The West Greenland Continental Margin

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The West Greenland shelf extends more than 2000 km from south of Kap Farvel to the Kap York/Thule region in the north (~ 59°N–76°N) and is 150–300 km wide (Figure 11.15). The region described here includes the geology in the Labrador Sea, the Davis Strait, the eastern Baffin Bay, and adjacent coastal regions including parts of East Canada. The continental margins bordering West Greenland and Canada include a large number of rifted continental basins, which developed mainly during the Cretaceous to Paleocene. During Paleogene times, the tectonic development was influenced by seafloor spreading when Greenland separated from Canada. Transtensional and compressional tectonics affected many sedimentary basins and structures (Chalmers et al., 1993; Oakey, 2005). During the mid-Paleocene to early Eocene, widespread volcanism occurred. Volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks are found extensively both onshore and offshore between central West Greenland (Nuussuaq Basin area) and Canada (Cape Dyer area) (Chalmers et al, 1993; Skaarup, 2001). Episodic up-lift of the inner shelf and the present coastal margin areas occurred during the Cenozoic (Japsen et al., 2006). During the late Cenozoic, most basins became more tectonically quiescent and the continental margin developed largely through shelf-margin progradation, principally related to re-peated glaciations.
Original languageDanish
Title of host publicationTectonostratigraphic Atlas of the North-East Atlantic region
EditorsJohn R. Hopper, Thomas Funck, Martyn Stoker, Uni Árting, Gwenn Peron-Pinvidic, Hans Doornenbal, Carmen Gaina
Place of PublicationCopenhagen
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)978-87-7871-378-0
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2014


  • Tectonostratigraphy, Atlas of the North-East Atlantic region, West Greenland, Continental Margin

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 3: Energy Resources

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