Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination

From Middle Devonian times, the continental Old Red Sandstone Basin in NorthEast Greenland has accumulated more than 8 km of mainly coarse clastic sediments. These sediments have been studied for more than 100 yr, and they became world famous prior to the Second World War for the discovery of the earliest four-legged vertebrates, the tetrapods later assigned to the genus Ichthyostega. Basin initiation in East Greenland was caused mainly by extensional collapse of an overthickened Caledonian crustal welt accommodated by SE-NW–oriented dip-slip faulting and, subordinately, by N-S–oriented sinistral wrench faulting due to late Caledonian shear displacements along plate boundaries. Four main tectonostratigraphic basin stages have been recognized in the succession. The stages of basin development are separated by subregional to basinwide unconformities and represent depositional episodes punctuated by major tectonic events. Each basin stage is built up of one or several depositional complexes that share roughly similar drainage patterns, measured on a basinwide scale. The four basin stages indicate initial eastward drainage, followed by southward drainage, northward drainage, and finally southwestward drainage.

In this paper, we review previous research on the dynamics of Devonian basin initiation, its filling, and the tectonic and climatic controls on sedimentary processes. The successive vertebrate faunal assemblages of the different basin stages are also reviewed, with some consideration of the preservational, ecological, and wider faunal contexts of the components of those faunas. Some remaining problems of correlation and precise dating are noted, and suggestions are made for further work.

You do not currently have access to this chapter.

Figures & Tables




Citing Books via

Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal