Paleomagnetism, magnetic anisotropy and U-Pb baddeleyite geochronology of the early Neoproterozoic Blekinge-Dalarna dolerite dykes, Sweden

Zheng Gong, David A.D. Evans, Sten Åke Elming, Ulf Söderlund, Johanna M. Salminen

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Paleogeographic proximity of Baltica and Laurentia in the supercontinent Rodinia has been widely accepted. However, robust paleomagnetic poles are still scarce, hampering quantitative tests of proposed relative positions of the two cratons. A recent paleomagnetic study of the early Neoproterozoic Blekinge-Dalarna dolerite (BDD) dykes in Sweden provided a 946–935 Ma key pole for Baltica, but earlier studies on other BDD dykes discerned large variances in paleomagnetic directions that appeared to indicate more complicated motion of Baltica, or alternatively, unusual geodynamo behavior in early Neoproterozoic time. We present combined paleomagnetic, rock magnetic, magnetic fabric and geochronological studies on BDD dykes in the Dalarna region, southern Sweden. Positive baked-contact and paleosecular variation tests support the reliability of the 951–935 Ma key pole (Plat = −2.6°N, Plon = 239.6°E, A95 = 5.8° N = 12 dykes); and the ancient magnetic field was likely a stable geocentric axial dipole at that time, based on a positive reversal test. Detailed analysis of the 947 Ma Nornäs dyke, one of the dykes previously showing anomalous directions, suggests a partial viscous remagnetization. Therefore, the observed large variances in nearly coeval BDD dykes are suspected to result from present-day overprints that were not adequately removed in earlier studies. In addition, we obtained a 971 Ma virtual geomagnetic pole (Plat = −27.0°N, Plon = 230.4°E, A95 = 14.9° N = 4 dykes) for Baltica. Comparing similar-aged poles from Laurentia, we suggest that Baltica and Laurentia drifted together from high to low latitude between 970–960 Ma and 950–935 Ma, and returned back to high latitude by 920–870 Ma. In this scenario, the apparent polar wander paths of Baltica and Laurentia may be more complicated than the previously proposed, solitary Sveconorwegian and Grenville loops. The new U-Pb baddeleyite ages do not support BDD dykes as a giant circumferential swarm generated by a mantle plume, and the prolonged timespan of dyke intrusion is likely associated with the plate boundary forces as causing gravitational extension at the waning stage of the Sveconorwegian orogeny.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-32
Number of pages19
JournalPrecambrian Research
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Oct 1

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Geology


  • Baltica
  • Blekinge-Dalarna dolerite (BDD) dykes
  • Magnetic anisotropy
  • Paleomagnetism
  • Sveconorwegian loop
  • U-Pb baddeleyite geochronology


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