CAUSAL IMPLICATIONS OF A NEW ZIRCON U-PB GEOCHRONOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK FOR MESOZOIC MAGMATISM IN NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND AND QUEBEC: WHAT ARE THE RIFT/POST-RIFT IGNEOUS ROCKS OF THE WHITE MOUNTAINS?
Our results indicate that the onset of WMMS magmatism at several localities differs significantly from published ages, up to 25 Myr at some. The oldest (> 198 Ma) may be a late-stage, felsic expression of the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP) large igneous province (LIP). We also show that the main phase of igneous activity associated with the WMMS occurred over a much shorter duration than the published chronology indicates. The spatial and apparent temporal proximity of the Jurassic WMMS to the CAMP suggests the possibility of a direct geodynamic linkage and should motivate the development testable hypotheses, e.g., plume-head driven subduction and plutonism, lithospheric delamination, etc. Given the common occurrence of late-stage felsic magmatism on the geographic periphery of other flood basalt provinces, such as the Etendeka1 and Deccan2 traps, the existence of the WMMS may reflect a fundamental feature of the geodynamic setting of the CAMP and provide insight into the processes that initiated the LIP itself.
In addition to the Jurassic WMMS, we provide new age constraints on the emplacement of the largest igneous complexes of the Cretaceous NEQ, providing an accurate, high-resolution chronological test for the expression of purported Great Meteor Hotspot magmatism on land.
The fact that this area has been a locus of magmatism for upwards of 200 Myr and corresponds to modern, low-velocity seismic anomalies3,4 underscores the importance of future work on the WMMS and NEQ to not only unravel the tectonic evolution of the ENAM but to also provide a pathway for understanding basic mantle processes.
1Renne et al., Geology (1996). 2Basu et al. Goldschmidt (2018) Abstracts. 3Schmandt and Lin. GRL. (2014). 4 Menke et al., GRL. (2016).