Basin-scale architecture of deeply emplaced sill complexes: Jameson Land, East Greenland
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Igneous sills are common components in rifted sedimentary basins globally. Much work has focused on intrusions emplaced at relatively shallow palaeodepths (0 – 1.5 km). However, owing to constraints of seismic reflection imaging and limited field exposures, intrusions emplaced at deeper palaeodepths (>1.5 km) within sedimentary basins are not as well understood in regard to their emplacement mechanisms and host-rock interactions. Results from a world-class, seismic-scale outcrop of intruded Jurassic sedimentary rocks in East Greenland are presented here. Igneous intrusions and their host rocks have been studied in the field and utilizing a 22 km long ‘virtual outcrop’ acquired using helicopter-mounted lidar. The results suggest that the geometries of the deeply emplaced sills (c. 3 km) are dominantly controlled by host-rock lithology, sedimentology and cementation state. Sills favour mudstones and even exploit centimetre-scale mudstone-draped dune-foresets in otherwise homogeneous sandstones. Sills in poorly cemented intervals show clear ductile structures, in contrast to sills in cemented units, which show only brittle emplacement structures. The studied host rock is remarkably undeformed despite intrusion. Volumetric expansion caused by the intrusions is almost exclusively accommodated by vertical jack-up of the overburden, on a 1:1 ratio, implying that intrusions may play a significant role in uplift of a basin if emplaced at deep basinal levels.