Integrating subsurface and outcrop data of the Middle Jurassic to Lower Cretaceous Agardhfjellet Formation in central Spitsbergen

The Longyearbyen CO2 storage project drilling and coring campaign in central Spitsbergen provided new insights on the shale-dominated Middle Jurassic to Lower Cretaceous Agardhfjellet Formation, which is the onshore counterpart to the Fuglen Formation and the prolific source rocks of the Hekkingen Formation in the Barents Sea. Logs of magnetic susceptibility, organic carbon content, organic carbon isotopes and XRF geochemistry on the cores, together with wireline logs, biostratigraphy and sedimentology, have made it possible to refine the interpretation of the depositional environment and to identify transgressive-regressive (TR) sequences. Several key sequence-stratigraphic surfaces are identified and suggested to be correlative in Central Svalbard, and four of them, although not necessarily chronostratigraphic, also to surfaces in the Barents Sea. Due to the nearly flat-lying thrust faults in the upper décollement zone of the West Spitsbergen Fold and Thrust Belt, there is some concern about the lateral correlation of the sequences within Spitsbergen. However, some of the TR sequence surfaces appear to be of regional importance and are recognised both onshore Svalbard and offshore on the Barents Shelf. The observations suggest a shallow-marine shelf depositional environment within an epicontinental sea with variable dysoxic, anoxic and oxic sea-floor conditions. The majority of the facies vary from outer shelf to transition zone or prodelta and lower shoreface/distal delta front. In one outcrop, proximal facies, i.e., delta front or middle shoreface, are recognised. In our study area the nearly 250 m-thick, fine-grained Agardhfjellet Formation is proposed to represent distal shoreline clinoforms and a precursor to the overlying forward- and southward-stepping wedge of the Valanginian Rurikfjellet Formation and the Barremian to Early Aptian Helvetiafjellet Formation.

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