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Rapid formation of the Small Isles tertiary centre constrained by precise 40Ar/39Ar and U-Pb ages

By LM Chambers, MS Pringle and Randall R Parrish


The relative chronology of magmatic and tectonic events is key to an understanding of the influence of the Iceland plume on the North Atlantic. In particular, the location and duration of magmatism is of fundamental importance. Initial widespread flood basalt formation occurred in Baffin Island, Greenland, and Britain before complete plate break up at 56 Ma after which time magmatism became concentrated in the active rift zone.\ud \ud Historically the British Tertiary Igneous Province (BTIP) has been instrumental in advancing many concepts of igneous petrology. However, the absolute age and duration of the province remains unresolved. Here, we present new internally consistent 40Ar/39Ar ages that help to constrain the volcanic activity in the Small Isles centre to within 2 my. This short duration has implications for the onset of magmatism in the larger North Atlantic province, the rapid unroofing of the Rum volcano, and more significantly, some of the evidence used to propose pulsing of the Iceland plume.\ud \u

Topics: Earth Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2005
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.lithos.2004.09.008
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