Late Triassic to Early Cretaceous palynostratigraphy of Kong Karls Land, Svalbard, Arctic Norway, with correlations to Franz Josef Land, Arctic Russia

The Upper Triassic, Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous succession on Kong Karls Land contains common to abundant, well preserved, marine and terrestrial palynomorphs. The palynological assemblages suggest a Norian age for the Flatsalen Formation, which comprises the oldest deposits exposed on the islands. The overlying Svenskøya Formation is dated as Norian/?Rhaetian to Early Toarcian. There are possible depositional breaks at the base of and within this formation. The overlying Kongsøya Formation is dated as Late Toarcian–Aalenian. There is no evidence of exposed Bajocian deposits on Kong Karls Land. The oldest, transgressive deposits of the Agardhfjellet Formation are dated as Bathonian, while the youngest part of this formation is of Kimmeridgian age. The oldest Cretaceous deposits exposed on Kong Karls Land are Valanginian– Hauterivian condensed carbonates assigned to the Tordenskjoldberget Member (Klippfisk Formation). Directly overlying the condensed unit are Upper Barremian, or possibly lowermost Aptian, marine shales of the Kolje Formation equivalent. The youngest rocks preserved on Kong Karls Land are fluvial deposits of the Hårfagrehaugen Member (Helvetiafjellet Formation) and the Kong Karls Land basaltic lava flows. The terrestrial palynomorphs found in the Håfagrehaugen Member support a latest Barremian to Aptian age for the Helvetiafjellet Formation, as suggested by the U–Pb geochronology.

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