Intra-Continental Fold Belts
CASE 1: West Spitsbergen

Polar Issue No. 7

Ed.: Franz Tessensohn

2001. 773 pages, 237 figures, 28 tables, 37 plates, 1 map, 17x24cm, 1550 g
Language: English

(Geologisches Jahrbuch Reihe B, Band B 91)

ISBN 978-3-510-95834-4, paperback, price: 108.00 €

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CASE 1expeditionfold beltthrust beltWest SpitsbergenAtlantic


Description top ↑

The onshore geology can provide direct access to critical rock formations and structures and is therefore able to add detail, support or modification to the story of the formation of the oceanic basins in the Arctic and North Atlantic, a story initially derived from offshore geophysical data.

The project CASE (Correlation of Alpine Structural Events in Spitsbergen and Greenland) was undertaken by BGR with the intention to link onshore and offshore features in the North Atlantic region. Seismic data previously collected on a number of BGR cruises to the Labrador Sea and to the Barents and East Greenland shelves indicated mainly extensional processes in the offshore areas while, at the same time, there seemed to be a compressive fold belt developing on Spitsbergen and North Greenland.

This volume contains the results of the first CASE expedition carried out in Spitsbergen in collaboration with geologists of the universities of M?nster, Erlangen and Berlin (Humboldt), Germany; Greenwich, Great Britain; and Paris (VI), France. Most of Svalbard is underlain by rocks deformed during the Paleozoic Caledonian Orogeny. But the western rim of Spitsbergen was also the site of intense crustal shortening during the so-called "Western Spitsbergen Orogeny" which, according to most authors, took place in Early Tertiary time.

The resulting West Spitsbergen Fold-and-Thrust Belt is an unusual feature in that it displays spectacular fold and thrust structures but lacks any associated igneous activity and metamorphism. There are also no indications that oceanic crust is anywhere involved in the formation of the fold belt. It obviously did not form by subduction at an active margin nor by continental collision after the closure of an ocean basin.

What then was the cause for the formation of this fold belt? Offshore work suggested a close association with major strike-slip movements on a dextral transform fault between North Greenland and Svalbard in the Eocene as one possible explanation. Strike-slip features, however, are not obvious in Spitsbergen.

In order to test this concept of a "transpressional fold belt" the entire fold belt in Spitsbergen was investigated, from Brogger Halvoya in the north to Sorkapp in the south. Geological and structural investigations were supplemented by stratigraphic work and, where possible, also by radiometric dating.

The results of this work are presented here in the form of 27 papers on various parts (northern, central and southern segment) and aspects (geology, structure, age) of this fold belt.

As a result of these investigations the concept of a transpressional orogen cannot be supported because of the lack of strike-slip structures in all segments of the fold belt. On the contrary, detailed collections of structural data and general field observations both show a surprising consistency of tectonic movements to the ENE and NE, from Brogger Peninsula to Sorkapp. The structural style is not that of a flower structure but rather that of a foreland fold- and thrust belt. Based on the results from Spitsbergen, it appears that the compression of the fold belt occurred mainly before the strike- slip separation of Svalbard and the Barents shelf from Greenland.

The CASE program has since been modified to the study of Circum-Arctic Structural Events, it has continued to the completion of expedition CASE 6 in 2000 and has been extended to include work in North Greenland, Ellesmere Island and Siberia. The general concept of onshore/offshore correlations, however, is unchanged.

Contents top ↑

Franz Tessensohn:
Previous Research and Objectives of Investigations 11
Architecture of the Fold-and-Thrust Belt
Northern Segment
Friedhelm Thiedig, Kerstin Saalmann & Karsten Piepjohn:
Explanatory Notes to the Geological Map of Broggerhalvoya and
Blomstrandhalvoya 1 : 40,000 25
Karsten Piepjohn, Friedhelm Thiedig & Geoff M. Manby:
Nappe-Stacking on Broggerhalvoya, NW Spitsbergen 55
Franz Tessensohn, Karsten Piepjohn & Friedhelm Thiedig:
Foreland-Thrust Belt Relationships SE of Kongsfjorden
and the Function of the Pretender Fault 83
Geoff M. Manby & Nikos Lyberis (a):
Emergence of Basement-Dominated Nappes in Oscar II Land:
Implications for Shortening Estimates 109
Karsten Piepjohn & Werner von Gosen:
The Southern Margin of the Fold Belt of Emergent Thrusting
on the North Coast of Isfjorden 129
Franz Tessensohn, Werner von Gosen & Karsten Piepjohn:
Permo-Carboniferous Slivers Infolded in the Basement of
Western Oscar II Land 161
Central Segment
Nikos Lyberis & Geoff M. Manby:
Basement-Cored Folds in Nordenskiöld Land 205
Werner von Gosen, Hans-Jürgen Paech & Karsten Piepjohn:
Involvement of Basal Tertiary Strata in the Fold-Belt Deformation
in Nordenskiöld Land 229
Werner von Gosen & Karsten Piepjohn (a):
Thrust Tectonics North of Van Keulenfjorden 247
Geoff M. Manby & Nikos Lyberis (b):
Structure of the West Spitsbergen Fold-and-Thrust Belt
in Wedel Jarlsberg Land 277
Southern Segment
Werner von Gosen & Karsten Piepjohn (b):
Polyphase Deformation in the Eastern Hornsund Area 291
Franz Tessensohn, Friedhelm Thiedig, Geoff M. Manby & Nikos Lyberis:
Décollement Structures in the Triassic South of Hornsund 317
Friedhelm Thiedig, Geoff M. Manby & Karsten Piepjohn:
Involvement of the Hornsund High in the Fold-Belt Deformation 343
Werner von Gosen, Karsten Piepjohn & Hans-J?rgen Paech:
Structural Setting of the West Spitsbergen Fold-and-Thrust Belt
in Southern Sorkapp Land 363
Geoff M. Manby & Nikos Lyberis (c):
Stress Patterns in the West Spitsbergen Fold-and-Thrust Belt 381
Role of the Tertiary
Hans-Jürgen Paech:
Compressive Structures in the Central Basin, Spitsbergen 413
Karsten Piepjohn, Kerstin Saalmann, Friedhelm Thiedig & Hans-Jürgen Paech:
The Relationship of the Ny-Alesund Tertiary to the
West Spitsbergen Fold-and-Thrust Belt 447
Werner von Gosen & Hans-Jürgen Paech:
Structures in the Tertiary Sediments of the Forlandsundet Graben 475
Hans-Jürgen Paech & Joachim Koch:
Coalification in Post-Caledonian Sediments on Spitsbergen 507
Pavel Cepek:
Paleogene Calcareous Nannofossils from the Firkanten and
Sarsbukta Formations on Spitsbergen 535
Pavel Cepek & Wilfried Krutzsch:
Conflicting interpretations of the Tertiary Biostratigraphy of
Spitsbergen and New Palynological Results 551
Friedrich W. Luppold:
New Biostratigraphic Data from West Spitsbergen based on Conodonts 603
Werner Buggisch, Heiko H?neke, Michael Joachimski, Harald Lützner &
Friedhelm Thiedig:
Conodont Stratigraphy of the Carboniferous and Permian Strata from
Broggerhalvoya and the Billefjorden Trough 637
Wilfried Krutzsch:
An Upper Cretaceous Microflora from Spitsbergen 693
Isotope Geochronology
Franz Tessensohn, Stefan Krumm & Friedhelm Henjes-Kunst:
K/Ar Dating Attempts on Rocks from the West Spitsbergen
Fold-and-Thrust Belt and the Central Basin 719
CASE Team:
The Evolution of the Fold-and-Thrust Belt 733