Upcoming Division Talk
Revising the geological history of the Canadian Arctic from the footprints of missing terranes
Speaker: Daniel Alonso Torres (Independent)
Location: geoLOGIC classroom, Aquitaine Tower +15 level, 540-5th Avenue S.W., Calgary
March 27th, 2019 | 12:00 Noon
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With the opening of the Amerasia Basin by the Cretaceous, the landmasses once adjacent to the Canadian northern margin were disseminated and buried beneath the Arctic Ocean, hindering their direct study. However, the history and nature of these terranes can be unraveled through the footprints left on circum-Arctic sedimentary basins, some of which constitute important petroleum plays.
Preserving an exposed record of the interaction between peri-continental basins and outboard terranes is the Sverdrup Basin of the Canadian Arctic. During the Permian, carbonate factories were replaced by clastic sediments derived from a northern landmass, as the basin experienced renewed tectonism and significant changes in its physiography.
Detrital zircon geochronology, a technique broadly used for precise dating of sedimentary rocks, stratigraphic correlations, and source-to-sink analyses, reveals that Permian to Jurassic sediments were derived from a magmatically active region to the north, with ties to Russia, Alaska and the Barents Sea. Additionally, structural mapping and stratigraphic observations conducted on northern Axel Heiberg Island provide evidence of near-field tectonism during this time.
These results support a back-arc setting for the Sverdrup Basin and the redefinition of the northern margin of the continent as active, framing the tectonic setting of Arctic petroleum provinces.
Daniel Alonso Torres recently completed a thesis-based M.Sc. in Geology at the University of Calgary, focusing on the structural and sedimentary history of the Arctic. Through his involvement in several research projects, Daniel has produced four peer-reviewed publications, presented at international conferences, and contributed to the development of new geochronological techniques. He obtained a B.Sc. in Geology from the Complutense University of Madrid, Spain, after spending his final year at the University of Calgary with a TASSEP scholarship. During his time at the University of Calgary, Daniel was an organizer for the Friday Afternoon Talk Series and the GeoREX Conference, and he is currently a member of the CSPG Young Geoscience Professionals committee.