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Abstracts

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Abstracts

Balkwill, H.R. 1987.

Title: Labrador Basin: structural and stratigraphic style.

Abstract: Labrador Basin is an immense structural and topographic trough with a broad, deep oceanic basement floor of Late Cretasceous to middle Tertiary age. The basin floor is separated from high-standing North American and Greenland continental domains of old Precambrian crystalline rocks by the cratonic monocline, a narrow zone of variably extended, rifted, subsided cratonic basement.
   Brittle, upper lithospheric extension of the cratonic monocline was achieved across an articulated array of large and small basement normal faults. Some of these faults may have been reactivated Precambrian–age faults of other dynamic origin. The cratonic monocline contains unconnected, fault-bounded wedges of Lower Cretaceous and lower Upper Cretaceous, syn-rift terrigenous clastics, and some basalt.
   A very thick, post-rift, seaward-prograding, continental terrace prism of Upper Cretaceous and Cenozoic terrigenous clastics oversteps the cratonic monocline in both landward and seaward directions. The terrace prism is divisible into two parts: An Upper Cretaceous – Upper Eocene megasequence deposited during active sea-floor generation in central Labrador Basin; and an Oligocene-Quaternary megasequence deposited after ocean floor spreading. The dominantly fine grained clastics of the drift-phase megasequence were probably derived from widespread erosion of central Canada. Much coarser clastics of the upper part of the post-drift megasequence were eroded from basement rocks of the Labrador margin during and following robust late Tertiary coastal uplift.
Some segments of the shelf extended slightly in middle and late Tertiary, prompting detachment and structural adjustment within the terrace prism cover rocks.

Published in: Beaumont, C. & Tankard, A.J. (eds) Sedimentary basins and basin-forming mechanisms. Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists Memoir, 12, 17–43.


Balkwill, H.R., McMillan, N.J., MacLean, B., Williams, G.L. & Srivastava, S.P. 1990.

Title: Geology of the Labrador Shelf, Baffin Bay and Davis Strait.

Abstract: The Labrador Basin is an immense, oval tectonic depression in the southern part of the zone of extended cratonic and oceanic crust that connects the Atlantic and Arctic ocean basins. (Fig. 7.1). The basin has topographically high, incised, glaciated rims of crystalline Precambrian rocks, which form the coastal margins of Labrador, southern Baffin Island and West Greenland. A wide expanse of deeply subsided oceanic crust, with an uneven basement surface, forms the floor of the basin. A narrow zone of differentially extended, faulted, seaward-inclined, cratonic basement separates the coastal basin rims from the oceanic basement floor.
   Labrador Basin contains about four million cubic kilometres of Cretaceous, Tertiary, and Quaternary terrigenous clastic sediments. About half of this material comprises terrace prisms along the Labrador and Greenland cratonic margins; most of this is along the Labrador margin. The other half forms a thick blanket on the deep oceanic basement floor. These clastic sediments were derived from widespread erosion of central Canada, and local erosion of coastal uplands during late Phanerozoic separation of the North American and Greenland crustal plates, and subsidence of the oceanic realm that was generated between them.
   Part 1 deals mainly with the upper Phanerozoic rocks comprising the shelf and slope sedimentary prism along the Canadian (Labrador) margin of the Labrador Basin. Except for isolated small outcrops of Lower Cretaceous sediments on Ford's Bight, southern Labrador (King and McMillan, 1975), all of the terrace prism is concealed by the waters of the Labrador Sea. As a consequence, the subsurface geology is interpreted mainly from 31, exploratory wells drilled by the Canadian petroleum industry, and a regional seismic grid of about 80 000 line kilometres of multi-channel reflection seismic data acquired for petroleum exploration.

Published in: Keen, M. J. & Williams, G. L. (eds) Geology of the continental margins of eastern Canada. Geology of Canada, 2, 293–348.


Bate, K.J. 1995.

Title: Pressure indicators from the sedimentary basins of West Greenland.

Abstract: Drilling results of the five offshore wells suggest that the offshore southern West Greenland Basin is an area of generally normal pressure, with only limited evidence for overpressured units. The predominance of sandy or coarse clastic lithologies within the Upper Tertiary succession precludes the generation of overpressure and allows the basin as a whole to attain equalised pore pressure. However, in two of the wells, Kangâmiut-1 and Ikermiut-1, mudstones of Paleocene and Eocene age have pore pressures above hydrostatic pressure. The onset of abnormal pressures in these wells corresponds to an increase in the source potential of the mudstones, It can be concluded that the Paleocene and Cretaceous successions in the basin are likely to be overpressured where they conform to the top of the oil generative window.

Published in: Grønlands Geologiske Undersøgelse Open File Series, 95/13, 39 pp.


Bate, K.J. 1997.

Title: Interpretation of the basal section of well Kangâmiut-1, offshore southern West Greenland.

Abstract: The well Kangâmiut-1 is the only well that was drilled offshore West Greenland during the 1970s that has intersected a possible reservoir below a seal and in which the presence of hydrocarbons has been recorded. Measures to control overpressured formations may have lead to the excessive invasion of the reservoir by drilling fluids which may be all that was recovered during a Drill Stem Test. There are different interpretations of the reservoir section of the well which have important implications as to the prospectivity of both the Kangâmiut Ridge and the West Greenland Basin. The interpretation presented here suggests that the reservoir section consists of a syn-tectonic fan, comprising boulder size clasts of altered and kaolintic basement which experienced probable minimal transport, deposited on the western flank of the Kangämiut Ridge. This interpretation along with a re-evaluation of the drilling and testing results suggests that the prospectivity of the Kangâmiut Ridge was not successfully evaluated by the well.

Published in: Danmarks og Grønlands Geologiske Undersøgelse Rapport, 1997/76, 26 pp.


Bojesen-Kofoed, J.A., Christiansen, F.G., Nytoft, H.P. & Pedersen, A.K. 1999.

Title: Oil seepage onshore West Greenland: evidence of multiple source rocks and oil mixing

Abstract: Widespread oil seepage and staining are observed in lavas and hyaloclastites in the lower part of the volcanic succession on northwestern Disko and western Nuussuaq, central West Greenland. Chemical analyses suggest the existence of several petroleum systems in the underlying Cretaceous and Paleocene fluvio–deltaic to marine sediments. Seepage and staining commonly occur within vesicular lava flow tops, and are often associated with mineral veins (mostly carbonates) in major fracture systems.
   Organic geochemical analyses suggest the existence of at least five distinct oil types: (1) a waxy oil which, on the basis of the presence of abundant angiosperm biological markers, is interpreted as generated from Paleocene mudstones (the ‘Marraat type‘); (2) a waxy oil, probably generated from coals and shales of the Cretaceous Atane Formation (the ‘Kuugannguaq type‘); (3) a low to moderately waxy oil containing 28,30-bisnorhopane, and abundant C27-diasteranes and regular steranes (the ‘Itilli type‘), possibly generated from presently unknown Cenomanian–Turonian marine mudstones; (4) a low wax oil of marine, possibly lagoonal/saline lacustrine origin, containing ring-A methylated steranes and a previously unknown series of extended 28-norhopanes (the ‘Eqalulik type‘); (5) a waxy oil with biological marker characteristics different from both the Kuugannguaq and Marraat oil types (the ‘Niaqornaarsuk type‘), probably generated from Campanian mudstones.
  The presence of widespread seepage and staining originating from several source rocks is encouraging for exploration in basins both on- and offshore western Greenland, where the existence of prolific source rocks has previously been the main exploration risk.

