Late Ordovician (Hirnantian) depositional pattern and sea-level change in shallow marine to shoreface cycles in central Sweden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The Upper Ordovician Kyrkas Quartzite Formation at the Nifsasen Quarry (Jamtland, Sweden) exhibits c. 90 m of siliciclastic sedimentary rocks deposited on a shallow shelf at the cratonattached part of tile Caledonian foreland basin. Five lithologies are distinguished, including claystone, mudstone, siltstone, subarkose and sublitharenite. Based on these five lithologies, sedimentary structures and biota, three marine facies associations are defined: the Mudstone association (FA1) deposited close to storm wave base, the Sandstone/mudstone association (FA2) formed between storm and fair-weather wave bases, and the Sandstone association (FA3) accumulated above fair-weather wave base. The facies associations are arranged in two sequences, c. 50 and 40 in thick, separated by a transgressive surface, indicating repeated shoreline progradation. Both sequences commence with marine heterolithic shales and siltstones, with upwardly increasing frequency of tempestites. Continued shoaling is indicated by a dominance of hummocky and trough (locally tabular) crossstratified sandstone beds in the upper part of each sequence. Sand beds are increasingly amalgamated up-sequence, reflecting progressively diminishing accommodation space. The depositional style and sedimentary structures indicate that the study area was storm-dominated with an abundant supply of siliciclastic material. Biostratigraphic data tie the depositional changes to the globally recognized Late Ordovician (Himantian) glacial interval. These data suggest that the first sequence was formed during the initial phase of regression in the earliest Hirnantian. The lowermost part of the overlying sequence contains elements of atypical Hirnantia fauna followed by beds yielding Normalograptus persculptus, suggesting a second regressive cycle in the Jamtland basin during the early N. persculptats Biozone.


  • Peter Dahlqvist
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Geology


  • eustatic, Jamtland, storm deposition, Late Ordovician, Hirnantia fauna, persculptus, sea level
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)605-616
JournalGeological Magazine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Publication categoryResearch