Polar Research (Sep 2019)

Sedimentology and petrography of the Svenskøya Formation on Hopen, Svalbard: an analogue to sandstone reservoirs in the Realgrunnen Subgroup

  • Gareth S. Lord,
  • Mai Britt E. Mørk,
  • Atle Mørk,
  • Snorre Olaussen

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 38, no. 0
pp. 1 – 24


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On the island of Hopen, in the Svalbard Archipelago, the Svenskøya Formation is a succession 35 m in thickness, consisting primarily of sandstone beds and forming the youngest strata exposed on the island. We present a sedimentological and petrographic study of the formation and compare the unit with its exposures on Wilhelmøya and in Kong Karls Land, Svalbard. We also compare the onshore characteristics of the Svenskøya Formation with those of the Tubåen Formation, its time-equivalent unit in the Sentralbanken area of the northern Barents Sea. On Hopen, the Svenskøya Formation is interpreted as representing coarse clastic sediments deposited in a fluvial to tidal setting, prior to being overlain by a thin interval composed of tidal channel and marine shale deposits. The unit sits atop the regional “Rhaetian Unconformity” and represents sediments deposited during a regressive system that terminates at a flooding surface representing a local transgression of the palaeo-coastline. Petrographic studies show the formation as being arkosic, both on Hopen and in the Sentralbanken area. The reservoir quality of sandstone samples recovered from Hopen is somewhat lower compared to sandstone reservoirs in the Sentralbanken area. We attribute this to greater effects of diagenesis in the Hopen area, which caused increased compaction, mineral dissolution and extensive precipitation of pore-filling clay minerals.