Orogen Dynamics Team

About the lab

Orogen Dynamics Team gathers researchers and students from both Uppsala University (Sweden) and AGH University of Science and Technology (Kraków, Poland).

Featured projects (1)

Many studies of continental growth and modification have focused on the major phase of growth in the early history of the Earth, but a major goal of our proposed study is to investigate an important, but hitherto little-recognised example of more recent (Phanerozoic) continental growth by accretion in a subduction-collision system – the Caledonian orogen of Scandinavia. Here, crust generated in arcs, back-arcs, fore-arcs and mid-ocean ridges within the Iapetus Ocean has been accreted to the Baltic craton by a combination of arc collisions and final continental collision with Laurentia. The accreted rocks are now preserved in the Köli Nappe Complex (KNC) in Sweden and Norway.

Featured research (15)

Late Neoproterozoic metavolcanic rocks occur along the Southwest coast of Svalbard. The protoliths of the metavolcanic rocks from Wedel Jarlsberg Land and Nordenskiöld Land are mainly diabase, basalt and felsic tuff of tholeiitic affinity associated with continental magmatism. We investigate the magma evolution of the metavolcanic rocks paying particular attention to processes of magma-crust interaction and assess potential sources of crustal contamination. These goals are achieved by employing trace element geochemistry, as well as Sr and Nd isotope geochemistry. Metavolcanic rocks from the South (Orvindalen and Werenskiöldbreen) have higher LREE, LILE and Th compared to rocks from the North (Nordenskiöld Land), which are relatively enriched in Sr. Incompatible element ratios like Th/La, Th/Nb, La/Nb, Th/Yb and Nb/Yb also decrease from South to North. The ¹⁴³Nd/¹⁴⁴Nd(635 Ma) ranges from 0.511396 to 0.512356 and increases from South to North. For Sr isotopes, the metavolcanic rocks show a wide range, however in the South we observe ⁸⁷Sr/⁸⁶Sr(635 Ma) of 0.70407–0.73043 and in the North ⁸⁷Sr/⁸⁶Sr(635 Ma) of 0.70410–0.71028. Energy Constrained – Assimilation and Fractional Crystallization (EC-AFC) modelling indicates that the extent of magma contamination is highest in the South. Additionally the modelling suggests fractional crystallization and assimilation of granulite or amphibolite followed by shale for the metavolcanic rocks in the South and for the North mixtures of carbonate and shale contributed. This geographical pattern of assimilation reflects the upper crustal metasedimentary sequences, where phyllites are common in the South (Orvindalen and Werenskiöldbreen) and carbonates are more common in the North (Nordenskiöld Land). Density contrasts and impermeable layers within the continental crust would likely have acted as barriers to ascending magma, forcing it to stall and providing opportunities for magma-crust interaction.
Preliminary geochemical characteristics of amphibolites and ultramafic rocks of the West Ny-Friesland Terrane, Northern Spitsbergen. The metamorphic Atomfjella Complex of theWest Ny-Friesland Terrane, which belongs to the Eastern Basement Svalbard Province, is composed of four nappes, namely Dirksodden, Nordbreen, Rekvika and Finlandveggen. All these nappes comprise a granitic gneiss basement associated with a metasedimentary cover, both cut by numerous mafic dykes. At the top of the Atomfjella Complex, close to the boundary with the Mosselhalv�ya Group (Nordaustlandet terrane), the lenses of ultramafic rocks also occur. Some authors suggested that they provide evidence for the presence of a deeply rooted, large-scale tectonic boundary between the West Ny-Friesland and Nordaustlandet terranes. The performed geochemical characterization of amphibolites and ultramafic rocks showed that nearly all major elements (except Si and Fe) as well as LILE, have wide compositional ranges and no obvious trends (Bazarnik, Majka, 2021). It is conceivable that the Caledonian metamorphism may have affected K, Na and P, as well as LILE, and caused scatter of Al, Ti, Ca and Fe, and likely Si. The trace and REE elements plots are characterized mainly by trends that probably express the original magmatic processes. However, the elements that clearly deviate from these trends are disturbed due to either metamorphism or crustal assimilation. According to the Th/Yb vs Nb/Yb relationship, the studied rocks indicate generally low influence of crustal contamination, with only 3 samples in the field of MORB-OIB array (Fig. 4B). Besides the higher content of Mg and some other minor differences in chemical composition, the ultramafic rocks exhibit trends similar to that of amphibolites. Based on this aforementioned similarity and the confirmed influence of the Caledonian metamorphism on both groups of rocks, we speculate about the common history of both groups of rocks. Moreover, thanks to the identification of metamorphic alterations in ultramafic rocks, it was proved that these rocks must be pre-Caledonian and, in turn, older than the alleged terrane boundary. Thus, the ultramafic bodies located close to the top of the Atomfjella Complex cannot mark the large terrane boundary and do not provide any evidence of a deeply rooted tectonic zone, but merely the result of ascension from deeper levels of the mantle. Keywords: amphibolites, ultramafites, West Ny-Friesland terrane, Svalbard
