Publication Type:Journal Article
The terminal Mesoproterozoic was a period of widespread tectonic convergence globally, culminating in the amalgamation of the Rodinia supercontinent. However, in Laurentia, long-lived orogenesis on its eastern margin was punctuated by short-lived extension that generated the Midcontinent Rift ca. 1110–1090 Ma. Whereas this cratonic rift basin is typically considered an isolated occurrence, a series of new depositional ages demonstrate that multiple cratonic basins in northern Laurentia originated around this time. We present a Re-Os isochron date of 1087.1 ± 5.9 Ma from organic-rich shales of the Agu Bay Formation of the Fury and Hecla Basin, which is one of four closely spaced cratonic basins spanning from northeastern Canada to northwestern Greenland known as the Bylot basins. This age is identical, within uncertainty, to ages from the Midcontinent Rift and the Amundsen Basin in northwestern Canada. These ages imply that the late Mesoproterozoic extensional episode in Laurentia was widespread and likely linked to a common origin. We propose that significant thermal anomalies and mantle upwelling related to supercontinent assembly centered around the Midcontinent Rift influenced the reactivation of crustal weaknesses in Arctic Laurentia beginning ca. 1090 Ma, triggering the formation of a series of cratonic basins.