01 Mar 2022
01 Mar 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal SE.

The timing of the Ellesmerian Orogeny in Svalbard: A review

Jean-Baptiste P. Koehl1,2,3,4, John E. A. Marshall5, and Gilda Lopes6 Jean-Baptiste P. Koehl et al.
  • 1Department of Geosciences, UiT The Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø, N-9037 Tromsø, Norway
  • 2CAGE – Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate, NO-9037 Tromsø, Norway
  • 3Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1047 Blindern, NO-0316 Oslo, Norway
  • 4Research Centre for Arctic Petroleum Exploration (ARCEx), University of Tromsø, N-9037 Tromsø, Norway
  • 5School of Ocean and Earth Science, University of Southampton, National Oceanography Centre, European Way, Southampton SO14 3ZH, UK
  • 6CIMA – Centre for Marine and Environmental Research, Universidade do Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139, Faro, Portugal

Abstract. In the Late Devonian–earliest Mississippian, Svalbard was affected by a short-lived episode of deformation named the Ellesmerian (Svalbardian) Orogeny. This event resulted in intense folding and thrusting in Devonian sedimentary successions. Deformation stopped prior to the deposition of Carboniferous–Permian sedimentary strata of the Billefjorden and Gipsdalen groups, which lie unconformably over folded Devonian strata. Later on, presumed Ellesmerian structures were reworked during Eurekan tectonism in the early Cenozoic and partly eroded. At present, record of Ellesmerian deformation is only preserved in narrow N–S-trending belts in central–northern, western and southern Spitsbergen. Despite extensive field studies, the timing of the Ellesmerian Orogeny is poorly constrained, and remains a matter of debate in places because of conflicting ages and because of the complex tectonic history of Svalbard. The present contribution aims at reviewing and discussing all available age constraints for Ellesmerian tectonism in Svalbard, which has great implications for the plate tectonic reconstructions of Arctic regions and for the tectonic history of Svalbard.

Jean-Baptiste P. Koehl et al.

Status: open (until 01 Jun 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on se-2022-14', Michael Newman, 03 Apr 2022 reply

Jean-Baptiste P. Koehl et al.

Jean-Baptiste P. Koehl et al.


Total article views: 436 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total Supplement BibTeX EndNote
375 51 10 436 25 2 5
  • HTML: 375
  • PDF: 51
  • XML: 10
  • Total: 436
  • Supplement: 25
  • BibTeX: 2
  • EndNote: 5
Views and downloads (calculated since 01 Mar 2022)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 01 Mar 2022)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 414 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 414 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
Latest update: 18 May 2022
Short summary
The manuscript reviews age constraints for a short-lived episode of deformation in Svalbard (Ellesmerian/Svalbardian Orogeny) that is thought to have occurred ca. 380–360 million years ago. The review discusses mostly but is not limited to paleontological, palynological, and geochronological evidence. The review finds it most unlikely that the event discussed ever occurred in Svalbard.