Geochronology of Th-rich minerals is advantageous as it allows use of three isotopic systems (i.e., ²⁰⁶Pb/²³⁸U, ²⁰⁷Pb/²³⁵U, and ²⁰⁸Pb/²³²Th) for accurate data assessment. The ²⁰⁸Pb/²³²Th system is especially advantageous in cases where the dated mineral includes an initial Pb component, as ²⁰⁸Pb/²³²Th is the least sensitive to the effects of initial Pb amongst the three systems. This benefit is demonstrated with monazite from a white mica schist of the Tsäkkok Lens, Scandinavian Caledonides, where three distinct generations of Paleozoic monazite (MnzI, Mnz-II, Mnz-III) are recognized and dated using laser ablation inductively coupled mass spectrometry. The generations are interpreted to represent monazite crystallization in high-pressure conditions (MnzI), followed by lower-pressure monazite growth (Mnz-II), and likely dissolution-reprecipitation of the pre-existing monazite (Mnz-III). The results are compared in Tera-Wasserburg, Wetherill, and Th-U-Pb concordia space for each monazite generation. In both Tera-Wasserburg and Wetherill space, the data are all discordant and indicate an initial Pb component in the monazite. The trend and magnitude of discordance due to initial Pb in Mnz-I and Mnz-II is generally controlled by UO2 content of the monazite, with higher UO2 equating to greater radiogenic Pb and a dampening of the initial Pb effect, which is most prominent in the ²⁰⁷Pb/²³⁵U system. For the same generations, initial Pb discordance of ²⁰⁶Pb/²³⁸U versus ²⁰⁸Pb/²³²Th is less apparent due to the insensitivity of ²⁰⁸Pb/²³²Th. Mnz-III does not follow the initial Pb trends, likely due to disturbance of the chemical and isotopic systems during recrystallization. Additional discordance in Mnz-I and Mnz-II, which is not related to initial Pb, is recognized and increases with actinide content. The additional discordance may be due to Pb-mobilization in Mnz-I and Mnz-II domains and is revealed when utilizing the ²⁰⁸Pb/²³²Th system due to its insensitivity to initial Pb effects. Consequently, relying only on the UPb systems can lead to significant initial Pb overcorrections in Tera-Wasserburg or Wetherill concordia space and to calculations of erroneously young concordia dates. The Th-U-Pb concordia method, incorporating all three systems, does not require an initial Pb correction and, therefore, can account for the additional discordance. The Th-U-Pb concordia dates are interpretated as accurate crystallization ages for Mnz-I (484.7 ± 1.1 Ma, MSWD: 1.4) and Mnz-II (474.7 ± 1.2 Ma, MSWD: 1.9). The timing for Mnz-III formation is not well-resolved as it formed via result of dissolution-reprecipitation of the pre-existing monazite, likely under lower amphibolite- to greenschist-facies conditions.
The Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, Norway, plays an important role in tectonic reconstructions of the Cambrian–Devonian Caledonian orogen in the North Atlantic and circum-Arctic regions. To elucidate the Proterozoic geological history of the Southwestern Basement Province of Svalbard and place its origin and displacement history in the context of regional tectono-stratigraphic events, we present new geological mapping, stratigraphic assignments, carbonate carbon (δ¹³Ccarb) and strontium (⁸⁷Sr/⁸⁶Sr) isotope chemostratigraphy, and detrital/igneous zircon U-Pb geochronology coupled with Hf isotope geochemistry from Neoproterozoic rocks exposed in southwestern Spitsbergen. The examined metasedimentary successions include a Tonian mixed carbonate-siliciclastic succession (the Nordbukta/Deilegga groups) that is regionally truncated by a Cryogenian (<650 Ma) angular unconformity (the Torellian unconformity), the age of which is confirmed herein by field relationships and re-analysis of previously reported detrital monazite data. New detrital zircon U-Pb data from the Nordbukta Group yield ca. 1030–1170, 1280–1400, 1430–1510, and 1580–1680 Ma age populations that are typical of North Atlantic (e.g., North and East Greenland, Scotland, and the Scandinavian Caledonides) Mesoproterozoic-Neoproterozoic sedimentary successions. Overlying Cryogenian–Ediacaran strata of the Sofiebogen, Dunderbukta, and Kapp Lyell (Bellsund) groups record rift-related sedimentation and host chemostratigraphic data that provide ties to the ca. 640(?)–635 Ma Marinoan snowball Earth glaciation. Detrital zircon U-Pb data from the Cryogenian Slyngfjellet, Jens Erikfjellet, and Konglomeratfjellet formations yield similar age spectra to the underlying Nordbukta and Deilegga groups, while younger Ediacaran strata of the Höferpynten and Gåshamna formations record a prominent shift to bimodal ca. 1850 and 2850 Ma U-Pb age populations. Integrating these data with previously published geochemical and geochronological datasets from Svalbard and other circum-Arctic Mesoproterozoic–Neoproterozoic successions, we propose that the Southwestern Basement Province represents a composite terrane composed of multiple peri-Baltican (Wedel Jarlsberg-Oscar II, Berzeliuseggene-Eimfjellet, and Prins Karls Forland terranes) and peri-Laurentian (Hornsund terrane) crustal fragments that were likely initially juxtaposed and/or amalgamated during the Caledonian orogeny. These terranes were subsequently complexly deformed and modified during the younger Devonian-Carboniferous Ellesmerian and Paleogene-Eocene Eurekan orogenic events that affected western Svalbard.

Lab head

Jaroslaw Majka
About Jaroslaw Majka
  • My research is primarily focused on collisional orogens. I am currently working at both Uppsala University (Sweden) and AGH University of Science and Technology (Poland).

Members (14)

Simon Cuthbert
  • AGH University of Science and Technology in Kraków
Iwona Klonowska
  • AGH University of Science and Technology in Kraków
Karolina Kośmińska
  • AGH University of Science and Technology in Kraków
Jakub Bazarnik
  • Polish Geological Institute - National Research Institute
Katarzyna Walczak
  • AGH University of Science and Technology in Kraków
Michał Bukała
  • Polish Academy of Sciences
Christopher J. Barnes
  • Polish Academy of Sciences
Grzegorz Ziemniak
  • University of Wroclaw