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Robert A. Scott1, Caroline S. Pickles1, Andrew G. Whitham1, Simon Inger1, Iain D. Bartholomew1
(1) University of Cambridge, N/A, United Kingdom

Abstract: Mesozoic-Cenozoic geology of East Greenland: modelling the evolution of a continental margin using GIS

East Greenland is in a unique position to provide constraints on exploration activity on the Northwest European margin. To use this information effectively, accurate pre-drift reconstructions are essential to establish the detailed palaeogeographic and structural correlations between the conjugate margins. There are two reasons why current models are inadequate: (1) most are based on global constraints and assume that large continental areas behave as single rigid blocks. Their resolution is inadequate when working at a smaller scale; (2) continental breakup in the northern North Atlantic was associated with the eruption and intrusion of large volumes of magma, which tends to obscure the position of the continent-ocean boundary (COB). Incorrect positioning of the COB can have fundamental consequences for continental fits.

Here, we illustrate how GIS technology can be employed to improve our understanding of the relationship between East Greenland and the conjugate northwest European margin. Manipulation of geophysical datasets in GIS has permitted a reinterpretation of the COB location, which fundamentally changes continental fits. Using a reconstruction program developed specifically for use with GIS data, we are now able to model changing relationships within the rift system much more accurately. The reconstruction models are complemented by a sequence of interactive paleogeography maps. These maps are supported by a fault database in which each fault strand has a complete stage-by-stage displacement history attributed to it. This allows automatic generation of paleotectonic maps.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90914©2000 AAPG Annual Convention, New Orleans, Louisiana