Large-scale, flat-lying mafic intrusions in the Baltican crust and their influence on basement deformation during the Caledonian orogeny

Rodolphe Lescoutre, Bjarne Almqvist, Hemin Koyi, Théo Berthet, Peter Hedin, Olivier Galland, Sonia Brahimi, Henning Lorenz, Christopher Juhlin

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2 Scopus citations


The Fennoscandian Shield in central Sweden displays a complex structural and compositional architecture that is mainly related to the Proterozoic history of the Baltica paleocontinent. In its western parts, the Precambrian basement is covered by the allochthonous rocks of the Caledonide orogen, and direct information about the underlying crust is restricted to a few unevenly distributed basement windows in western Sweden and Norway. In this study, we use preliminary results from the second borehole of the Collisional Orogeny in the Scandinavian Caledonides project (COSC-2), new gravity data, forward gravity, and magnetic modeling and interpretation of seismic reflection profiles to assess the 3-D architecture of the basement. Our results reveal a wide (∼100 km) and dense network of mainly flatlying and saucer-shaped dolerites intruding the volcanic and granitic upper crustal rocks of the Transscandinavian Igneous Belt. Similar intrusion geometries related to 1.2 Ga dolerites can be recognized in the Fennoscandian Shield. We discuss that the formation of these sill complexes occurred in a lithologically and structurally heterogeneous crust during transtension, which is in disagreement with the current understanding of sill emplacement that involves crustal shortening, layering, or anisotropy of the host rock. Our seismic interpretation and the structural observations from the COSC-2 drilling show that part of the Caledonian-related basement deformation was localized along the margins of the dolerite sheets. We propose that the dolerite intrusion geometry, akin to a flat-ramp geometry, guided the basement deformation during the Caledonian orogeny.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)3022-3048
Number of pages27
JournalBulletin of the Geological Society of America
Issue number11-12
StatePublished - Nov 2022


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