Basin evolution at the Norwegian-Greenland conjugate margins in the NE Atlantic

Category Petroleum Geology
Group GSI.IR
Location International Geological Congress,oslo 2008
Author Faleide, Jan Inge۱; Tsikalas, Filippos۲; Breivik, Asbjّrn Johan۱; Mjelde, Rolf۳; Ritzmann, Oliver۱; Engen, طyvind۱; Wilson, Jonas۴; Eldholm, Olav۳
Holding Date 03 September 2008

Detailed studies of the continental margins off Norway, Greenland and the Barents Sea have revealed a series of Late Mesozoic-Cenozoic rift phases reflecting the main plate tectonic episodes in the North Atlantic-Arctic breakup of Pangea. Each rift phase is related to the northward propagation of North Atlantic sea floor spreading, which finally reached the incipient Norwegian-Greenland Sea in early Tertiary times. Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous rifting was a dominant, composite tectonic episode which gave rise to prominent NE-trending structures in the NE Atlantic. Following rifting, a wide region subsided and was covered by thick Cretaceous strata. Aptian-?Albian rifting is documented locally off mid-Norway, onshore East Greenland and in the SW Barents Sea. A distinct Late Cretaceous rift event, with onset in middle Campanian, is documented on the conjugate mid-Norway and East Greenland continental margins, and is characterised by large-scale normal faulting and locally by low-angle detachment faulting within thick Cretaceous strata. The Late Cretaceous rifting between Norway and Greenland was taken up within the De Geer Zone by down-faulting in a pull-apart setting.
The rifting culminated in crustal breakup and accretion of oceanic crust near the Paleocene-Eocene transition, accompanied by large-scale igneous activity associated with the North Atlantic Large Igneous Province. Passive rifted margins developed off mid-Norway and central East Greenland, and along the northern Barents Sea during opening of the Norwegian-Greenland Sea and Eurasia Basin, respectively. The western Barents Sea-Svalbard and NE Greenland margins developed as predominantly sheared margins. The entire margin exhibits a well-defined along-strike segmentation. The continent-ocean transition is confined within a narrow zone at the sheared margin segments, but is more obscure and partly masked by volcanics at the rifted segments. Following breakup, the subsiding margins experienced modest sedimentation until late Pliocene when large wedges of glacial sediments prograded along the continental margins.

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