Publication Details

Nutman, A. Phillip., Kalsbeek, F. & Friend, C. R L. (2008). The nagssugtoqidian orogen in South-East Greenland: evidence for paleoproterozoic collision and plate assembly. American Journal of Science: An International Earth Science Journal, 308 (4), 529-572.


The 200 km wide, east-west trending Paleoproterozoic mobile belt of the Ammassalik region of South-East Greenland contains a diverse assemblage of Paleoproterozoic and Archean rocks, variably affected by Paleoproterozoic deformations and high-grade low or high pressure metamorphism. By using previous field and geochemical data combined with new zircon dating and zircon trace element geochemistry, this mobile belt is confirmed as a 1870 to 1840 Ma collisional orogen, which contains one or more 1900 to 1880 Ma magmatic suites and northern and southern Archean basement terranes. The most studied 1900 to 1880 Ma magmatic suite is the Ammassalik Intrusive Complex, which is dominated by diorites (with arc-like geochemical signatures and with Paleoproterozoic Nd depleted mantle model ages), which was intruded into sedimentary rocks, (with predominantly Paleoproterozoic detrital zircons). Both these associated rock types show 1900 to 1880 Ma moderate pressure granulite facies metamorphism (7 kbar, >= 850 degrees C). Paleoproterozoic mylonites separate the Ammassalik Intrusive Complex from Archean orthogneisses containing 1870 Ma eclogite (11 kbar, 650-700 degrees C) and high-pressure granulite facies assemblages in Palaeoproterozoic diabase dike remnants. Associated with these Archean gneisses are pelitic metasediments, marbles and orthoquartzites (with Archean detrital zircon with complex 1870 to 1740 Ma metamorphic rims) that contain kyanite, thereby also showing high-pressure metamorphism. In the Ammassalik area we propose that one or more Paleoproterozoic magmatic arcs with syn-magmatic moderate pressure, high temperature metamorphism were emplaced over the edge of southern Archean continental crust. This resulted in at least doubling of crustal thickness, causing the transient 1870 Ma eclogite to high-pressure granulite facies metamorphic conditions in the buried southern Archean terrane. Archean orthogneisses in the north of the mobile belt preserve low-pressure Archean granulite facies assemblages, and are interpreted as a different terrane at a higher structural level, which was juxtaposed with the southern eclogite-bearing Archean terrane and the lower pressure metamorphism Paleoproterozoic arc rocks during the collisional event(s). This new information from the Ammassalik region is used in a synthesis of Paleoproterozoic crustal accretion and collisional orogeny in Greenland.



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