Exhumed Hydrocarbon Traps on the North Atlantic Margin: Stratigraphy, Palaeontology, Provenance and Bitumen Distribution, an Integrated Approach

Steven Andrews, Audrey Decou, Bill Braham, Simon Kelly, Paula Robinson, Andrew Morton, John Marshall, Fiona Hyden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Previous work has demonstrated the presence of a number of exhumed hydrocarbon traps in central East Greenland. Re-evaluation of the stratigraphy alongside detailed investigation of the occurrence of bitumen within the Mols Bjerge and Laplace Bjerg exhumed hydrocarbon traps provides new perspectives on these structures, as well as the petroleum geology of East Greenland and the wider North Atlantic.

Sedimentological and stratigraphic studies, augmented with palynological and provenance investigations, have constrained the dating and correlation of the strata exposed in the Mols Bjerge and Laplace Bjerg. Petrographic analysis, alongside analysis of the bitumen identified, has highlighted a much wider distribution of hydrocarbon than previously recognised.

It was previously considered that Jurassic strata formed the main reservoir interval within the Mols Bjerge and Laplace Bjerg exhumed hydrocarbon traps. It is shown here that the reservoir intervals in the Laplace Bjerg trap lie within the Late Triassic Ørsted Dal and Vega Sund members, which contain up to 18% pyrobitumen and were previously misidentified as Jurassic. The Jurassic Bristol Elv Formation is the most extensively bitumen stained unit in the Mols Bjerge trap. However, occurrences of pyrobitumen (up to 3%) are recorded throughout the Triassic stratigraphy, including the Early Triassic Wordie Creek Formation. Faults, thick calcrete development and regionally continuous mudstone units play an important role in compartmentalising the palaeohydrocarbon accumulations.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberdoi:10.1111/bre.12424
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalBasin Research
Early online date5 Dec 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Dec 2019


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