Organic geochemistry of an Upper Jurassic – Lower Cretaceous mudstone succession in a narrow graben setting, Wollaston Forland Basin, North-East Greenland

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftArtikelForskningpeer review

5 Citationer (Scopus)


The Oxfordian–Ryazanian was a period of widespread deposition of marine organic-rich mudstones in basins formed during the early phases of the rifting that heralded the formation of the present-day North Atlantic. Occasionally, uninterrupted deposition prevailed for 20 million years or more. Today, mudstones of this time interval are found on the shelves bordering the North Atlantic and adjacent areas from Siberia to the Netherlands. Here, we report data on two fully cored boreholes from Wollaston Forland (North-East Greenland, approx. 74° N), which represent an uninterrupted succession from the upper Kimmeridgian to the Hauterivian. The boreholes record basin development at two different positions within an evolving halfgraben, located at the margin of the main rift, and thus partially detached from it. Although the overall depositional environment remained an oxygen-restricted deep-shelf setting, rifting-related changes can be followed through the succession. The Kimmeridgian was a period of eustatic highstand and records the incipient rifting with a transgressive trend straddling the transition to the lower Volgian by a gradual change from deposits with high levels of total organic carbon (TOC) and kerogen rich in allochthonous organic matter to deposits with lower TOC and a higher proportion of autochthonous organic matter. This is followed by a slight regressive trend with lower TOC and increased proportions of allochthonous organic matter until rifting culminated in the middle Volgian–Ryazanian, indicated by increasing autochthonous organic matter and higher TOC, which prevailed until basin ventilation occurred towards the end of the Ryazanian. The properties of the reactive kerogen fraction remained rather stable irrespective of TOC, underlining the effect of terrigenous matter input for TOC. These variations are also captured by biological markers and stable carbon isotopes. The deposits are very similar to equivalent successions elsewhere in the proto-North Atlantic region, albeit the proportion of terrigenous kerogen is greater.
Antal sider24
TidsskriftGEUS Bulletin
StatusUdgivet - 21 dec. 2023


  • Programområde 3: Energiressourcer