The northern boundary of the Jan Mayen microcontinent, North Atlantic determined from ocean bottom seismic, multichannel seismic, and gravity data

Kandilarov, Aleksandre, Mjelde, Rolf, Pedersen, Rolf-Birger, Hellevang, Bjarte, Papenberg, Cord, Petersen, Carl-Joerg, Planert, Lars and Flueh, Ernst (2012) The northern boundary of the Jan Mayen microcontinent, North Atlantic determined from ocean bottom seismic, multichannel seismic, and gravity data Marine Geophysical Research, 33 (1). pp. 55-76. DOI 10.1007/s11001-012-9146-4.

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The Jan Mayen microcontinent was as a result of two major North Atlantic evolutionary cornerstones—the separation of Greenland from Norway (~54 Ma), accompanied by voluminous volcanic activity, and the jump of spreading from the Aegir to the Kolbeinsey ridge (~33 Ma), which resulted in the separation of the microcontinent itself from Eastern Greenland (~24 Ma). The resulting eastern and western sides of the Jan Mayen microcontinent are respectively volcanic and non-volcanic rifted margins. Until now the northern boundary of the microcontinent was not precisely known. In order to locate this boundary, two combined refraction and reflection seismic profiles were acquired in 2006: one trending S–N and consisting of two separate segments south and north of the island of Jan Mayen respectively, and the second one trending SW–NE east of the island. Crustal P-wave velocity models were derived and constrained using gravity data collected during the same expedition. North of the West Jan Mayen Fracture Zone (WJMFZ) the models show oceanic crust that thickens from west to east. This thickening is explained by an increase in volcanic activity expressed as a bathymetric high and most likely related to the proximity of the Mohn ridge. East of the island and south of the WJMFZ, oceanic Layers 2 and 3 have normal seismic velocities but above normal average crustal thickness (~11 km). The similarity of the crustal thickness and seismic velocities to those observed on the conjugate Møre margin confirm the volcanic origin of the eastern side of the microcontinent. Thick continental crust is observed in the southern parts of both profiles. The northern boundary of the microcontinent is a continuation of the northern lineament of the East Jan Mayen Fracture Zone. It is thus located farther north than previously assumed. The crust in the middle parts of both models, around Jan Mayen island, is more enigmatic as the data suggest two possible interpretations—Icelandic type of oceanic crust or thinned and heavily intruded continental crust. We prefer the first interpretation but the latter cannot be completely ruled out. We infer that the volcanism on Jan Mayen is related to the Icelandic plume.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Seismology; Geodynamics; Jan Mayen microcontinent; East Greenland margin; Norwegian margin; Volcanic margin; Non-volcanic margin; Icelandic crust; Refraction seismic; Ocean bottom seismometer
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-GDY Marine Geodynamics
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1007/s11001-012-9146-4
ISSN: 0025-3235
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2012 13:59
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2017 11:49

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