Jurassic stratigraphy of East Greenland

Finn Surlyk, Peter Alsen, Morten Bjerager, Gregers Dam, Michael Engkilde, Carina Fabricius Hansen, Michael Larsen, Nanna Noe-Nygaard, Stefan Piasecki, Jens Therkelsen, Henrik Vosgerau

    Research output: Book/ReportBookResearchpeer-review

    19 Citations (Scopus)


    The East Greenland Rift Basin comprises a series of Jurassic subbasins with different crustal configurations, and somewhat different tectonic histories and styles. The roughly N-S elongated basin is exposed in central and northern East Greenland over a length of more than 600 km and a width of up to 250 km. The southernmost exposures are found in the largest subbasin in Jameson Land, while the northernmost exposures are on Store Koldewey and in Germania Land. The focus of the present revision is on the Jurassic, but the uppermost Triassic and lowermost Cretaceous successions are included as they are genetically related to the Jurassic succession. The whole succession forms an overall transgressive-regressive megacycle with the highest sea level and maximum transgression in the Kimmeridgian. The latest Triassic - Early Jurassic was a time of tectonic quiescence in East Greenland. Lower Jurassic deposits are up to about 950 m thick and are restricted to Jameson Land and a small down-faulted outlier in southernmost Liverpool Land. The Lower Jurassic succession forms an overall stratigraphic layer-cake package that records a shift from Rhaetian-Sinemurian fluvio-lacustrine to Pliensbachian - early Bajocian mainly shallow marine sedimentation. Onset of rifting in the late Bajocian resulted in complete reorganisation of basin configuration and drainage patterns, and the depositional basin expanded far towards the north. Post-lower Bajocian early-rift deposits are up to about 500-600 m thick and are exposed in Jameson Land, Liverpool Land, Milne Land, Traill Ø, Geographical Society Ø, Hold with Hope, Clavering Ø, Wollaston Forland, Kuhn Ø, Th. Thomsen Land, Hochstetter Forland, Store Koldewey and Germania Land. Upper Jurassic rift-climax strata reach thicknesses of several kilometres and are exposed in the same areas with the exception of Liverpool Land and Germania Land. In the southern part of the basin, the upper Bajocian - Kimmeridgian succession consists of stepwise backstepping units starting with shallow marine sandstones and ending with relatively deep marine mudstones in some places with sandy gravity-flow deposits and injectites. In the Jameson Land and Milne Land Subbasins, the uppermost Jurassic - lowermost Cretaceous (Volgian-Ryazanian) succession consists of forestepping stacked shelf-margin sandstone bodies with associated slope and basinal mudstones and mass-flow sandstones. North of Jameson Land, block-faulting and tilting began in the late Bajocian and culminated in the middle Volgian with formation of strongly tilted fault blocks, and the succession records continued stepwise deepening. In the Wollaston Forland - Kuhn Ø area, the Volgian is represented by a thick wedge of deep-water conglomerates and pebbly sandstones passing basinwards into mudstones deposited in fault-attached slope aprons and coalescent submarine fans. The lithostratigraphic scheme established mainly in the 1970s and early 1980s is here revised on the basis of work undertaken over subsequent years. The entire Jurassic succession, including the uppermost Triassic (Rhaetian) and lowermost Cretaceous (Ryazanian-Hauterivian), forms the Jameson Land Supergroup. The supergroup is subdivided into the Kap Stewart, Neill Klinter, Vardekløft, Hall Bredning, and Wollaston Forland Groups, which are subdivided into 25 formations and 48 members. Many of these are revised, and 3 new formations and 14 new members are introduced.

    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherDe Nationale Geologiske Undersøgelser for Danmark og Grønland
    Number of pages116
    Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 2021

    Publication series

    SeriesGEUS Bulletin


    • East Greenland
    • Jurassic
    • Lowermost Cretaceous
    • Siliciclastic sediments
    • Stratigraphy
    • Uppermost Triassic

    Programme Area

    • Programme Area 3: Energy Resources


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