Emplacement of Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs) had a major effect on global climate, ocean chemistries as traced in sedimentary records and biotic turnovers. The linkage between LIPs and oceanic anoxic events has been documented with the Cenomanian/Turonian boundary event and Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 (OAE2). The Caribbean LIP and High Arctic Large Igneous Province (HALIP) are regarded as possible triggers. The pericratonic Arctic Sverdrup Basin is the partial location of the HALIP, where little is known about sedimentary, geochemical and biotic responses to the HALIP phases. Sedimentary strata at Glacier Fiord, Axel Heiberg Island, exhibit a dynamic Cretaceous polar carbon burial history within the lower to middle Cenomanian Bastion Ridge Formation and upper Cenomanian to Turonian part of the Kanguk Formation. We present the first initial 187Os/188Os (Osi) composition profile for a polar Cenomanian/Turonian boundary interval (∼100–93.9 Ma) linked to recently dated magmatic phases of the Strand Fiord Formation, part of the HALIP. The carbon isotope record coupled with the Osi profile show two events in the upper Cenomanian interval marked by positive carbon perturbations and shifts to more non-radiogenic Osi compositions. The earlier short-lived event is interpreted as result of weathering of the surrounding Strand Fiord volcanics causing a local non-radiogenic Osi signal. Coinciding transgressive shorelines let to an increase in marine and terrestrially derived organic matter. Subsequently, injection of mantle-derived basalts into organic rich sediments is credited with causing the release of methane documented in a distinct negative carbon isotope excursion. We speculate that the methane release of the HALIP was an important contribution for rapid global warming caused by increasing atmospheric CO2 levels associated with the OAE2 event likewise recognized in the Sverdrup Basin. As climate cooled in the middle and late Turonian, carbon burial decreased under increasingly oxygenated benthic conditions. Epifaunal foraminiferal species, adapted to low oxygen conditions, persisted during the OAE2. Our Cenomanian to Turonian multiproxy record of the Sverdrup Basin distinguishes between local and global signals within a restricted High Arctic basin. Our results demonstrate the interplay between basin tectonism and sea-level change, increased weathering during transgressive phases, seafloor processes such as hydrothermal activity and methane release and biotic response to a complex paleoceanography. With future reliable dated frameworks this unique polar record will facilitate correlations to other polar basins and records of lower paleolatitudes.

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Earth and Planetary Science Letters
Department of Earth Sciences

Schroder-Adams, C, Herrle, J.O. (Jens O.), Selby, D. (David), Quesnel, A. (Alex), & Froude, G. (Gregory). (2019). Influence of the High Arctic Igneous Province on the Cenomanian/Turonian boundary interval, Sverdrup Basin, High Canadian Arctic. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 511, 76–88. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2019.01.023