The Neoproterozoic (1.0 Ga to 550 Ma) was an interval of dramatic change in global environment. Isotopic evidence indicates major changes in ocean chemistry with several glaciations interspersed with warmer periods as indicated by carbonate deposition to very high latitudes. Environmental changes associated with the break-up of the Rodinia supercontinent, e.g.- the creation of large volumes of continental slope habitat, may have facilitated the development of life on Earth. The rapid development of skeletalised metazoans began during the Cambrian and was followed by one of the most pronounced radiations of marine organisms in the Ordovician. Several fragments of Neoproterozoic crust occur in the circum-Artic region and are thought to have been dispersed during the break-up of Rodinia/Pannotia. The correlation between these fragments and the models for their dispersion however remain controversial.
Sediment provenance investigations using U-Pb dating of minerals like zircon provide information on the age(s) of source material eroded and incorporated into the sediment. As source regions change due to rifting, uplift/erosion of deeper basement, terrane collision, etc., the age profile preserved in the sediment changes. Thus, U-Pb zircon provenance analysis provides an important tool for correlating individual late Precambrian terranes. Further, by comparing detrital U-Pb zircon age profiles with profiles from other terranes, correlations between dismembered components of pre-existing land masses can be made.
We present U-Pb detrital zircon age profiles from the Cambrian Polkorridoren and Vølvedal, and the Silurian Sydgletscher groups of northern Greenland and use this data to assess the source(s) of these sediments. We then explore possible correlation(s) with dispersed circum-Arctic Neoproterozoic fragments.