Datapages, Inc.Print this page

Sandstone Provenance Studies in East Greenland and Mid-Norway Provide Insights into Jurassic Sediment Transport Paths in the Norway-Greenland Rift


Whitham, Andrew G.1, Andrew C. Morton2, Dominic P. Strogen1, Caroline S. Pickles3, C. Mark Fanning4, Claire R. Hallsworth2, Mary A. K. Turton1 (1) University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom (2) HM Research Associates Ltd, Leicestershire, United Kingdom (3) Chevron Texaco, Aberdeen, United Kingdom (4) The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia


A heavy mineral study was undertaken on over 900 Jurassic-Recent sandstone samples from the Norway-Greenland rift. These sandstones were from outcrops in East Greenland and wells in Mid-Norway. Conventional heavy mineral analysis was supplemented with geo­chemical analysis of garnets and tourmalines from selected samples. A more limited subset was selected for SHRIMP U-Pb dating of detrital zircon grains.

The heavy mineral work has enabled identification of six distinct sediment source ter­rains, MN1- MN6. Zircon age dating indicates that the Greenland margin of the rift supplied sediment with distinctive populations of Early Proterozoic and Archean zircons (sand types MN2, MN4, MN6), which are absent in sediment supplied from source areas on the Norwegian margin (sand types MN1, MN3, MN5). All these source terrains are long-lived and have provided sands to the rift since at least the Jurassic. However, the influence of dif­ferent source areas has varied through time. For example, sediment from a sediment source area to the west of the Jameson Land Basin, in East Greenland (MN4), is found in wells in the western parts of the Halten Terrace, of Mid-Norway, at times during the Jurassic. It is also clear that sand from a source area in the Western Gneiss region of Norway (MN3) found its way to the eastern side of the Jameson Land Basin in the Jurassic. These observations have important implications for understanding reservoir development in Mid-Norway.