Extensional Tectonics in the Jeanne d'Arc Basin, Offshore Newfoundland: Implications for the Timing of Break-Up between Grand Banks and Iberia

Driscoll, Neal W.; Hogg, John R.; Christie-Blick, Nicholas; Karner, Garry David

Using seismic reflection and exploratory well data from the Jeanne d’Arc basin, offshore Newfoundland, we examined the link between unconformity generation and the onset of seafloor spreading between the central Grand Banks and Iberia. A prominent unconformity developed across the entire basin, previously interpreted as a ‘break-up’ unconformity, is reinterpreted as a late Barremian/early Aptian rift-onset unconformity on the basis of the stratal geometry and lithofacies. The rotation and divergence of seismic reflectors above this unconformity attest to differential subsidence documenting an episode of extension and block rotation within the basin at this time. Our seismic sequence analysis suggests that rifting and block rotation continued in the Jeanne d’Arc basin until at least late Aptian/early Albian time.
The onset of seafloor spreading between the central Grand Banks and Iberia is uncertain because of limited marine magnetic and drilling data (ODP and DSDP), and the existence of the Cretaceous magnetic quiet zone along the margin. However, recent studies indicate that magnetic anomaly M0 (118 Ma) is not well resolved north of the Newfoundland Seamounts within the Newfoundland basin and is not present north of the Figueiro fracture zone along the conjugate Iberian margin. This suggests that seafloor spreading between the northern portion of the Newfoundland basin and the northern Iberian margin began after the early Aptian. Given that the cessation of rifting marks the onset of seafloor spreading our seismic sequence analysis indicates that the onset of seafloor spreading in the northern Newfoundland basin, north of the Newfoundland Seamounts, began after late Aptian time.


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Geological Society Special Publication : The Tectonics, Sedimentation and Palaeoceanography of the North Atlantic Region

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