The type section of the Vikinghøgda Formation: a new Lower Triassic unit in central and eastern Svalbard

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Mørk, Atle ; Elvebakk, Geir ; Forsberg, Arne W. ; Hounslow, Mark W. ; Nakrem, Hans Arne ; Os Vigran, Jorunn ; Weitschat, Wolfgang (1999)

The Vikinghøgda Formation (250 m) is defined with a stratotype in Deltadalen-Vikinghøgda in central Spitsbergen. The Vikinghøgda Formation replaces the Vardebukta and Sticky Keep Formations of Buchan et al. (1965) and the lower part of the Barentsøya Formation of Lock et al. (1978) as extended geographically by Mørk, Knarud et al. (1982) in central Spitsbergen, Barentsøya and Edgeøya. The formation consists of three member: the Deltadalen Member (composed of mudstones with sandstones and siltstones), the Lusitaniadalen Member (dominated by mudstones with thin siltstone beds and some limestone concretions) and the Vendomdalen Member (composed of dark shales with dolomite interbeds and nodules). The Lusitaniadalen and Vendomdalen members replace the former Sticky Keep Formation/ Member in the siirne areu. The Vikinghøda Formation can be followed through central and eastern Spitsbergen to Barentøya and Edgeøya and includes all sediments between the chert-rich Kapp Starostin Formation (Permian) and the organic-rich shales of the Botneheia Formation (Middle Triassic). The subdivision into three members is also reflected in the organic carbon content and palynofacies. Upwards, each succeeding member becomes more distal, organic-rich and oil-prone than the one below. The Vikinghøda Formation is well-dated by six ammonoid zones, although the transitional beds between the Deltadalen and Lusitaniadalen members lack age diagnostic macrofossils. Corresponding palynozonation and magnetustratigraphy have also been determined. The overall stratigraphical development correlates well with other key Triassic areas in the Arctic, although intervals in the late Dienerian and early Smithian may be condensed or missing.
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