Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland Map Series 8

Descriptive text to the Geological map of Greenland, 1:100 000, Kilen 81 Ø.1 Syd

Kristian Svennevig, Peter Alsen, Pierpaolo Guarnieri, Jussi Hovikoski, Bodil Wesenberg Lauridsen, Gunver Krarup Pedersen, Henrik Nøhr-Hansen and Emma Sheldon

The Kilen map area is located on Kronprins Christian Land, eastern North Greenland, where a thick succession of Carboniferous–Cretaceous sedimentary rocks of the Wandel Sea Basin is exposed. A substantial part of the map data was obtained by geological photogrammetry from helicopter using hand-held cameras combined with fieldwork focussing on the complex stratigraphy of the area.

This volume contains a systematic description of the geological background for the map and its units, followed by an outline of the Mesozoic and younger tectonic evolution of the area and discussion of a number of still unresolved geological questions.  The tectonic evolution comprises late Cretaceous rifting, which divided the Kilen area into several NW–SE-striking fault blocks. This was followed by N–S-directed thrusting and folding of presumed Paleocene-Eocene age, whereby the Hondal Elv Thrust Sheet was emplaced above the Kilen Thrust Sheet.

The geology of the small areas outside Kilen is not well known due to their poor degree of exposure and remoteness.


The geological map sheet of Kilen in 1:100 000 scale covers the south-eastern part of the Carboniferous– Palaeogene Wandel Sea Basin in eastern North Greenland. The map area is dominated by the Flade Isblink ice cap, which separates several minor isolated landmasses. On the semi-nunatak of Kilen, the map is mainly based on oblique photogrammetry and stratigraphical field work while in Erik S. Henius Land, Nordostrundingen and northern Amdrup Land the map is based on field data collected during previous, 1:500 000 scale regional mapping. Twenty-one Palaeozoic–Mesozoic mappable units were identified on Kilen, while the surrounding areas comprise the Late Cretaceous Nakkehoved Formation to the north-east and the Late Carboniferous Foldedal Formation to the south-west. On Kilen, the description of Jurassic–Cretaceous units follows a recently published lithostratigraphy. The Upper Palaeozoic–lowermost Cretaceous strata comprise seven formations and an informal mélange unit. The overlying Lower–Upper Cretaceous succession comprises the Galadriel Fjeld and Sølverbæk Formations, which are subdivided into six and five units, respectively. In addition, the Quaternary Ymer Formation was mapped on south-east Kilen. The Upper Palaeozoic to Mesozoic strata of Kilen are faulted and folded. Several post-Coniacian NNW–SSE-trending normal faults are identified and found to be passively folded by a later N–S compressional event. A prominent subhorizontal fault, the Central Detachment, separates two thrust sheets, the Kilen Thrust Sheet in the footwall and the Hondal Elv Thrust Sheet in the hanging wall. The style of deformation and the structures found on Kilen are caused by compressional tectonics resulting in post-extensional, presumably Early Eocene, folding and thrusting and basin inversion. The structural history of the surrounding areas and their relation to Kilen await further studies.


Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland

Øster Voldgade 10, DK-1350 Copenhagen K, Denmark

Map series 8

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