet of anomalously hot (Icelandic) asthenosphere has been inferred to have underlain much of the Greenland lithosphere during the Paleocene and early Eocene. Tectonic-magmatic (rift to drift) events on both the West and East Greenland margins are recorded by Paleocene and Early Eocene flood basalts, regional dike swarms, central intrusions and sill complexes in the feather-edge of several Paleozoic-Mesozoic continental margin rift basins that have been exposed by Tertiary uplift. Field observations in these basins testify as to how the magmatism invaded and heated organic-rich sediments, including former oil fields.
We combine new and published geochronological and geochemical data for tectonic-magmatic events recorded along the Greenland continental rifted margin to test the hypothesis that the origin of the hyperthermals, including the PETM, is rooted in plate tectonic, metamorphic and volcanic processes in the North Atlantic region.