Geology and palynology of the Triassic succession of Bjørnøya

  • Atle Mørk
  • Jorunn Os Vigran
  • Peter A. Hochuli


The Triassic succession of Bjørnøya (200 m) comprises the Lower Triassic Urd Formation (65 m) of the Sassendalen Group, and the Middle and Upper Triassic Skuld Formation (135 m) of the Kapp Toscana Group. These units are separated by a condensed '.'Middle Triassic sequence represented by a phosphatic remainé conglomerate (0.2m). The Urd Formation consists of grey to dark grey shales with yellow weathering dolomitic beds and nodules. Palynology indicates the oldest beds to be Diencrian; ammonoid faunas in the middle and upper part of the formation arc of Smithian age. The organic content (c. 1 %) includes kerogen of land and marine origin, reflecting a shallow marine depositional environment. The Skuld Formation is dominated by grey shales with red weathering siderite nodules. There are minor coarsening upwards sequences; the highest bed exposed is a 20 m thick, very fine-grained sandstone. Palynomorphs indicate a late Ladinian age for the lower part of the formation, and macrofossils and palynomorphs indicate Ladinian to Carnian ages for the upper part. Sedimentary structures, a sparse marine fauna and microplankton indicate deposition in a shallow marine environment. The organic residues contain dominantly terrestrially derived kerogen.


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Mørk, A., Os Vigran, J., & Hochuli, P. A. (1990). Geology and palynology of the Triassic succession of Bjørnøya. Polar Research, 8(2), 141-163.
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