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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

CSPG Special Publications


Facts and Principles of World Petroleum Occurrence — Memoir 6, 1980
Pages 951-973
Worldwide Petroleum Provinces

The Geology of the Offshore Sedimentary Basin of West Greenland

Guy Manderscheid


This article on the sedimentary basin under the continental shelf of West Greenland is based on work released to the public by the TGA-Grepco Group of Companies. The data include 18 845 km of airborne magnetometer profiles and approximately 4 900 km of reflection seismic done in 1970-71.

The sharp, elongated magnetic anomalies characteristic of the basalts of the Disko Island area extend offshore southward to 68°N and to the north of Nugssuaq beyond 73°. Southward and under the shelf opposite Holsteinsborg the anomalies, in contrast, are smoother and gentler. Here it is interpreted that non-magnetic sedimentary rocks are at least 7 km thick in places. Numerous faults are interpreted which seem to be westward extensions of those in the Precambrian of the mainland. No transform faults have been recognized.

The seismic indicates that the sediments thicken and slope westward in a smooth monocline. Small normal faults are present. Near the coast and northwest of Holsteinsborg several grabens are interpreted to be present. The monocline abruptly abuts a 160 km-long extensive N-S fault system which is the main feature of the basin. To the west of this fault system, the basement is interpreted to be 2 km below sea-level – in places it outcrops on sea-bottom. To the east of this system the soft sediments are interpreted to be 7 km thick. Southward, off Sukkertoppen and Godthab, several normal faults are present having the same general direction as those in the on-land Precambrian.

The Kangamiut well was drilled on the K-structure which is a horst bounded on the east and west by normal faults. All the Tertiary stages are represented in the section which rests directly on the Precambrian basement at approximately 3 700 m. The lower 1 200 m of section is devoid of reservoirs.

It is suggested that only vertical movements have taken place in this part of the Labrador Sea north of 62°N, whereas to the south, there was limited sea-floor spreading. The sea-floor spreading decreases from a maximum of 150 km at the triple junction south of Greenland, to zero at 62°N, where it joins the great north-south fault system.

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