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Keywords:

  • Continental margins: divergent;
  • Oceanic plateaus and microcontinents;
  • Dynamics of lithosphere and mantle;
  • Atlantic Ocean

SUMMARY

In this contribution, we present a model of microcontinent architecture within a system that involves a complex rifted margin setting and different phases of deformation and continental breakup. Our case study is the Jan Mayen Microcontinent (JMMC) located in the central part of the Norwegian–Greenland Sea. We have revised its basement and sedimentary geometries using modern and vintage seismic reflection profiles, and updated potential field data.

The northern part of the JMMC consists of a ∼10–15 km thick continental crust body flanked by two major sedimentary basins. We propose that the microcontinent is divided into six distinct segments, characterized by different basement and sedimentary architectures. The shallow stratigraphy is well imaged and has been detailed. Three distinct sedimentary units have been defined together with pronounced reflectors (JA, Red, JO and F), related to erosional, magmatic, thermal or uplift events. The continent–ocean boundary has been revised together with the mapping of the distinct volcanic events that characterize the evolution of the microcontinent. A companion paper aims to further detail the interpretation of the JMMC structure presented here by constraining the conjugated mid-Norwegian and mid-East Greenland structures.