​Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland Bulletin 37​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Biostratigraphic correlation of the western and eastern margins of the Labrador–Baffin Seaway and implications for the regional geology

Henrik Nøhr-Hansen, Graham L. Williams & Robert A. Fensome

The Labrador–Baffin Seaway between Canada and Greenland is a key element in understanding the tectonic evolution of the North Atlantic region during late Mesozoic and Cenozoic times. The sedimentary rocks forming the continental margins on either side of this seaway represent a vast data source documenting the evolution of the region from the initial continental rifting to the formation of a strait linking the Atlantic and Arctic oceans. This sedimentary archive is important both for charting the geotectonic history and assessing the resource potential of the area. The study presented in Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland Bulletins 36 and 37 is a major contribution to our understanding of the development of the Labrador–Baffin Seaway. It is based on new palynological analysis of samples from 13 offshore wells on the Canadian Margin and six wells from the Greenland Margin, and is the first comprehensive study to present an integrated, consistent and fully documented biostratigraphic correlation across both continental margins.

This bulletin presents the palynostratigraphic framework that permits detailed correlation between the Canadian and Greenland continental margins; palynological-event charts are provided for the 19 offshore wells. The focus is on the stratigraphic evolution of the margins, particularly with respect to major unconformities that form the basis for published sequence and seismic stratigraphic schemes. The palynological data also contribute to our understanding of the significant environmental and climatic changes that occurred in the region from Early Cretaceous to late Neogene times.