Published in: Fleet, A.J. & Boldy, S.A.R. (eds) Petroleum Geology of Northwest Europe: Proceedings of the 5th Conference. Geological Society, London, 305-314.


Chalmers, J.A. 1991.

Title: New evidence on the structure of the Labrador Sea/Greenland continental margin.

Abstract: A 275 km section of a regional seismic reflection profile from the Greenland side of the Labrador Sea has been reprocessed and interpreted. Three zones of different structural style have been identified, the innermost of which is block-faulted. Magnetic modelling based on the seismic line shows that sea-floor spreading anomalies are confined to the outermost zone and the oldest identified anomaly is 27N. All attempts to model the area landward of anomaly 27N as a series of remanent magnetizations of alternating polarity failed. However a model in which the innermost zone is interpreted as extended and block-faulted continental crust and the intermediate zone as continental crust intruded and overlain by reversely magnetized igneous material fits the magnetic and seismic data. It is concluded that, at least in the northern Labrador Sea, sea-floor spreading started in Palaeocene times (chron 27), and large areas formerly thought to be underlain by oceanic crust should now be considered to be continental. One plate kinematic consequence may be a reduced need to postulate large strike-slip movements along Nares Strait.

Published in: Journal of the Geological Society of London, 148, 899–908.


Chalmers, J. A. 1992.

Title: The nature of the basal section in the Kangâmiut-1 well, offshore West Greenland

Abstract: Offshore southern West Greenland was the scene of a short-lived period of exploration for petroleum during the 1970‘s. Between 1970 and 1977 about 40.000 km of seismic data were acquired and five exploration wells were drilled in 1976 and 1977, all of them dry. All concessions were relinquished by 1979.
   The Geological Survey of Greenland is currently engaged in a reassessment of the shelf between 63°N and 68°N, principally by applying seismic stratigraphy techniques to the interpretation of the seismic data and by reviewing the well data. This work has already shown that all of the prospects drilled in the 1970‘s were in some way defective as traps for hydrocarbons.
   It is now evident from the seismic data that thick (up to about 2 km) pre-Tertiary sedimentary sequences exist on parts of the shelf. Only the uppermost parts of these sediments have been penetrated, and these in only two of the wells. By extrapolating the temperature gradients measured in the wells and the curves for vitrinite reflectance and T(max) plotted against depth, it can be shown that any potential source rocks that might be present in the deeper parts of these sequences are likely to be in the oil window. Tilted and eroded fault blocks containing these sequences can be identified on the seismic data. These structures appear quite different from those tested by the wells and are in a different part of the basin.
   It is concluded that the southern West Greenland shelf was not completely explored in the 1970‘s and that untested hydrocarbon exploration possibilities remain.

Published in: Grønlands Geologiske Undersøgelse Open File Series 92/9.


Chalmers, J.A. 2000.

Title: Offshore evidence for Neogene uplift in central West Greenland.

Abstract: Multi-channel seismic lines off southern and central West Greenland show a >3 km thick sedimentary section of mid-Eocene and younger age that dips seaward and is truncated either at the sea-bed or by an erosional unconformity a short distance below the sea-bed. This pattern indicates that there has been uplift and erosion of the section and probably of the nearby landmass. The timing of the uplift is not well constrained by borehole data, but certainly took place after the Early Eocene, probably during the Neogene and possibly as late as the onset of glaciation in West Greenland in the Early Pliocene. The uplift took place substantially later than the cessation of magmatism in the Early Eocene and the abrupt slowing or cessation of sea-floor spreading in the Labrador Sea between Chrons 20 and 13 (mid- to Late Eocene). This means that, whatever the cause of the uplift, it is unlikely to be directly related to processes either of magmatic emplacement or sea-floor spreading.

Published in: Global and Planetary Change, 24, 311–318.


Chalmers, J.A., Gregersen, U., Dalhoff, F., Nøhr-Hansen, H., Rasmussen, J.A. & Sheldon, E. 2001.

Titel: Stratigraphy, seismic sequences and depositional evolution of the Paleocene - Eocene Succession, offshore southern West Greenland.

Abstract: The new interpretations of data from the boreholes and reflection seismic data offshore southern West Greenland have been used to delineate 28 seismic sequences within the Paleocene to mid-Eocene interval. The package of sequences is bounded above and below by major regioanl unconformities. Dinoflagellate cyst, microfossil and nannoplankton stratigraphies and palaeoenvironmental interpretations and a revised lithostratigraphy have been established from the 5 wells drilled offshore southern west Greenland during the 1970s, and results from the Qulleq-1, which was drilled during 2000 and became publically available during the early part of 2001, have been used to check the interpretations in the southern part of the area. The well data have been combined with the seismic stratigraphy to establish new palaeoenvironmental and sedimentological interpretations of the intervals of Paleocene to middle Eocene age. The results show that the area offshore southern West Greenland was subject to major uplift and erosion during the Danian when latest Cretaceous sediments were removed. Sedimentation restarted in the late Danian, coevally with major volcanism in central West Greenland and the start of sea-floor spreading in the Labrador Sea. Late Paleocene sediments were deposited in a predominantly extensional tectonic environment. The extensional stresses continued in most areas during the early Eocene, but in the northern and northwestern part of the basins, a transtensional system developed along the strike-slip faults that transferred sea-floor spreading movements between the Labrador Sea and Baffin Bay. Sediment input to the basins was predominantly from the north, possibly from a major river system flowing out of central Greenland. Lesser amounts of sediment came from the east, from the mainland of Greenland, and minor amounts from the west. The thickness of total sediment decreases substantially from north to south. The sediments were deposited in environments that ranged from fresh-water/marginal marine to upper bathyal. Proximal environments are probably generally sand-prone, but distal environments probably contain larger amounts of mud, some of which could contain a mature source rock for oil. Basin-floor fans, syn-tectonic wedges and turbidite channel complexes, that could act as hydrocarbon reservoirs sealed by surrounding muds, have been identified in the distal parts of many of the seismic sequences.

