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TitleArchitecture of the Canadian portion of the High Arctic Large Igneous Province and implications for magmatic Ni-Cu potential
AuthorSaumur, B -MORCID logo; Dewing, KORCID logo; Williamson, M -CORCID logo
SourceCanadian Journal of Earth Sciences vol. 53, issue 5, 2016 p. 528-542,
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20150467
PublisherCanadian Science Publishing
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf; html
NTS39; 49; 59; 69; 78F; 78G; 78H; 79; 88C; 88E; 88F; 88G; 88H; 89; 98C; 98D; 98E; 98F; 98G; 98H; 99; 120B; 120C; 120F; 340; 560
AreaCanadian Arctic Archipelago; Queen Elizabeth Islands; Ellesmere Island; Wootton Peninsula; Axel Heiberg Island; Ellef Ringnes Island; Amund Ringnes Island; Graham Island; Strand Fiord; Expedition Fiord; Surprise Fiord; Buchanan Lake; Skaare Fiord; Agate Fiord; Kanguk Peninsula; Norwegian Bay; Phillips Inlet; Yelverton Bay; Kulutingwak Fiord
Lat/Long WENS-140.0000 -64.0000 83.0000 72.0000
Subjectsregional geology; igneous and metamorphic petrology; economic geology; structural geology; geochemistry; Paleogene; bedrock geology; igneous rocks; intrusive rocks; dykes; sills; plutons; magmas; volcanic rocks; geological history; geological evolution; tectonic evolution; emplacement; orogenies; structural features; faults, normal; faults, thrust; faults, reverse; folds; anticlines; salt diapirs; mineral deposits; nickel; copper; platinum; sulphides; mineralization; crustal structure; crustal thickness; crustal uplift; basement geology; bedding planes; structural controls; models; Sverdrup Basin; High Arctic Large Igneous Province (HALIP); Eurekan Orogeny; Wootton Intrusive Complex; Alpha Ridge; Grantland Uplift; Stolz Thrust; Princess Margaret Arch; Vesle Fiord-East Cape Thrust; Parrish Glacier Thrust; Sverdrup Rim; Cornwall Arch; Queen Elizabeth Islands Dyke Swarm; Buchanan Lake Sills; Surprise Fiord Dyke Swarm; Heiberg Formation; Blaa Mountain Formation; Blind Fiord Formation; Otto Fiord Formation; Cape Southwest; Savik Formation; Strand Fiord Formation; Christopher Formation; Isachsen Formation; Deer Bay Formation; Awingak Formation; Hansen Point Volcanics; Capewoods Pluton; Clements Markham Fold Belt; Petersen Bay Fault; Mitchell Point Fault Zone; Phanerozoic; Cenozoic; Tertiary; Mesozoic; Cretaceous; Jurassic; Triassic; Paleozoic; Carboniferous; Devonian; Ordovician; Silurian; Precambrian
Illustrationsgeological sketch maps; photographs; equal-area stereonet projections
ProgramGEM2: Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals Western Arctic, High Arctic LIP
ProgramPolar Continental Shelf Project
Released2016 05 01
AbstractThe Cretaceous to Paleogene High Arctic Large Igneous Province (HALIP) occurs in circum-Arctic regions, and the largest portion of the province occurs in Canada's Arctic Archipelago. This paper reviews and documents the geometry and distribution of the Canadian portion of the HALIP, focussing most notably on the architecture of its intrusive component. The extent of dyke swarms and sills of the Canadian HALIP is updated and is shown to be greater than previously acknowledged. Sills, in particular, occur throughout the Sverdrup Basin and crop out extensively on Axel Heiberg Island within Triassic to Cretaceous strata. The HALIP event is dominantly intrusive, with 3-5 times more intrusive rocks than extrusive rocks, by volume. There is local evidence of syn-emplacement fault activity, possibly involving the reactivation of older faults, controlling the emplacement of dykes. In the eastern Sverdrup Basin, exposures of components of the HALIP are controlled by tectonic elements of the Eocene Eurekan Orogeny, with plumbing systems (dykes, sills) exposed along regional-scale anticlines or the hanging walls of thrusts. Portions of the HALIP have been shown to be prospective for magmatic Ni - Cu - platinum group elements (PGEs) based on geochemistry, and although geochemical controls play a critical role in the genesis of such deposits, structural and magma dynamic controls are also important to consider at the scale of 1-10kmmagmatic complexes. Underpinned by the architecture of the Canadian HALIP, we document the structural characteristics of three 1-10 km-scale volcanic-intrusive complexes of the province that show Ni-Cu-PGE prospectivity: the volcanic-intrusive complex of the Strand Fiord - Expedition Fiord area, the Surprise Fiord dykes, and the Wootton Intrusive Complex. All three represent physico-structural environments that would likely promote high magma flowthrough and sulphide transport, and could be targeted for Ni-Cu-PGE magmatic sulphide mineralization.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
Relatively little is known on the Cretaceous-age High Arctic Large Igneous Province (HALIP), mostly due to its extreme remoteness. Parts of it are exposed in circum-arctic regions such as Svalbard (Norway) and north Greenland, but most of it occurs in the Canadian High Arctic. New fieldwork, remote predictive mapping and reinterpretation of geophysical data and seismic logs indicate that intrusive rocks are more prominent and spatially extensive than previously thought. In particular, sills, a type of intrusion emplaced parallel to bedding, range between 10-50 meters in thickness, are laterally continuous on the scale of kilometers, and are widespread throughout the strata of the Cretaceous Sverdrup Basin, most notably on Axel Heiberg Island. Intrusive rocks (sills, dykes) of the HALIP are three to five times more prominent than extrusive rocks (basalts). Some components of the HALIP may show potential for magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE mineralization; three such complexes are highlighted and described: the Strand Fiord area, the Surprise Fiord Dykes and the Wootton Intrusion.

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