The Neogene stratigraphy of the glaciated European margin from Lofoten to Porcupine

Preface ] Introduction ] Unified Stratigraphy ] Pre-Neogene Framework ] Miocene to Lower Pliocene ] Lower Pliocene To Holocene ] [ High-Resolution Stratigraphy ] Key Geoseismic Sections ]

WP1 ] Figure 24 ] WP2 ] Figure 25 ] WP3 ] Figure 26 ]


This section summarises aspects of the high-resolution stratigraphy of the Atlantic margin of NW Europe. The main focus of the section is on the mid- to late Pleistocene and Holocene record, essentially the last 0.5Ma, although this has been extended back into the early Pleistocene (to 1.1Ma) offshore Norway. This interval represents the most expansive phase of mid- to high-latitude, Northern Hemisphere, Pleistocene glaciation. 

The diverse content of the section reflects the varied approaches and degree of effort that has previously been undertaken in the separate Work Package areas. The most extensive recent studies have taken place offshore Norway driven by oil industry interest in developing an understanding of the glacial history of the North Sea Fan–Vøring region, and its bearing on mass failure, such as that associated with the massive Storegga Slide Complex (Fig. 24). Not only are there numerous deep-water licences in the WP1 area, but the giant Ormen Lange gas discovery in the Storegga Slide region has triggered a joint initiative between the oil industry and Norwegian universities, such as Bergen and Tromsø. Consequently, a detailed seismic stratigraphy, supported by stratigraphic and geotechnical boreholes, is currently being developed (e.g. Britsurvey 1999; Sejrup et al. 2000; Evans et al. 2002; Laberg et al. 2002). Aspects of this work are presented in Fig. 24.

An extensive seismic-stratigraphic study of the Pleistocene succession has also been carried out by the BGS in the Faroe–Shetland and Rockall–Porcupine regions. This work was largely restricted to the West Shetland and Hebrides margins, and has been summarised elsewhere (Stoker et al. 1993, 1994; Stoker 1999). For the purpose of this study, it was decided to complement the earlier work of the BGS by compiling a summary of deep-water core information (Fig. 25 & Fig. 26), which it is hoped will aid any future regional stratigraphic interpretation in these areas. From a seismic-stratigraphic point of view, one of the biggest problems in such a task is addressing the marked thickness variation between the thick shelf-margin prograding wedges and the relatively condensed basinal succession. Consequently, correlation between well-calibrated shelf-margin boreholes, such as BGS 88/7,7A, and deep-water cores, such as V2876, in the Rockall–Porcupine region (Fig. 26), may help to establish a regional high-resolution framework. 


Britsurvey. 1999. Seabed Project. Geological and Geophysical Interpretation in Møre/Vøring Area - Phase III, Stage 2. Final Report. Report Number SP-26-BS-03R-00000-99.

Evans, D., McGiveron, S., Harrison, Z., Bryn, P. & Berg, K. 2002. Along-slope variation in the late Neogene evolution of the mid-Norwegian margin in response to uplift and tectonism. In: Doré, A.G.D., Cartwright, J., Stoker, M.S., Turner, J.P. & White, N. (eds) In press. Exhumation of the North Atlantic Margin: Timing, Mechanisms and Implications for Petroleum Exploration. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 196, in press.

Laberg, J.S., Dahlgren, T., Vorren, T.O., Haflidason, H. & Bryn, P. 2002. Seismic analyses of Cenozoic contourite drift development in the Northern Norwegian Sea. Marine Geophysical Researches, in press.

Sejrup, H.P., Larsen, E., Landvik, J., King, E.L., Haflidason, H. & Nesje, A. 2000. Quaternary glaciations in southern Fennoscandia: evidence from southwestern Norway and the northern North Sea region. Quaternary Science Reviews, 19, 667-685.

Stoker, M.S. 1999. Stratigraphic nomenclature of the UK North West Margin. 3. Mid- to late Cenozoic stratigraphy. British Geological Survey, Edinburgh.

Stoker, M.S., Hitchen, K. & Graham, C.G. 1993. United Kingdom offshore regional report: the geology of the Hebrides and West Shetland shelves, and adjacent deep-water areas. (London: HMSO for the British Geological Survey).

Stoker, M.S., Leslie, A.B., Scott, W.D., Briden, J.C., Hine, N.M., Harland, R., Wilkinson, I.P., Evans, D. & Ardus, D.A. 1994. A record of Late Cenozoic stratigraphy, sedimentation and climate change from the Hebrides slope, NE Atlantic Ocean. Journal of the Geological Society, London, 151, 235-249.



WP1 ] Figure 24 ] WP2 ] Figure 25 ] WP3 ] Figure 26 ]

Preface ] Introduction ] Unified Stratigraphy ] Pre-Neogene Framework ] Miocene to Lower Pliocene ] Lower Pliocene To Holocene ] [ High-Resolution Stratigraphy ] Key Geoseismic Sections ]

This page was Last updated 17 September 2002