Published in: Danmarks og Grønlands Geologiske Undersøgelse Rapport, 2001/103, 15pp + 5 Appendices.



Chalmers, J.A. & Laursen, K.H. 1995.

Title: Labrador Sea: the extent of continental crust and the timing of the start of sea-floor spreading.

Abstract: Regional reflection seismic profiles across the Labrador Sea originally acquired in 1977 have been reprocessed and reinterpreted. Zones of different structural style have been identified. The seismic interpretations haven been used to constrain magnetic modelling and oceanic crust has been confirmed from magnetic anomaly 27N and seaward. However, all attempts to model the area landward of magnetic anomaly 27N as a series of remanent magnetizations of alternating polarity have failed. Interpretations which fit the magnetic and seismic data consist of a zone of block-faulted and subsided continental crust on both the Greenland and Canadian sides, which is separated from oceanic crust by zones of continental crust intruded by and in places overlain by magnetized igneous material. It is concluded that seafloor spreading started in the Labrador Sea in the Palaeocene (Chron 27N) and that large areas under deep water formerly thought to be underlain by oceanic crust should now be considered to be continental.

Published in: Marine and Petroleum Geology, 12, 205–217.


Chalmers, J.A. & Pulvertaft, T.C.R. 1993.

Title: The southern West Greenland continental shelf–was petroleum exploration abandoned prematurely?

Abstract: Offshore southern West Greenland was the scene of a short-lived period of exploration for petroleum during the 1970s. Between 1970 and 1977 about 40.000 km of seismic data were acquired and five exploration wells were drilled in 1976 and 1977, all of them dry. All concessions were relinquished by 1979.
   The Geological Survey of Greenland is currently engaged in a reassessment of the shelf between 63°N and 68°N, principally by applying seismic stratigraphy techniques to the interpretation of the seismic data and by reviewing the well data. This work has already shown that all of the prospects drilled in the 1970‘s were in som way defective as traps for hydrocarbons.
   It is now evident from the seismic data that thick (up to about 2 km) pre-Tertiary sedimentary sequences exist on parts of the shelf. Only the uppermost parts of these sediments have been penetrated, and these in only two of the wells. By extrapolating the temperature gradients measured in the wells and the curves for vitrinite reflectance and T(max) plotted against depth, it can be shown that any potential source rocks that might be present in the deeper parts of these sequences are likely to be in the oil window. Tilted and eroded fault blocks containing these sequences can be identified on the seismic data. These structures appear quite different from those tested by the wells and are in a different part of the basin.
   It is concluded that the southern West Greenland shelf was not completely explored in the 1970‘s and that untested hydrocarbon exploration possibilities remain.

Published in: Vorren, T.O. et  al. (eds) Arctic geology and petroleum potential. Norsk Petroleums Forening Special Publication, 2, 55–66.


Chalmers, J.A. & Pulvertaft, T.C.R. 2001.

Title: Development of the continental margins of the Labrador Sea – a review

Abstract: The Labrador Sea is a small oceanic basin that developed when the North American and Greenland plates separated. An initial period of stretching in the Early Cretaceous formed sedimentary basins now preserved under the continental shelves and around the margins of the oceanic crust. The basins subsided thermally during the Late Cretaceous and a second episode of tectonism took place during the latest Cretaceous and early Palaeocene, prior to the onset of sea-floor spreading in the mid-Palaeocene. Around the northern Labrador Sea, Davis Strait and in southern Baffin Bay, voluminous picrites and basalts were erupted at and shortly after the commencement of sea-floor spreading. Volcanism occurred again in the early Eocene at the same time as sea-floor spreading commenced in the northern North Atlantic. Farther southeast, along the Labrador and southern West Greenland margins, oceanic crust is separated from continental crust by highly stretched but non-magmatic transition zones which developed prior to sea-floor spreading. A complex transform zone, which developed during sea-floor spreading in the late Palaeocene and early Eocene, separates continental and oceanic crust along the Baffin Island margin. The Greenland and Labrador ocean–continent transitions are asymmetric across the only available conjugate cross-sections. However, a cross-section through the Labrador margin farther north resembles the Greenland cross-section in the conjugate pair more than it does the Labrador cross-section of this pair. Consideration of the geological history of the area suggests that the non-magmatic transition zones may have formed by slow extension of a few millimetres per year through a period of 53 million years during the Cretaceous and early Palaeocene.

Published in: Wilson, R.C.L., Whitmarsh, R.B., Taylor, B. & Froitzheim, N. (eds) Non-Volcanic Rifting of Continental Margins: A comparison of Evidence from Land and Sea. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 187, 77–105.


Chalmers, J.A, Pulvertaft, T.C.R., Christiansen, F.G., Larsen, H.C., Laursen, K.H. & Ottesen, T.G. 1993.

Title: The southern West Greenland continental margin: rifting history, basin development, and petroleum potential.

Abstract: The development of the continental margin of West Greenland is closely related to the processes that led to the opening of the Labrador Sea. The opening of the Labrador Sea began in the Early Paleocene (anomaly 27N), and not in the Late Cretaceous as previously supposed. Modelling of magnetic data and new interpretation of seismic data indicate that a large area previously regarded as underlain by oceanic crust is in fact underlain by block-faulted continental crust overlain by syn- and post-rift sedimentary sequences. The ocean-continent transition is now placed 100-150 km southwest of the foot of the continental slope instead of at the foot of this slope. Rifting in the Labrador Sea area began, however, in the Early Cretaceous. The earliest sediments are the syn-rift lower and upper members of the Bjarni Formation on the Labrador shelf and their likely equivalents, the pre- to syn-rift Kitsissut and Appat sequences on the Greenland margin. The age of these units is Barremian (or older) to Albian. The units are overlain by widespread mudstone-dominated units, the Markland Formation of the Labrador shelf and the Kangeq Sequence on the Greenland margin. The former is Cenomanian-Danian in age. By analogy the base of the Kangeq Sequence is probably Cenomanian (or Turonian), while the top is known from well ties to be at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary. Rifting was subdued during deposition of these mudstone units. Rifting was renewed in the Early Paleocene, and mudstones, siltstones and very fine sandstones were deposited. With the initiation of sea-floor spreading there was considerable igneous activity at the ocean–continent transition, as well as in the onshore area where picrites followed by plagioclase-porphyritic basalts were erupted. After the end of the Paleocene there was little rifting in the region, but compressional structures were formed locally as a response to transpression related to strike-slip movements that transferred plate motion from the Labrador Sea to Baffin Bay. A marked Early Oligocene unconformity separates the syn-drift Paleocene-Eocene succession from the post-drift middle Oligocene-Quaternary sediments. Sediments deposited since the Paleocene are dominated by sands. The main hydrocarbon play types offshore West Greenland are related to tilted fault blocks. Source rocks are anticipated near the base of the Kangeq Sequence, which is also the seal, and reservoirs are sandstones in the Appat and Kitsissut sequences. These two sequences were not reached by any of the exploration wells drilled in the 1970s.

