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TitleBedrock geology, Strand Fiord-Expedition Fiord area, western Axel Heiberg Island, northern Nunavut (parts of NTS 59E, F, G, and H)
AuthorHarrison, J C; Jackson, M P
SourceGeological Survey of Canada, Open File 5590, 2008, 14 pages; 1 CD-ROM, (Open Access)
LinksMetadata - Métadonnées
PublisherNatural Resources Canada
Documentopen file
MapsPublication contains 2 maps
Map Info.geological, bedrock and structural geology, 1:100,000
Map Info.location, index to field photographs, 1:200,000
Mediaon-line; CD-ROM; digital
File formatreadme
File formatpdf (Adobe® Reader®); ppt (Microsoft PowerPoint); JPEG2000
NTS59E/13; 59E/14; 59E/15; 59F/14; 59F/15; 59F/16; 59G/01; 59G/02; 59G/03; 59G/06; 59G/07; 59G/08; 59G/09; 59G/10; 59G/11; 59H/02; 59H/03; 59H/04; 59H/05; 59H/06; 59H/07; 59H/10; 59H/11; 59H/12
AreaAxel Heiberg Island
Lat/Long WENS-94.5000 -89.5000 79.9000 78.9167
Subjectstectonics; structural geology; stratigraphy; fossil fuels; sedimentary rocks; sandstones; evaporites; diapirs; tectonic environments; tectonic history; plate tectonics; structural features; folds; stratigraphic analyses; stratigraphic correlations; isopachs; stratigraphic analyses; Paleocene; Eocene; source rocks; reservoirs; reservoir rocks; resources; petroleum resources; Sverdrup Basin; Awingak Formation; Bastion Ridge Formation; Christopher Formation; Deer Bay Formation; Expedition Formation; Hassel Formation; Heiberg Formation; Iceberg Bay Formation; Invincible Point Member; Isachsen Formation; Kanguk Formation; Macdougall Point Member; Savik beds; Strand Bay Formation; Otto Fiord Formation; Blind Fiord Formation; Blaa Mountain Formation; Eureka Sound Group; sediment thickness; Mesozoic; Cretaceous; Triassic; Paleozoic; Carboniferous
Illustrationscross-sections; correlation charts; stratigraphic sections; photographs
Released2008 08 21
AbstractAxel Heiberg Island (Nunavut Territory) contains the thickest Mesozoic section in the Sverdrup Basin, and the ~370-km-long island is second only to Iran in the number and concentration of exposed evaporite diapirs. However, local geology and tectonic history have hardly been studied. The polar desert provides excellent exposure of 46 diapirs of Carboniferous evaporites and associated minibasins. Paleogene (Eurekan) sinusoidal and box-fold anticlines trend roughly north on a regular ~20-km wavelength, and probably detach on autochthonous Carboniferous Otto Fiord evaporites. In contrast, a 60-km-wide area, known as the wall-and-basin structure (WABS) province, has a characteristic wavelength of <10 km, irregular fold spacing, and bimodal fold trends. Crooked walls of diapiric anhydrite crop out in the cores of tight anticlines. Wider, open synclinal minibasins separate the diapir walls. We interpret the WABS province to detach on a shallow evaporite canopy. The only other known exposed evaporite canopy is in the Great Kavir of Iran.
The WABS evaporite canopy comprises an allochthonous coalescence of evaporite diapirs that spread during the Hauterivian (mid-Cretaceous, ~130 Ma), close to the onset of sea floor spreading in Canada Basin and plume-related flood basalt volcanism associated with Alpha Ridge. Since then, the canopy has yielded second-generation diapirs, now exhumed and exposed by modest late Paleocene-Eocene shortening (Eurekan Orogeny). Local strata record minibasin evolution and diapirism since at least the Late Triassic. Diapir-flanking angular unconformities, involving proven reservoir sandstones, are present at four stratigraphic levels between the Jurassic and Paleocene. Most significant and widespread is the mid-Cretaceous event marking the time of canopy emplacement and spreading. Outcrops record the later fate of the canopy, including its subaerial exposure, onlap of diapiric evaporite, and off-diapir debris flows. Extensional tectonics evidently had a significant influence in the region from mid-Early Cretaceous (~125 Ma) to the mid-Late Cretaceous (~90 Ma) as indicated by diabase dyke swarms emplaced in several directions, extrusive basalt, and sills in most Mesozoic strata but especially common in the vicinity of some diapirs. A record of hyperactive fluid circulation includes fossil tufa deposits, migrated hydrocarbons, and metal sulphide deposits in diapir aureoles. Saline springs, recently-formed subaerial debris flows and geomorphically unstable diapir relief indicate that the evaporite canopy on western Axel Heiberg Island remains a geologically dynamic feature of the central Sverdrup Basin.