Palynology of the Triassic–Jurassic transition of the Danish Basin (Denmark): a palynostratigraphic zonation of the Gassum–lower Fjerritslev formations

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The Upper Triassic–Lower Jurassic succession in the Danish Basin is penetrated by many deep wells that were drilled during former hydrocarbon exploration campaigns, but it is today targeted for geothermal energy and storage of CO2. The Stenlille salt dome on Sjælland sandstones of the Gassum Formation, sealed by the overlying Fjerritslev Formation mudstones, has been used for decades as a seasonal storage for natural gas. With its comprehensive dataset of seismics, geophysical well logs and conventional core data from 20 wells, the Stenlille succession serves as a model for other salt domes currently being evaluated as potential CO2 storage sites in the basin. Over the last decade the cored Triassic–Jurassic boundary succession has contributed to the understanding of environmental and palynological events during the end-Triassic mass extinction. Core, sidewall core and cutting samples from several of the closely situated Stenlille wells are here used to establish a high-resolution palynostratigraphic zonation scheme covering the entire Rhaetian to Sinemurian succession by integrating new analyses with previously published data. The palynological dataset has allowed the recognition of nine formally described spore-pollen zones, of which eight are new, while two previously described dinoflagellate cyst zones are subdivided into three informal subzones each. The palynological zonation is integrated with a sequence stratigraphic framework and will form the basis for the dating of future well sections in the Danish Basin and other basins and for correlation to outcrops. The large palynological dataset further shows that the vegetation around the Danish Basin was remarkably stable during the early to middle Rhaetian, but that events related to the emplacement of the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province accelerated ecosystem changes for c. 175 ky in the late Rhaetian and earliest Hettangian, including ∼25 ky of successional recovery before the terrestrial ecosystem had again stabilised.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2241068
Number of pages34
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • biostratigraphy
  • Denmark
  • dinoflagellate cysts
  • Hettangian
  • palynomorphs
  • pollen
  • Rhaetian
  • Sinemurian
  • spores

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 3: Energy Resources


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