Published in: Parker, J.R. (ed.) Petroleum Geology of Northwest Europe: Proceedings of the 4th Conference. Geological Society, London, 915–931.


Chalmers, J.A., Dahl-Jensen, T., Bate, K.J. & Whittaker, R.C. 1995.

Title: Geology and petroleum prospectivity of the region offshore southern West Greenland - a summary.

Abstract: Since 1987, the Geological Survey of Greenland (GGU) has been engaged in a re-assessment of the geology and petroleum potential of the region offshore southern West Greenland. In 1994, a milestone was reached in this study when, for the first time, a fairly complete understanding of the regional structure and stratigraphy of all of the sedimentary basins and the continental margin offshore southern West Greenland was achieved. This paper presents an account of how the work was carried out and gives a summary of the geological results. Due to the area being offshore, its investigation required the interpretation of geophysical data, primarily seismic data, tied to boreholes.

Published in: Rapport Grønlands Geologiske Undersøgelse, 165, 13–21.


Chalmers, J. A., Pulvertaft, T.C.R., Marcussen, C. & Pedersen, A.K. 1999.

Title: New insigth into the structure of the Nuussuaq Basin,  central West Greenland.

Abstract: Interpretation of seismic and magnetic data, forward modelling of gravity profiles and a reappraisal of all available data on faults onshore provides the first revision in 30 years of our understanding of the structure of the Nuussuaq Basin, central West Greenland. In the western part of the area Mesozoic sediments at least 6 km and possibly up to 10 km thick occur in an early rift basin dominated by N–S faults. Recently discovered oil in surface seeps and in shallow boreholes occurs almost exclusively in the early rift basin. In the east, sediments are thinner, and faults trend both N–S and WNW–SSE, the latter parallel to shear zones in the adjoining basement area. The eastern area may be part of a Late Cretaceous thermal subsidence basin. Renewed faulting involving both reactivation of older faults and generation of new faults took place in latest Cretaceous-early Paleocene time, and was followed by extensive erosion and phases of incision and infilling of valley systems. Renewed subsidence occurred immediately prior to the eruption of extensive middle Paleocene and Eocene continental flood basalts. The final phase of faulting took place in connection with sea-floor spreading in Baffin Bay and the Labrador Sea during the Eocene. Movement of North America relative to Greenland was transferred from the Labrador Sea to Baffin Bay along a strike-slip fault system in continental crust, the Ungava transform fracture zone. A splay of this system gave rise to a prominent SW–NE fault in the western part of the basin.

Published in: Marine and Petroleum Geology, 16, 197–224.


Dam, G & Sønderholm, M. 1994.

Title: Lowstand slope channels of the Itilli succession (Maastrichtian–Lower Paleocene), Nuussuaq, West Greenland

Abstract: The Maastrichtian-Lower Paleocene Itilli slope succession of Nuussuaq. West Greenland consists of an at least 2.5 km thick turbidite succession, composed of mudstone, thinly interbedded sandstone and mudstone, chaotic beds, amalgamated sandstone and giant-scale cross-bedded sandstone. The amalgamated and giant-scale cross-bedded sandstones were deposited in 1-2 km wide slope channels draining basin-margin source areas. The chaotic beds invariably underlie undisturbed channel fill sandstones suggesting that initially channels were excavated largely by retrogressive slumping of unstable slope mudstones. Retrogressive slumping was followed by intense channel excavation with continued scouring of channel base and walls before deposition of channel fills from high-density turbidity currents. It is suggested that destabilisation of the slope mudstones was triggered by drops in relative sea-level, associated with increased sediment deposition on the slope.
   Sequence stratigraphic concepts have been applied to the Itilli slope succession. The chaotic beds are related to the forced regressive wedge systems tract. The sequence boundary is placed at the erosional unconformity separating the chaotic beds from the overlying channel sandstone turbidites and it represents the lowest point of relative sea-level fall. The channel fill represents the lowstand prograding wedge system tract and the transgressive systems tract. Poorly developed highstand systems tract deposits include thinly interbedded sandstones and mudstones and are probably also represented in the redeposited material in the chaotic beds.

Published in: Sedimentary Geology, 94, 49–71.


Dam, G. & Sønderholm, M. 1998.

Title: Sedimentological evolution of a fault-controlled early Paleocene incised valley system, Nuussuaq Basin, West Greenland.

Abstract: The Nuussuaq Basin of West Greenland is a Late Cretaceous-Early Tertiary extensional basin, related to the opening of the Labrador Sea and Baffin Bay. An extensive Early Paleocene valley system was incised following a period of active faulting and uplift of the basin. The paleovalley system is exposed along the south coast of the Nuussuaq peninsula and includes five broadly synchronous valleys that embrace sandstones assigned to the Quikavsak Member. The valleys are 1-2 km wide and up to 190 m deep. The valleys were incised during a major relative sea-level fall and were cut into Cretaceous and earliest Paleocene sediments. The valley-fill deposits represent a transgressive systems tract comprising a uniform succession of fluvial sandstones attributed to a very rapid rise in relative sea level. Where the relative sea-level rise exceeded sediment supply, the increased accommodation space caused the valleys to turn into estuaries. A mudstone separating the fluvial and estuarine sandstones was deposited in the mid-estuary funnel. A sharp boundary between the estuary-mouth sandstone and the mid-estuary funnel mudstone probably formed as the ebb tidal delta retreated into the estuary, reflecting a major transgressive erosional surface. The fluvial and estuarine valley-fill sandstones are succeeded abruptly by shelf mudstones.

Published in: Shanley, K.W. & McCabe, P.J. (eds) Relative role of eustasy, climate, and tectonism in continental rocks. SEPM Special Publication, 59, 109–121.


Dam, G. & Larsen, M. & Sønderholm, M. 1998.

Title: Sedimentary response to mantle plumes: implications from Paleocene onshore successions, West and East Greenland.

Abstract: The uplift history of the Upper Cretaceous–Paleocene succession underneath the extensive Tertiary flood basalts of West and East Greenland supports the recently described models for the generation of flood basalt provinces in response to rising, hot, mantle plumes. However, the sedimentary development indicates that the period of plume-related uplift prior to eruption of volcanic rocks was very short (<5 m.y.). Substantial regional uplift and faulting took place in West and East Greenland in the Early Paleocene to earliest (?) late Paleocene, resulting in a basinwide unconformity. In West Greenland, the uplift was associated with fluvial peneplanation, valley incision, and catastrophic deposition; in East Greenland, it was associated with fluvial peneplanation. The cumulative uplift in West Greenland is in the order of several hundred meters, whereas in East Greenland, the observed uplift cannot be quantified. In both West and East Greenland, this phase was shortly followed by rapid, major subsidence associated with extensive volcanism. It is suggested that this sequence of events reflects the arrival of the North Atlantic mantle plume or plumes.

