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Centre for Earth and Environmental Science Research

Palaeointensity investigation of the Tertiary dyke swarm of Skye, Scotland.

Executive Summary
ResearchersDr A. Garcia
Dr N. Thomas
Funding Body/SourceKingston University
Duration2003 -
Project Summary


Tertiary igneous rocks associated with the North Atlantic Igneous Province (NAIP) are exposed from West Greenland, through the Faeroe Islands to the northwestern margin of the British Isles where the NAIP is referred to as the British Tertiary Igneous province. The NAIP developed over a period between 62Ma - 47Ma (Hald & Tegner, 2000). The main eruptive phase is associated with widespread flood volcanism, occurred between 61Ma and 58Ma (Jolley et al., 2002). This period falls within a key interval (the early Tertiary) of the palaeointensity record which currently lacks palaeointensity data. Therefore, the potential for the NAIP to provide source material for palaeomagnetic investigation is significant. Several palaeomagnetic studies have previously been conducted at various sites across the NAIP, however most focus on palaeodirections (e.g. Riisager and Abrahamsen, 1999; Wilson et al., 1972; 1982). A limited number of palaeointensity investigations (e.g. Riisager et al., 2003) have been carried out, particularly on the Greenland Tertiary lavas. The BITP, whilst it has been the subject of numerous large-scale palaeodirection studies (e.g Wilson et al., 1982) has provided limited palaeointensity data. Thus this project investigated the palaeointensity of dated Tertiary basaltic / doleritic dykes associated with the development of the BITP, cropping out on the Isle of Skye, Scotland


Garcia, A.S., Thomas, D.N., (2005) The intensity of the ancient magnetic field by "Conventional-Thermal" Thellier Method, Study: Selected Tertiary Intrusions from Isle of Skye, Scotland. IAGA July 2005 Conference (Poster Presentation) Toulouse, France. (Abstract, GAI.11, IAGA 2005-A-01025)


Hald, N. and Tegner, C. (2000) Composition and age of tertiary sills and dykes, Jameson Land Basin, East Greenland: relation to regional flood volcanism. Lithos 54 (3-4), 207-233

Jolley, D.W., Clarke, B. and Kelley, S. (2002) Paleogene time scale miscalibration: Evidence from the dating of the North Atlantic igneous province.Geology., 30 (1), 7-10.

Riisager, P. and Abrahamsen, N. (1999) Magnetostratigraphy of Palaeocene basalts from the Vaigat Formation of West Greenland. Geophys. J. Int., 137 (3), 774-782.

Riisager, J., Riisager, P. and Pedersen, A. K. (2003) Paleomagnetism of large igneous provinces: case-study from West Greenland, North Atlantic igneous province. Earth.pPlanet. Sci. Lett., 214 (3-4), 409-425.

Wilson, R.L., Dagley, P. and Adehall, J.M. (1972) Palaeomagnetism of British Tertiary igneous province - Skye lavas. Geophys. J. R.oy. Astron. Soc. 28(3), 285.

Wilson, R. L., Hall, J. M. and Dagley, P. (1982) The British Tertiary igneous province - Paleomagnetism of the dyke swarm along the Sleat coast of Skye. Geophys. J. Roy. Astron. Soc., 68, 317-323.

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