Abstract

The Tertiary fold-and-thrust belt on Brøggerhalvøya is characterized by a NE-vergent pile of nine thrust sheets. The sole thrust of the pile is located in Precambrian phyllites and climbs up-section to the northeast. Four lower thrust sheets consisting predominantly of Upper Palaeozoic sediments are overlain by two thrust sheets in the central part of the stack which contain a kilometre-scale syncline and anticline. The fold is cut by juxtaposed thrusts giving rise to the formation of three structurally higher basement-dominated thrust sheets. A multiple-stage kinematic model is proposed including (1) in-sequence foreland-propagating formation of the lower thrust sheets in response to N–S subhorizontal bedding-parallel movements, (2) a change in tectonic transport to ENE and out-of-sequence thrusting and formation of the kilometre-scale fold-structure followed by (3) truncation of the kilometre-scale fold and stacking of the highest basement-dominated thrust sheets by hind-ward-propagating out-of-sequence thrusting. The strain of the thrust sheets is predominantly compressive with the exception of the structurally highest thrust sheets, reflecting a temporal change to a more transpressive regime. Thrusting was followed by (4) N–S extension and (5) W–E extension. Comparison of the structural geometry and kinematic evolution of Brøggerhalvøya with the data reported for the fold belt further south allows us to assume a coeval evolution with the fold belt. A latest Paleocene/Early Eocene age for the main phase of thrusting is suggested for the West Spitsbergen Fold-and-Thrust Belt; the main phases therefore pre-date the separation of Svalbard and Greenland due to right-lateral movements along the Hornsund Fault Zone. The fold belt’s temporal evolution followed by the formation of the Forlandsundet Graben can be linked with the plate-kinematic framework in the span between latest Paleocene and Middle Eocene times.

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