Published in: Geology, 26 (3), 207–210.


Dam, G., Nøhr-Hansen, H., Pedersen, G.K. & Sønderholm, M. 2000.

Title: Sedimentary and structural evidence of a new early Campanian rift phase in the Nuussuaq Basin, West Greenland.

Abstract: A new early Campanian rift phase related to the opening of the Labrador Sea has been recognised in the Nuussuaq Basin, West Greenland. A major angular and erosional unconformity separates deltaic deposits of the upper Albian-lowermost Campanian Atane Formation from fully marine gravity flow deposits of the lower-middle Campanian Aaffarsuaq member of the Itilli formation. Dating of this unconformity was achieved by new field work in the classic Agatdalen area and neighbouring valleys which placed known ammonite localities in an overall stratigraphic scheme and integrated the ammonite dating with a re-evaluation of old and recently collected palynological samples. On the basis of a sedimentological analysis the sediments of the Atane Formation can be classified as pre-rift with respect to Campanian rifting, and the Aaffarsuaq member can be divided into a rift-initiation and main-rift succession. The pre-rift sediments of the Atane Formation are deltaic. The uppermost preserved Atane cycle is 84 m thick and is by far the thickest cycle recognised in this formation, suggesting a relative sea-level rise in late Santonian time that was possibly a result of tensional sagging preceding the rift phase. The rift-initiation phase is marked by the major, in places angular, unconformity, locally succeeded by fluvial deposits of the Itivnera beds. During the time of maximum rate of fault displacement sedimentation was outpaced by subsidence, creating relief in the basin. Sedimentation during the main-rift phase was chaotic. Deposition took place mainly from gravity flows in a channelized footwall fan system. During tectonically quiet periods heterolithic sediments were dominantly deposited from low-density turbidity currents in small shallow channels, whereas sandstones and conglomerates were deposited from high-density turbidity currents and debris flows in major channels following tectonically more active periods. Angular unconformities and major erosional surfaces are frequently present underneath the major coarse-grained turbidite channels and several syn-depositional faults are present in the succession, suggesting that these channels formed in response to continued structural movements in the early Campanian.

Published in: Cretaceous Research, 21, 127–154.


Henderson, G., Schiener, E.J., Risum, J.B., Croxton, C.A. & Andersen, B.B. 1981.

Title: The West Greenland Basin.

Abstract: The offshore sedimentary basin between Kap Farvel and Melville Bugt has onshore equivalents between lat 68°50‘N and lat 72°15‘N, where a sequence of sediments of Early Cretaceous to middle Paleocene age rests on the Precambrian basement. The sedimentary facies onshore indicates deposition in a deltaic to prodeltaic marine environment with a transition from a fluviatile marine environment in the south, to marine in the north. The sediments are overlain by a thick sequence of subaqueous and subaerial Tertiary basalts. A series of approximately N-S trending normal faults with downthrow to the west affects the sedimentary area. There is evidence for major movements during early Tertiary time with only limited synsedimentary faulting. Sedimentation may have been controlled by ancient basement topography.
   Offshore between lat 64°N and lat 68°N the basement is known in detail, but farther north it can only be seen sporadically owing to the Tertiary basalt cover. Generally the basement dips smoothly to the west. A prominent N-S trending structural high, the Kangâmiut Structural High, interrupts the westward dip, and the eastern parts of the basin are characterized by complex block faulting. Three seismic markers of reasonable areal extent are recognized in the overlying sediments. Prograding structures form a feature between the lowest marker and basement, and may be of sedimentary or hyaloclastic origin. The exploratory well drilled on the Kangâmiut Structural High penetrated sediments of Paleocene age and younger, and reached Precambrian basement at 3700 m depth. Two main sedimentary environments are recognized on the basis of the microfaunas and sediment types: a rapidly prograding deltaic environment and a prodelta environment. The offshore basin was possibly formed in Early Cretaceous time. Seismic facies analyses indicate that the sediments were mainly derived from the east. The strongly prograding character of the upper sedimentary section indicates an increased influx of coarse material, probably due to accelerated uplift of the crystalline shield in late Eocene-Oligocene time. A N-S trending fault system with downthrow to the east affects the lower sedimentary section in the northwestern parts of the basin.
   Hydrocarbon potential can be assessed to some extent, from sediments from the onshore area, and from the Kangâmiut-1 well. The composition of the organic matter in these sediments, and the relatively low degree of thermal maturation, primarily indicates a potential for gas.

Published in: Kerr, J.W. & Ferguson, A.J. (eds) Geology of the North Atlantic borderlands. Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists Memoir, 7, 399–428.


Japsen, P. & Chalmers, J.A. 2000:

Title: Neogene uplift and tectonics around the North Atlantic: Overview.

Abstract: There appear to have been at least two significant episodes of uplift around the North Atlantic during the Cenozoic, and in many places it is not easy to separate the two. Effects related to emplacement of the Iceland plume probably caused one episode, mostly in the Palaeogene. The second episode took place in the late Cenozoic, and comprised uplift of basin margins as well as accelerated subsidence of basin centres. Cenozoic uplift of Scandinavia and of the British Isles has been suggested since at least the beginning of the 20th century. However, it is only recently being recognised in the literature that a major Neogene tectonic event has affected nearly every continental margin in the area (including western and eastern Greenland) and far into the European craton. Pre-Cenozoic rocks are generally exposed onshore and the pre-Quaternary sediments offshore are generally of Neogene age. Between the two, inclined Palaeogene and older beds are truncated by erosional unconformities along many coastlines. This structural configuration is in accordance with a Neogene uplift of the continents. Accelerated late Cenozoic subsidence is well known in many offshore areas adjacent to the uplifted landmasses. A variety of methods that have been used to investigate uplift, erosion and redeposition: studies of maximum burial, fission tracks, geomorphology, sediment supply and structural relations. These methods each investigate only one aspect of the phenomenon, and a thorough understanding of the processes of uplift and erosion can only be achieved if results from these methods are integrated. The main mechanisms suggested in the literature for the large-scale, late Cenozoic events are: emplacement of magma in and at the base of the crust leading to isostatic uplift, flow of asthenospheric material into active diapirs, isostacy associated with glacial erosion, phase changes in the lithosphere due to pressure relief and regional compression of the lithosphere. It is premature to judge between these mechanisms because of the insufficient regional analyses carried out so far. A general model must be constrained by observations from all affected areas, it must separate the effects of Palaeogene uplift from those of Neogene uplift that reach beyond the passive margins, and also include the subsidence patterns observed adjacent to the landmasses.

