A major composite terrane, the Sunnfjord Melange, has been identified in the West Norwegian Caledonides. The rocks of the melange provide a terrane-link between the allochthonous continental rocks of the Dalsfjord Suite with its cover of continental margin deposits and the oceanic terrane of the Solund-Stavfjord Ophiolite Complex. The melange was formed as the ophiolite was emplaced on the the fossiliferous Lower to Middle Silurian continental margin deposits of the Herland Group. This group unconformably overlies older metasedimentary rocks of the Høyvik Group and the crystalline basement of the Dalsfjord Suite. A structural style characteristic of thin-skinned thrust-foldbelts is locally preserved within the Herland Group on Atløy, and the thrust-foldbelt was developed in the foreland of the continental margin during the ophiolite accretion. A U-Pb zircon age of 443 ± 3 Ma from the ophiolite, the Silurian fossils in the Herland Group and the identification of the Sunnfjord Melange as an obduction melange provide the basis for a well constrained model of ophiolite accretion in the Scandinavian Caledonides.

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