Tertiary or Cretaceous age for Spitsbergen's fold‐thrust belt on the Barents Shelf

Harmon D. Maher, Alvar Braathen, Steffen Bergh, Winfried Dallmann, W. Brian Harland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations


Several publications propose that main‐phase fold‐thrust development on Spitsbergen was Late Cretaceous and not Tertiary as previously thought. The question of timing is crucial to models for crustal response to transpressive plate motions. Involvement of Tertiary strata in fold‐thrust structures, the sedimentology of the Tertiary basin strata, and studies of paleo‐stress field evolution all indicate Paleocene to Eocene fold‐thrust development during opening of the Norwegian‐Greenland oceanic basin. A regional angular unconformity of < 1° between Paleocene and Early Cretaceous strata is consistently disconformable to the eye and precludes any significant older deformation in the immediate area. Pre‐unconformity deformation was likely strike slip in character and concentrated in the west. The proposal for Late Cretaceous fold‐thrust belt formation is inconsistent with the geology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1321-1326
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Tertiary or Cretaceous age for Spitsbergen's fold‐thrust belt on the Barents Shelf'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this