Published in: Global and Planetary Change, 24, 165–173.


Klose, G.W., Malterre, E., McMillan, N.J. & Zinkan, C.G. 1982.

Title: Petroleum Exploration Offshore Southern Baffin Island, Northern Labrador Sea, Canada.

Abstract: Exploration on the continental shelf and slope in the northern Labrador Sea has been carried out by the petroleum industry since 1968. Data acquired include seismic reflection and refraction surveys, magnetic and gravity surveys, vertical seismic profiling and seafloor sampling. In addition, two wells – the Aquitaine et al., Hekja 0-71 and the Esso HB Gjoa G-37 – were recently drilled by industry.
   Hekja 0-71 was drilled to 3267 m in 1979 and the well was deepened to 4566 m in 1980. The section penetrated is dominantly nearshore to marine sandstones and shales. The lower 1000 m of drilled section consists of alkalic volcanics interbedded with chalky clays and ranges in age from Danian to Early Cretaceous. The gross pay interval between 3210 and 3286 m contains shallow marine to continental fluvial Paleocene sandstones and shales. Porous sandstones comprise 44 m of this interval and tested gas and condensate.
   The Gjoa G-37 well, located on a mid-Eocene wrench-related anticline, penetrated 1300 m of interbedded Paleocene marine shales and alkalic volcanics overlain by 2700 m of Paleocene to Recent shales and siltstones.
   Rifting in the northern Labrador Sea began, at the latest, in Early Cretaceous. A transform fault zone dominates all tectonic aspects of the shelf. During the Paleocene, extensive volcanism occurred and wrench-related structures formed. Most rifting ceased by late Eocene to early Oligocene. The sediments deposited are 6000 m thick over large areas and locally, where Cretaceous grabens are present, exceed 8000 m. Some of the sediments contain good reservoir rocks as well as petroleum source resinite, in addition to marine-derived organic matter.
   The kinds of traps present include extensional as well as wrench-related features and possibly large stratigraphic traps. Reservoirs include possible mid-Eocene and known Paleocene sandstones. In Addition, Lower Cretaceous sandstones below the volcanics and lower Paleozoic carbonates and sandstones resting on Precambrian crystallines are anticipated.

Published in: Embry, A.F. & Balkwill, H.R. (eds.) Arctic Geology and Geophysics. Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists Memoir, 8, 233–244.


Menzies, A.W. 1982.

Title: Crustal history and basin development of Baffin Bay.

Abstract: Lack of definitive magnetic anomaly stripe data in Baffin Bay and Davis Strait imposes severe limitations on the extension of the Labrador Sea sea-floor spreading model into these areas. Using refraction and earthquake seismicity data to examine crustal and mantle structure, a case is presented for the existence of oceanic crust in Baffin Bay, and a bridge of continental crust connecting Greenland and Baffin Island across Davis Strait. Reconstruction or closure of Greenland with Labrador and Baffin Island is made by first defining their respective continental–oceanic crust boundaries, and then by juxtaposing these boundaries. The two sets of motion implied by Srivastava‘s (1978) interpretation of the magnetic anomaly pattern in the Labrador Sea are used to develop an opening motion for Labrador Sea and Baffin Bay. The Baffin Bay opening began in Paleocene time (anomaly 24) and ceased about Eocene time (anomaly 20). This motion is along a strike-slip fault crossing through Davis Strait which resulted in Baffin Bay opening as a rhombochasm with a bridge of continental crust being maintained in Davis Strait.
   The suggested origin of Baffin Bay requires appreciable movement to have occurred either along Nares Strait or in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

Published in: Dawes, P. R. & Kerr, J. W. (ed.) Nares Strait and the Drift of Greenland; a conflict in plate tectonics. Meddelelser om Grønland Geoscience, 8, 295–312.


Nøhr-Hansen, H. 1996.

Title: Upper Cretaceous dinoflagetllate cyst stratigraphy, onshore West Greenland.

Abstract: Stratigraphical ranges and geographical distribution of dinoflagellate cysts and selected pollen species are described based on the analysis of 250 samples from 29 surface and 12 subsurface sections of Late Cretaceous age from Svartenhuk Halvø and Nuussuaq peninsula, West Greenland. The sections make up an approximately 1500 m thick black mudstone succession, previously dated as late Turonian to Maastrichtian on the basis of scattered ammonite occurrences.
   The dinoflagellate cysts and pollen indicate that the majority of the studied samples are Coniacian/Santonian to Maastrichtian. A few samples have been dated as early Paleocene. It is possible to divide the Upper Cretaceous strata into 10 intervals based on the palynomorph assemblages.
   Diversity of dinoflagellate cysts is relatively high in the Coniacian to early Santonian deposits at Svartenhuk Halvø, whereas it decreases in the younger Campanian and Maastrichtian strata of Nuussuaq. The Coniacian to early Santonian assemblages are dominated by the genera Chatangiella and Isabelidinium, which in several samples constitute 20 to 50 percent of the dinoflagellate content.
   New finds of ammonites and study of the palynomorphs indicate that the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary should be moved from the base of what was previously called the ‘basal Danian conglomerate‘ at Annertuneq to approximately 118 m above the top of this conglomerate.
   Systematic and stratigraphic notes are included on selected Arvalidinium, Cerodinium, Chatangiella and Isabelidinium species. Three new species, Alterbidinium? ulloriaq Chatangiella mcintyrei and Isabelidinium svartenhukense, are described.

Published in: Grønland Geologiske Undersøgelse Bulletin, 170, 104 pp.


Nøhr-Hansen, H. 1998.

Title: Dinoflagellate cyst stratigraphy of the Upper Cretaceous to Paleogene strata from the Hellefisk-1, Ikermiut-1, and Nukik-1 wells, offshore central West Greenland.

Abstract: The present biostratigraphic study of dinoflagellate cyst from the Kangâmiut-1, Ikermiut-1, Hellefisk-1 and Nukik-1 wells offshore West Greenland is based on 321 older samples of which 177 are reprocessed. The study has changed the previously dated ages considerably, especially in the upper part of the wells, which are all shown to be of an older stratigraphic age than previously suggested. These results have moved the base of dinoflagellate Zone D9 (base Middle Eocene) approximately 700 and 400 m upward in Hellefisk-1 and in Ikermiut-1, respectively.
   Sediments younger than Late Eocene/?Early Oligocene have only been recognised by the dinoflagellate cyst assemblages in the Nukik-1 well, where Miocene sediments may be present.
   A major hiatus spanning the uppermost Cretaceous to the Lower Paleocene has been recorded from both the Ikermiut-1 and Kangâmiut-1 wells, and a hiatus spanning the Upper Paleocene to Lower Eocene has been recorded from the Nukik-1 well and may also be present in the Hellefisk-1 well. A middle Lower Eocene hiatus is present in the Ikermiut-1 well. A upper Lower Eocene to lower/?middle Middle Eocene hiatus is present in both the Hellefisk-1 and Ikermiut-1 wells and one or more hiati are most likely present in the middle to upper Middle Eocene in all wells.

