Evidence for a major sediment input point into the Faroe-Shetland Basin from the Kangerlussuaq region of southern East Greenland

M. Larsen, A.G. Whitham

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingspeer-review

    24 Citations (Scopus)


    Studies of the sedimentary succession in Kangerlussuaq, southern East Greenland suggest that a prominent sediment input point existed in the region in the Late Cretaceous-Palaeogene, which was controlled by a major northwest-southeast-oriented fault lineament. The presence of this sediment transfer path is supported by a number of observations. Firstly, the Cretaceous succession thickens towards the fault. This apparent thickening is due to post-depositional erosion of the succession and indicates a Late Maastrichtian-Palaeogene downthrow to the southwest. Secondly, Palaeogene sediments, which underlie the thick plateau basalt succession, are thickest along the axis of the sub-basin lying west of the fault and show south and southeasterly palaeocurrents parallel to the fault in the Christian IV Gletscher lineament. Thirdly, the Palaeogene volcanic succession shows important changes across the fault lineament. To the east of the lineament subaerial plateau basalts rest directly on basement or Palaeogene fluvial sediments, whereas to the west the basal lavas are interbedded with marine sediments and hyaloclastite foreset breccias up to 300m thick. With a pre-drift position less than 100 kmfrom the present-day Faroe Islands, this new information has an important impact on our understanding of reservoir distribution in the Faroes area. Most models for the Palaeogene infill of the Faroe-Shetland Basin show basinal sands sourced from the Shetland Platform thinning northwestwards. If the Kangerlussuaq region was a major sediment input point then northwestward thickening sand bodies might be anticipated, radically altering the prospectivity of the Palaeogene section in areas towards the Faroe Islands.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationPetroleum Geology: North-West Europe and global perspectives. Proceedings of the 6th Petroleum Geology Conference
    EditorsA.G. Doré, B. Vining
    PublisherGeological Society of London
    Number of pages10
    ISBN (Print)1-86239-164-5
    Publication statusPublished - 2005
    Event6th Petroleum Geology Conference - Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London, United Kingdom
    Duration: 6 Oct 20039 Oct 2003

    Publication series

    SeriesPetroleum Geology Conference Series


    Conference6th Petroleum Geology Conference
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


    • East Greenland
    • Faroe-Shetland Basin
    • Palaeogene
    • Petroleum geology
    • Sedimentary systems
    • Transfer zone

    Programme Area

    • Programme Area 3: Energy Resources


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