Eruption age of the Sverrefjellet volcano, Spitsbergen Island, Norway

  • Allan H. Treiman
Keywords: Svalbard, Spitsbergen, basalt, Knipovich Ridge, Ar-Ar


Sverrefjellet is a Pleistocene-age basaltic volcanic construct on north-western Spitsbergen Island (Svalbard Archipelago, Norway). Published ages for the Sverrefjellet eruption range between 6000 years and ca. 1 million years before present. The age of the eruption is dated here as 1.05±0.07 (1s) My, consistent with Ar-Ar isochron and plateau ages of several analysed samples. Radiogenic Ar represents a small proportion of the released Ar, < 15% in nearly all samples. Non-radiogenic Ar components include air, excess 40Ar (seen as inverse isochron intercept values > 40Ar/36Ar=295.5), low-temperature alterations (Ar release at low temperature, with high Cl/K), carbonates and zeolites (Ar release at intermediate temperature) and xenolithic material (Ar release at high temperature, high Ca/K). The effects of the largely non-radiogenic argon sources is also seen in the total gas Ar-Ar “ages,” which range from 1.3 – 10.3 My, significantly larger than the inferred eruption age. It is likely that total gas Ar-Ar “ages” and whole-rock K-Ar “ages” of similar basalts also exceed their true eruption ages.

Keywords: Svalbard; Spitsbergen; basalt; Knipovich; Ridge; Ar-Ar

(Published: 2 March 2012)

Citation: Polar Research 2012, 31, 17320, DOI: 10.3402/polar.v31i0.17320

To access the supplementary material to this article please see Supplementary files in the column to the right (under Article Tools)


Download data is not yet available.
How to Cite
Treiman, A. (2012). Eruption age of the Sverrefjellet volcano, Spitsbergen Island, Norway. Polar Research, 31.
Research/review articles