Liverpool Land Basement High, Greenland: visualising inputs for fractured crystalline basement reservoir models


Graham Banks*1, Stefan Bernstein1, Sara Salehi1, Pierpaolo Guarnieri1, Dennis Bird2, Catherine Hamblett3, David Peacock4 & Jon Foster5


GEUS Bulletin Vol 43 | e2019430204 | Published online: 22 July 2019

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Basement highs are large structural features, commonly buried in sedimentary basins (Busby & Azor 2012). They are of interest for natural resources exploration and research because of their ability to influence migration and entrapment of petroleum (Trice 2014) and water, and the deposition of metals (Hitzman 2005; Borg et al. 2012). Three-dimensional (3D) reservoir models (e.g. Shepherd 2009) are built to evaluate and model fluid-filled basement reservoirs (Ringrose & Bentley 2015). However, subsurface data are expensive, difficult to obtain and are often widely spaced. Ideally, basement reservoir models would be constrained by rock, fracture and mineral vein data from appropriate outcrop analogues (acknowledging that subaerial basement rocks have, by definition, a different uplift history than subsurface basement). The Liverpool Land Basement High (LLBH) in Greenland is an uplifted and well-exposed basement high located between two sedimentary basins, and thus provides a valuable analogue for fractured basement-hosted mineral, oil and geothermal reservoirs. 

The Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) conducted reconnaissance work on the LLBH in 2018 to assess the quality of the exposure of basement palaeo-weathering profiles and fault-fracture networks. Here, we introduce the LLBH, the concept of fractured basement reservoir modelling, and how studying the LLBH can help enhance reservoir modelling of fractured basement. We present some of our preliminary observations of LLBH fault-fracture networks and discuss how the exposed sediment-basement features and processes might aid industry and research in their top basement mapping activities. We propose that LLBH provides a particularly suitable analogue for industry and research to analyse: (a) multiscale fracture system connectivity, (b) fluid migration and fluid-rock reaction processes, (c) input parameters for basement reservoir modelling and (d) top basement geomorphologies and processes.


*Corresponding author: Graham Banks | Email:

1 Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), Øster Voldgade 10, DK-1350, Copenhagen K, Denmark

2 Department of Geological Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA

3 Jægersborg Alle 55, 2920 Charlottenlund, Denmark

4 Department of Earth Science, University of Bergen, Allégaten 41, 5007 Bergen, Norway

5 INEOS Oil & Gas Denmark, Teknikerbyen 5. 2830 Virum, Denmark


This article is published in the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland Bulletin – an international, peer-reviewed and open access journal published by the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS).


Banks, G., Bernstein, S., Salehi, S., Guarnieri, P., Bird, D., Hamblett, C., Peacock, D. & Foster, J. 2019: Liverpool Land Basement High, Greenland: visualising inputs for fractured crystalline basement reservoir models. Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland Bulletin 43, e2019430204.


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Date received: 20/02/2019

Date accepted: 26/06/2019

First published online: 22/07/2019


Greenland . Reservoir modelling . Precambrian . Liverpool Land . Jameson Land

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