Published in: Danmarks og Grønlands Geologiske Undersøgelse Rapport, 1998/54.


Nøhr-Hansen, H., Sheldon, E. & Dam, G. 2002.

Title: A new biostratigraphic scheme for the Paleocene onshore West Greenland and its implications for the timing of the pre-volcanic evolution.

Abstract: Based upon integrated dinoflagellate cyst and nannofossil data, a detailed biostratigraphic zonation of the lower Paleocene succession in the Nuussuaq Basin, onshore West Greenland has been established. The succession is divided into the five dinoflagellate cyst zones Trithyrodinium evittii, Cerodinium pannuceum, Senegalinium iterlaaense, Palaeocystodinium bulliforme and Alisocysta margarita. The dinoflagellate cyst zones are correlated with nannoplankton zones. The stratigraphically most important nannofossils found include Chiasmolithus cf. bidens, Neochiastozygus modestus, N. Perfectus, N. Saepens, Prinsius martinii, and Zeugrhabdotus sigmoides. A new zonal scheme has been erected and resolves the previous problems relating biostratigraphic and 40Ar/39Ar data in the region.
   The Upper Maastrichtian–Lower Paleocene succession records faulting and valley/submarine canyon incision resulting from pre-volcanic rifting and regional uplift of the basin. Two early Paleocene tectonic phases have been recognised during NP1–NP3. These uplift phases were followed by very rapid subsidence during NP4. Initiation of volcanism onshore West Greenland is broadly concurrent with the presently established Alisocysta margarita Zone indicating that volcanism began during upper NP4, in accordance with recent palaeomagnetic results and 40Ar/39Ar dating of the volcanics. On the basis of the first occurrence of the dinoflagellate cyst species Cerodinium kangiliense and Alisocysta margarita, it is possible to correlate the lowermost volcanic Anaanaa Member hyaloclastites from the southwestern part of Nuussuaq with sediments of the Eqalulik Formation from the northern coast of Nuussuaq.

Published in: Jolley,, D.W., & Bell, B.R. (eds) The North Atlantic province: stratigraphy, tectonic, volcanic and magmatic processes. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 197, 111-156.


Núñez-Betelu, L.K.,  Riediger, C.L. & Hills, L.V. 1995.

Title:  Rock-Eval/TOC pyrolysis analysis of the Upper Cretaceous Kanguk Formation, Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

Abstract: The amount, type, and degree of thermal maturity of organic matter in the Kanguk Formation were analyzed to obtain information on its potential as a hydrocarbon source rock. Overall the Kanguk Formation is rich in organic matter but there is a marked contrast between the lower and upper part. The lower part is generally richer in organic matter and exhibits higher HI values, indicating a relative dominance of marine organic matter, whereas the upper part has lower organic matter contents and very low HI ivalues indicating a marked contribution of terrestrially derived organic matter of possible fluvial origin. This agrees with the sedimentological interpretation of pro-deltaic facies for the upper part of the Kanguk Formation.

Published in: Grimalt, J.O. & Dorronsoro, C. (eds) Organic geochemistry: developments and applications to energy, climate, environment and human history. 17th International Meeting on Organic Geochemistry, Donastia-San Sebastian, Spain, Sept. 1995, 528–529.


Ottesen, T.G. 1991.

Title: A preliminary seismic study of part of the pre-Paleocene section offshore southern West Greenland between 66ºN and 68ºN.

Abstract: Seismic data acquired during the 1970s in an area between 66° and 68°N offshore West Greenland have been reinterpreted. The present report concerns the pre-Paleocene section where four major seismic units have been identified. Seismic facies analysis of the youngest unit suggests that it was deposited by a south-westward prograding wave-dominated delta, the development of which was probably controlled by eustatic changes in sea level. The unit underlying the delta unit is interpreted as shales deposited in a deep-marine environment. Thus a possible target for hydrocarbon exploration has been identified.
   The deepest unit has been affected by normal faulting in response to extensional stresses. If reservoirs and seals are present within this unit, structural traps could be generated by the major fault blocks which are situated in a sub-basin some 30 km by 100 km.

Published in: Grønlands Geologiske Undersøgelse Open File Series 91/6.


Pedersen, G.K & Pulvertaft, T.C.R. 1992

Title: The nonmarine Cretaceous of the West Greenland Basin, onshore West Greenland.

Abstract: Nonmarine Cretaceous sediments crop out in West Greenland between 69ºN and 72ºN. The outcrops are bounded to the east by Precambrian basement, against which the Cretaceous sediments have a faulted contact. To the west they disappear below a cover of Palaeocene sediments overlain by a thick sequence of Tertiary basalts.
  The nonmarine Cretaceous sediments are fluvial in the southern and eastern parts of the area; westwards and north-westwards there is both a lateral transition in space and an upwards transition in time, through delta plain deposists with coal into delta front deposists with horizons containing typical shallow marine trace fossils and occasional bivalves and ammonites.
   In the south and east the nonmarine sediments are of Albian-Cenomanian age (age based on pollen), while to the west and north-west they are younger, in places possibly as young as early Campanian. Faults with downthrow to the west and wouth-west have contributed to this distribution.

Published in: Cretacteous Research, 13, 263-272.


Rice, P. D. & Shade, B.D. 1982.

Title: Reflection seismic interpretation and seafloor spreading history of Baffin Bay

Abstract: The interpretation of over 3000 km of multichannel reflection seismic in the general Lancaster Sound- Baffin Bay-Davis Strait area provides the following new information:
   (1) The extinct spreading centre is . locally at least, asymmetrically located within the present-day Baffin Bay basin.
   (2) During the Cretaceous-Tertiary opening of the Baffin Bay area the bounding plates dind not behave in a rigic manner.
   (3) Portions of Davis Strait may be floored by continental crust.
   (4) The geology of the Greenland and Baffin Island shelves is markedly different.
   (5) Paleozoic and older sediments may be more extensively distributed than previously suspected.
   (6) The five regional unconformities seen in Bylot Basin can be related to the tectonic history of the area.
   This new informaiton, in particular the non-rigid behaviour of the bounding plates, has been used to modify existing Baffin Bay spreading scenarious. Unlike previous reconstructions, the resulting model honours both the geophysical interpretation of the Labrador Sea and the mounting geological evidence that minimal translation took place along the Wegene Transform Fault in the Nares Strait.

