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The Svalbardian–Ellesmerian deformation of the Old Red Sandstone and the pre-Devonian basement in NW Spitsbergen (Svalbard)

Karsten Piepjohn
Karsten Piepjohn
Geologisch-Paläontologisches Institut der Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Corrensstraβe 24, D-48149 Münster, Germany (e-mail:
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January 01, 2000


In NW Spitsbergen, the Late Silurian to Late Devonian infill of an Old Red Sandstone (ORS) basin was affected by west-vergent folding and west-directed thrusting during the Early Carboniferous (Tournaisian) Svalbardian deformation. The brittle, predominantly compressional structures of the Svalbardian Fold-and-Thrust Belt are concentrated along at least five narrow, more or less north–south-trending zones. Three zones are exposed in the Devonian infill of the ORS basin. The involvement of the post-Caledonian ?Late Silurian to Earliest Devonian Viggobreen weathering zone and deposits Early Devonian in two thrust zones within the basement of the western basin margin indicates that the Svalbardian deformation also affected the basement areas along the west coast of NW Spitsbergen. Structures of the Svalbardian Fold-and-Thrust Belt are exposed within an area at least 100 km wide between the Billefjorden Fault Zone in the east and the west coast of NW Spitsbergen. Therefore, the Svalbardian deformation represents a much more important fold belt than previously recognized. On the basis of the timing, the large extent and the orientation of the fold-and-thrust zones, the Svalbardian Fold-and-Thrust Belt appears to represent the eastern continuation of the Ellesmerian Fold Belt in North Greenland and the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

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Geological Society, London, Special Publications

New Perspectives on the Old Red Sandstone

Geological Society of London
ISBN electronic:
Publication date:
January 01, 2000




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