Drilling during ODP Leg 210 penetrated two post-rift sills (dated as ∼105.3 and ∼97.8 Ma) in the deep sediments overlying basement of the continent-ocean transition zone on the magma-poor Newfoundland margin. The sill emplacement post-dated the onset of seafloor spreading by at least 7-15 Myr. The shallower of the two sills coincides with the high-amplitude U reflection observed throughout the deep Newfoundland Basand strong reflectivity in the sub-U sequence suggests that a number of other sills are present there. In this paper, we use multichannel seismic reflection data and synthetic seismograms to investigate the nature, magnitude and extent of this post-rift magmatism in the deep basin. Features observed in seismic profiles that we attribute to sill injection include high-amplitude reflections with geometries characteristic of intrusions such as step-like aspect; abrupt endings, disruptions and junctions of reflections; finger-like forms; differential compaction around possible loci of magma injection and disruption of overlying sediments by apparent fluid venting. Interpreted sills occur only over transitional basement that probably consists of a mixture of serpentinized peridotite and highly thinned continental crust, and they cover an area of ∼80 000 km2. From analysis of synthetic seismograms, we estimate that sill intrusions may comprise ∼26 per cent of the sub-U high-reflectivity sequence, which yields a crude estimate of ∼5800 km3 for the total volume of sills emplaced by post-rift magmatism. This is significant for a margin usually described as 'non-volcanic'. We discuss competing hypotheses about the source of the magmatism, which is still uncertain.
- Atlantic Ocean
- Continental margins: divergent
- Ocean drilling
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geochemistry and Petrology