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Abstract

Basin modelling and compaction studies based on sonic data from the Mesozoic succession in 68 Danish wells were used to estimate the amount of section missing due to late Cenozoic erosion. The missing section increases gradually towards the coasts of Norway and Sweden from zero in the North Sea to c. 500 m in most of the Danish Basin, but over a narrow zone it reaches c. 1000 m on the Skagerrak-Kattegat Platform in northernmost Denmark. The increasing amount of erosion matches the increase in the hiatus at the base of the Quaternary, where Neogene and older strata are truncated, and the Mesozoic succession is thus found to have been more deeply buried by c. 500 Paleocene-Miocene sediments in large parts of the area. These observations suggest that the onset of erosion occurred during the Neogene, and that the Skagerrak-Kattegat Platform was affected by tectonic movements prior to glacial erosion. In southern Sweden just east of the Kattegat, the exposed basement of the South Swedish Dome attains altitudes of almost 400 m. The formation of the Dome started in the Late Palaeozoic, but geomorphological investigations have led to the conclusion that a rise of the Dome occurred during the Cenozoic. We find that the pattern of late Cenozoic erosion in Denmark agrees with a Neogene uplift of the South Swedish Dome and of the Southern Scandes in Norway. This suggestion is consistent with major shifts in sediment transport directions during the late Cenozoic observed in the eastern North Sea, and with formation of a new erosion surface as well as re-exposure of sub-Cambrian and sub-Cretaceous surfaces in southern Sweden. The Neogene uplift and erosion of southern Scandinavia appears to have been initiated in two phases, an early phase of ?Miocene age and a better-constrained later phase that began in the Pliocene. Neogene uplift of the South Swedish Dome with adjoining areas in Denmark fits into a pattern of late Cenozoic vertical movements around the North Atlantic.

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