The stratigraphy and structure of the Faroese continental margin

Jana Ólavsdóttir, Óluva R. Eidesgaard, Martyn S. Stoker

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9 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a summary of the stratigraphy and structure of the Faroese region.
As the Faroese area is mostly covered by volcanic material, the nature of the pre-volcanic geology remains largely unproven. Seismic refraction data provide some indications of the distribution of crystalline basement, which probably comprises Archaean rocks, with the overlying cover composed predominantly of Upper Mesozoic (Cretaceous?) and Cenozoic strata. The Cenozoic succession is dominated by the syn-break-up Faroe Islands Basalt Group, which crops out on the Faroe Islands (where it is up to 6.6 km thick) and shelf areas; post-break-up sediments are preserved in the adjacent deep-water basins, including the Faroe–Shetland Basin. Seismic interpretation of the post-volcanic strata shows that almost every sub-basin in the Faroe–Shetland Basin has been affected by structural inversion, particularly during the Miocene. These effects are also observed on the Faroe Platform, the Munkagrunnur Ridge and the Fugloy Ridge, where interpretation of lowgravity anomalies suggests a large-scale fold pattern. The structure of the Iceland–Faroe Ridge, which borders the NW part of the Faroe area, remains ambiguous. The generally thick crust, together with the absence of well-defined seawards-dipping reflectors, may indicate that much of it is underlain by continental material.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-356
Number of pages18
JournalGeological Society, London, Special Publications
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2017


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