Exploring the role of High Arctic Large Igneous Province volcanism on Early Cretaceous Arctic forests

Jennifer M. Galloway*, Robert A. Fensome, Graeme T. Swindles, Thomas Hadlari, Jared Fath, Claudia Schröder-Adams, Jens O. Herrle, Adam Pugh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

The Hauterivian–Aptian aged Isachsen Formation at Glacier Fiord, Axel Heiberg Island, in the Sverdrup Basin of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago was deposited contemporaneous with initiation of the High Arctic Large Igneous Province (HALIP). New palynological biostratigraphy and paleoenvironmental reconstruction, in coordination with the emerging geochronology of HALIP igneous rocks, permits exploration of the effects of volcanism on Arctic vegetation during the Early Cretaceous. Four informal terrestrial palynofloral zones are defined and used to reconstruct vegetation change over the Isachsen Formation’s ca. 17 million year history and explore the role of the HALIP in these changes. Climate warming during the Hauterivian promoted expansion of a hinterland community dominated by members of the Pinaceae. By the middle Barremian, this community was replaced by mixed heathland and mire, represented by up to 70% fern spores in the uppermost Paterson Island Member,that may be, in part, in response to environmental disturbance associated with volcanic flows of the HALIP. Above the fern spore spike, dinoflagellate cyst assemblages suggest an early Aptian age and a marine setting for mudstones of the Rondon Member in which Ocean Anoxic Event 1a is recorded. An interval of floral instability is recorded in the overlying Walker Island Member, characterized by fluctuations in Pinaceae and Cupressaceae pollen and fern spores, possibly as a result of post-OAE 1a temperature variabilty and landscape disturbance associated with lava flows of the HALIP that were repeatedly extruded onto the subsiding delta plain during deposition of the member.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105022
JournalCretaceous Research
Volume129
Early online date04 Sep 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Financial support was provided by the GeoMapping for Energy and Minerals (GEM) Program (Natural Resources Canada, Geological Survey of Canada), an NSERC Visiting Fellowship in a Canadian Government Laboratory (JMG) and the AIAS-COFUND II fellowship programme that was supported by the Marie Sk?odowska-Curie actions under the European Union's Horizon 2020 (Grant agreement no. 754513) and the Aarhus University Research Foundation (JMG). We are grateful to Keith Dewing for project management. We thank Ashton Embry for directing us to study the Glacier Fiord section and for sharing his extensive knowledge on the Svedrup Basin, the Isachsen Formation, and the Glacier Fiord section in particular with us. We thank him for spending time with us on the section during our field season in 2011. We acknowledge the logistics support provided by the Polar Continental Shelf Program (pilot Massimo Zancol?). Linda Dancey (GSC) is thanked for palynological preparation and Richard Fontaine for curation. RAF would like to thank Andrew MacRae and Graham Williams of Saint Mary's University and GSC Atlantic, respectively, for a discussion on aspects of the dinocyst assemblage. This publication represents NRCan Contribution Number/Num?ro de contribution de RNCan (20210274). We are grateful for the comments and suggestions of Manuel Bringu? (Geological Survey of Canada) for his interval review. We thank Henrik N?hr-Hansen and two anonymous reviewers for providing constructive and helpful comments that improved this manuscript.

Funding Information:
Financial support was provided by the GeoMapping for Energy and Minerals (GEM) Program ( Natural Resources Canada , Geological Survey of Canada ), an NSERC Visiting Fellowship in a Canadian Government Laboratory (JMG) and the AIAS-COFUND II fellowship programme that was supported by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 (Grant agreement no. 754513) and the Aarhus University Research Foundation (JMG). We are grateful to Keith Dewing for project management. We thank Ashton Embry for directing us to study the Glacier Fiord section and for sharing his extensive knowledge on the Svedrup Basin, the Isachsen Formation, and the Glacier Fiord section in particular with us. We thank him for spending time with us on the section during our field season in 2011. We acknowledge the logistics support provided by the Polar Continental Shelf Program (pilot Massimo Zancolò). Linda Dancey (GSC) is thanked for palynological preparation and Richard Fontaine for curation. RAF would like to thank Andrew MacRae and Graham Williams of Saint Mary's University and GSC Atlantic, respectively, for a discussion on aspects of the dinocyst assemblage. This publication represents NRCan Contribution Number/Numéro de contribution de RNCan (20210274). We are grateful for the comments and suggestions of Manuel Bringué (Geological Survey of Canada) for his interval review. We thank Henrik Nøhr-Hansen and two anonymous reviewers for providing constructive and helpful comments that improved this manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021

Keywords

  • Arctic
  • Cretaceous
  • High Arctic Large Igneous Province
  • OAE 1a
  • Paleoecology
  • Palynology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Palaeontology

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