Neogene stratigraphy and the sedimentary and oceanographic development of the NW European Atlantic margin

Martyn S. Stoker, Daniel Praeg, Berit Oline Hjelstuen, Jan Sverre Laberg, Tove Nielsen, Pat M. Shannon

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114 Citationer (Scopus)

Abstrakt

A regional correlation of Neogene stratigraphy has been attempted along and across the NW European Atlantic continental margin, between Mid-Norway and SW Ireland. Two unconformity-bounded successions are recognised. These are referred to as the lower and upper Neogene successions, and have been dated as Miocene-early Pliocene and early Pliocene-Holocene, respectively, in age. Their development is interpreted to reflect plate-wide, tectonically driven changes in the sedimentary, oceanographic and latterly climatic evolution of the NE Atlantic region. The lower Neogene succession mainly preserves a record of deep-water sedimentation that indicates an expansion of contourite sediment drifts above submarine unconformities, within this succession, on both sides of the eastern Greenland-Scotland Ridge from the mid-Miocene. This is interpreted to record enhanced deep-water exchange through the Faroe Conduit (deepest part of the Southern Gateway), and can be linked to compressive inversion of the Wyville-Thomson Ridge Complex. Thus, a pervasive, interconnected Arctic-North Atlantic deep-water circulation system is a Neogene phenomenon. The upper Neogene succession records a regional change, at about 4 Ma, in the patterns of contourite sedimentation (submarine erosion, new depocentres) coeval with the onset of rapid seaward-progradation of the continental margin by up to 100 km. This build-out of the shelf and slope is inferred to record a marked increase in sediment supply in response to uplift and tilting of the continental margin. Associated changes in deep-water circulation may be part of an Atlantic-wide reorganisation of ocean bottom currents. Glacial sediments form a major component of the prograding shelf margin (shelf-slope) sediment wedges, but stratigraphic data indicate that the onset of progradation pre-dates significant high-latitude glaciation by at least 1 Ma, and expansive Northern Hemisphere glaciation by at least 3 Ma.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
Sider (fra-til)977-1005
Antal sider29
TidsskriftMarine and Petroleum Geology
Vol/bind22
Udgave nummer9-10
DOI
StatusUdgivet - nov. 2005

Programområde

  • Programområde 3: Energiressourcer

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