Lower Palaeozoic Franklinian Basin of North Greenland


  • A.K Higgins
  • J.R Ineson
  • J.S Peel
  • F Surlyk
  • M Sønderholm




The Franklinian Basin extends from the Canadian Arctic Islands to eastern North Greenland, a distance of approximately 2000 km. In the North Greenland segment about 8 km of Lower Palaeozoic strata are well exposed and permit the recognition of 7 stages in the evolution of the basin. With the exception of the first stage of basin initiation, which occurred dose to the Precambrian-Cambrian boundary, each stage is differentiated into a southern shelf and slope, and a northern deep-water trough. The position of the boundary between the shelf and trough was probably controlled by deep seated normal faults and, with time, the basin expanded southwards leading to a final foundering of the shelf areas during the Silurian. The 7 stages in the evolution of the Franklinian Basin in North Greenland are: 1, Late Proterozoic? - Early Cambrian shelf (basin initiation); 2, Early Cambrian carbonate platform and incipient trough; 3, Early Cambrian siliciclastic shelf and turbidite trough; 4, Late Early Cambrian - Middle Ordovician carbonate shelf and starved trough; 5, Middle Ordovician - Early Silurian aggradational carbonate platform, starved slope and trough; 6, Early Silurian ramp and rimmed shelf, and turbidite trough; 7, Early - Late Silurian drowning of the platform. Basin evolution and sedimentation patterns in the eastem part of the Franklinian Basin were strongly influenced by the dosure of the lapetus Ocean and Caledonian orogenic uplift in eastern North Greenland. The Franklinian Basin in North Greenland was finally closed in Devonian - Early Carboniferous times, resulting in strong deformation of the northern part of the Franklinian trough sequence during the Ellesmerian Orogeny.




How to Cite

Higgins, A., Ineson, J., Peel, J., Surlyk, F., & Sønderholm, M. (1991). Lower Palaeozoic Franklinian Basin of North Greenland. Bulletin Grønlands Geologiske Undersøgelse, 160, 71–139. https://doi.org/10.34194/bullggu.v160.6714