New palaeomagnetic data from metamorphosed carbonates of Western Oscar II Land, Western Spitsbergen

Journal title

Polish Polar Research




No 4

Publication authors


Arctic ; Spitsbergen ; Caledonides ; West Spitsbergen Fold Belt ; palaeo−magnetism ; petrography ; metacarbonates ; metamorphic pyrrhotite ; ferromagnetic carriers

Divisions of PAS

Nauki o Ziemi




Palaeomagnetic−petrographic−structural analyses of Proterozoic–Lower Palaeozoic metamorphosed carbonates from 12 locations within Oscar II Land (Western Spitsbergen) have been carried out to determine their usefulness in palaeogeographic reconstructions for Caledonian time. Structural analyses confirm that metacarbonates record several stages of deformation: D1, D2 ductile phases related to Caledonian metamorphism and a D3 brittle phase related to Late Cretaceous–Paleogene evolution of the West Spitsbergen Fold Belt. The latter is represented by thrust faults, localized folds with strain slip cleavages and late extensional collapse. Petrographic investigations reveal that Caledonian greenschist facies metamorphism was characterized by the high activity of H 2 O−CO 2 −rich fluids which promoted extensive recrystallization and within−rock spatial reorganization of sampled meta carbonates. Microscopic, SEM and microprobe analyses exclude the existence of any primary pre−metamorphic ferromagnetic minerals (primary−related to sedimentation and or early diagenesis) and point to metamorphic 4C superstructure (Fe 7 S 8 ) pyrrhotite as the main ferromagnetic carrier in investigated rocks. This is confirmed by the three−component isothermal remanent magnetization (IRM) procedures and the results of thermal demagnetizations. In 12 sites a total number of 72 independently oriented palaeomagnetic samples were collected from which 181 specimens were drilled and thermally demagnetized. Sampled metacarbonates are weakly magnetized (NRM <0.2mA/m). The statistically significant palaeomagnetic results were achieved only from 1 of 12 investigated sites. In one site situated in the Western overturned limb of the Holmesletfjellet Syncline intermediate unblocking temperatures – “pyrrhotite related” component WTSJ5M superimposed on the S1 Caledonian schistosity was recognized (D = 100.7 ° , I = −21.4 °a 95% = 5.5 ° , k = 58.23). Coincidence of WTSJ5M with Silurian–Devonian sector of the Baltica reference path after unfolding of the syncline by the angle of 130 ° suggests synfolding origin of this direction. Further, this suggests that Holmesletfjellet Syncline originated as an open fold and has been transformed into an overturned syncline during the Late Caledonian shortening or in the Late Cretaceous–Palaeogene time.


Committee on Polar Research ; Polish Academy of Sciences




Artykuły / Articles


ISSN 0138-0338 ; eISSN 2081-8262