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TitleIchnology and paleoenvironmental interpretations of the Cretaceous-Paleocene rift succession of northeast Baffin Island region, Nunavut, Canada
AuthorDafoe, LORCID logo; Haggart, J; Williams, G; Stimson, M
SourceAAPG - Annual Convention and Exhibition, abstracts; American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Annual Meeting Abstracts 2019, 2019 p. 1-2
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20180428
PublisherAmerican Association of Petroleum Geologists
MeetingAAPG - Annual Convention and Exhibition; San Antonio; US; May 19-22, 2019
Mediapaper; digital
File formatpdf (Adobe® Reader®)
NTS38A; 38B; 38C; 38D; 48D
AreaBaffin Island; Pond Inlet; Bylot Island
Lat/Long WENS -81.0000 -72.0000 74.0000 72.5000
Subjectspaleontology; sedimentology; stratigraphy; tectonics; Science and Technology; Paleogene; Paleocene; ichnology; ichnofossils; ichnofacies; trace fossils; palynology; paleoenvironment; tectonic setting; tectonic history; rifting; sea floor spreading; depositional history; depositional environment; sedimentary structures; sedimentation rates; bedrock geology; lithology; sedimentary rocks; clastics; mudstones; sandstones; Eclipse Trough; North Bylot Trough; Scoyenia; Ophiomorpha; Cruziana; Phycosiphon; Macaronichnus; Dinoflagellates; Phanerozoic; Cenozoic; Tertiary; Mesozoic; Cretaceous
ProgramGEM2: Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals Baffin Mapping of onshore Cretaceous Strats
Released2019 06 30
AbstractClastic strata cropping out along northeast Baffin Island, Canada, preserve an onshore stratigraphic record of rifting that formed the adjacent Baffin Bay region, beginning in the Early Cretaceous with seafloor spreading ceasing near the end of the Eocene. Cretaceous through Paleocene strata of this succession are preserved in the area around Pond Inlet, in Eclipse Trough along southwest Bylot Island, and in North Bylot Trough on north Bylot Island. Analysis of the ichnology and sedimentology of 35 stratigraphic sections of these strata was undertaken, in conjunction with palynological study, to better understand their evolving depositional environments and to provide an analogue for the associated offshore section in Baffin Bay. Lower Cretaceous syn-rift strata of Eclipse Trough include primarily fluvial facies. However, a unique interval containing wave ripples and mud-crack casts, as well as surface trails, trackways, resting traces, shallow dwellings, and microbial-induced sedimentary structures reflecting the Scoyenia Ichnofacies, is interpreted as lake-margin in origin. In another synrift section, Ophiomorpha characterize middle shoreface strata, and wave-rippled to hummocky cross-stratified beds contain a diverse, but opportunistic, archetypal Cruziana Ichnofacies within storm-dominated lower shoreface deposits. Overlying Upper Cretaceous transgressive mudstones reflect more distal marine deposition and are dominated by Phycosiphon. Shallower, proximal outer-shelf settings with distal Cruziana Ichnofacies assemblages are also seen in the mudstones where they transition to sandstones. These sandstones consist of progradational, storm-dominated, inner shelf through foreshore deposits, with alternating stratified and bioturbated beds containing either archetypal Cruziana Ichnofacies or Macaronichnus-dominated suites. Overlying Paleocene sandstones generally show evidence of high sedimentation rates suggesting deltaic deposition. Paleocene mudstones are rarely bioturbated, primarily by diminutive, marine, grazing traces. Palynological analysis indicates a lack of dinocysts in these rocks, supporting a brackish estuarine or prodeltaic setting. Seafloor sampling from Baffin Bay reveals similar facies to those seen onshore, demonstrating that the onshore record provides a vital analogue for understanding the adjacent offshore succession. These analyses help to document depositional complexities within an evolving rift system.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
The Cretaceous and Paleogene onshore stratigraphy of Bylot Island, Nunavut provides a vital analogue for understanding the adjacent offshore succession in Baffin Bay where sampling is very limited. Detailed analysis of the sedimentology and trace fossils of 35 stratigraphic sections provides new insights into the depositional paleoenvironments of the rock units. Specifically, the overall succession shows a predominance of marine deposition and storm-dominance with similar depositional paleoenvironments seen between the two structurally isolated areas of Bylot Island.

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