Published in: Embry, A.F. & Balkwill, H.R. (eds.) Arctic Geology and Geophysics. Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists Memoir, 8, 245–278.


Rolle, F. 1985.

Title: Late Cretaceous - Tertiary sediments offshore central West Greenland: lithostratigraphy, sedimentary evolution, and petroleum potential.

Abstract: Five dry exploratory wells were drilled through Upper Cretaceous and Tertiary sediments on the West Greenland shelf in 1976 and 1977. Two of these entered Precambrian basement, two bottomed in Paleocene or Upper Cretaceous basalt, and one in Campanian mudstone. On the basis of samples and logs supplied to the Geological Survey of Greenland the sedimentary sequence has been divided into seven new formations: the Campanian Narssarmiut Formation, consisting of coarse basement wash and black mudstone; the Campanian to Eocene Ikermiut Formation, consisting of marine organic-rich mudstone; the Upper Paleocene to Eocene Hellefisk Formation, comprising shallow-marine to paralic sandstone and mudstone; the Eocene Nukik Formation, consisting of turbiditic sandtone and mudstone; the Eocene to Oligocene Kangâmiut Formation of shelf to shallow-marine clean and argillaceous sandstone; the Oligocene to Neogene Manîtsoq Formation, consisting of coarse paralic to fan delta sandstone; and the Neogene Ataneq Formation, consisting of protected shallow-marine mudstone.
   The sedimentary evolution of the area fits well with earlier proposed models for the tectonic evolution of the Baffin Bay – Labrador Sea region.
   Potential petroleum source rocks are present in the Upper Cretaceous to Paleocene mudstone, and even though they are largely immature in the drilled sections, they are expected to have entered the petroleum generation zone in the deeper parts of the basin. Their potential is mainly for gas, but some oil potential is also present. No reservoir rocks were encountered in the deeper parts of the sedimentary sequences and the porous sandstones that occur higher in the sequence lack seals.

Published in: Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 22, 1001–1019.


Skaarup, N., Chalmers, J.A. & White, D. 2000.

Title: An AVO study of a possible new hydrocarbon play, offshore central West Greenland.

Abstract: Since 1992, extensive oil seeps have been discovered in Cretaceous sediment and Paleogene basalt onshore central West Greenland. Offshore, the basalts are buried under younger sediments. Interpretation of seismic data offshore has shown the presence of a closed structure at top basalt level. Within the sediments above the closed structure can be seen bright reflections that have strong AVO (amplitude variation with offset) anomalies. These features may indicate the presence of hydrocarbons that have migrated through the basalts from deeper source rocks and been trapped in the sediments above the basalts.

Published in: American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, 84(2), 174–182.


Srivastava, S.P. 1983.

Title: Davis Strait; structures, origin and evolution.

Abstract: A sill with water depths between 400 m and 800 m constitutes the central part of Davis Strait. It divides the deeper waters of Baffin Bay to the north from that of the Labrador Sea to the south. Seismic reflection, gravity and magnetic measurements across the Strait show the presence of a prominent structural high running northeast-southwest. Magnetic anomalies correlatable with seafloor spreading anomalies are not observed over this high. Large quantities of sediments lie to either side.
   Seismic refraction measurements over the central part of the sill show a 18 km thick crust with mean velocity of 6.2 km/s overlying mantle of velocity 8.4 km/s. Comparison of crustal velocities under the sill with those observed under other oceanic and continental fragments show similarities to both. Seismic reflectors parallel to the eastern edge of the high. These reflectors are interpreted as Paleocene or older basaltic flows intermixed with sediments. Similar flows are not observed on the western side of the high.

Published in: Bott, M.H.P., Saxov S., Talwani, M. & Thiede, J. (eds) Structure and development of the Greenland-Scotland Ridge; new methods and concepts. NATO Conference Series. IV. Marine Sciences, 8; 159–189.


Tucholke, B.E. & Fry, V.A. 1985.

Title: Basement Structure and Sediment Distribution in Northwest Atlantic Ocean.

Abstract: We have interpreted all available single-channel and multichannel seismic reflection profiles to produce maps of structure contours on basement and isopachs of sediment thickness in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean including the Labrador and Irminger basins. Where appropriate, we have modified and incorporated existing charts into the compilation. Contours are in meters, derived by applying velocity-regression equations based on sonobuoy results; this gives a more accurate representation of geologic relations than is possible in reflection-time mapping. Major structural relations and sediment distribution for the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Mid-Labrador Sea Ridge, Davis Strait, and adjacent Greenland and eastern Canadian continental margins are clearly defined in the maps. Observed basement structure is in good agreement with that expected from current plate-kinematic models of the region. The sediment-thickness patterns are controlled by interaction of such factors as age of underlying oceanic crust, crustal tectonic history, structural trends in basement, locations of sediment sources, and nature of the sedimentary processes delivering sediment to the basins.

Published in: American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, 69, 2077–2097.


Whittaker, R.C,  Hamann, N.E.  & Pulvertaft, T.C.R.  1997.

Title: A new frontier province offshore Northwest Greenland: structure, basin development, and petroleum potential of the Melville Bay area.

Abstract: In the Melville Bay area, offshore northwest Greenland, very large structures and sedimentary basins, which were predicted many years ago on the basis on magnetic and gravity data, have been confirmed by a recent reconnaissance seismic survey, with implications that are encouraging for petroleum exploration in the area.
   The Melville Bay area flanks a small ocean basin in Baffin Bay that is thought to have formed by oblique sea-floor spreading in the Eocene. There are two major, coast-parallel basins in the area. The inner basin, the Melville Bay Graben, is essentially a half graben with a maximum thickness of sediments exceeding 13 km. A complex faultcontrolled ridge system separates this basin from the outer Kivioq Basin in which up to 7 km of sediments have accumulated.
   By analogy with onshore geology in the surrounding areas and well data from the continental shelves off southern west Greenland and Labrador to the south it is expected that the first phase of rifting and sedimentation took place in the Earlymiddle Cretaceous, while a second phase of rifting took place in the latest Cretaceous and early Paleocene. Later, compression and inversion affected the northern part of the area, leading to the formation of large anticlinal structures.
   The existence of large tilted fault blocks and inversion anticlines provides grounds for anticipating the presence of large structural traps. Synrift sandstones and deeper water fans are expected to provide potential reservoirs, and correlatives of oilprone source rocks known from the lower part of the upper Cenomanian–lower Maastrichtian Kanguk Formation in the Canadian Arctic may also have oil source properties in the Melville Bay area. Recent discoveries of live oil in the uppermost Cretaceous and lower Tertiary of onshore central west Greenland provide proof that oil has been generated in the region.

Published in: American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, 81(6), 978–998.



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