A revised lithostratigraphic nomenclature for the Palaeogene Faroe Islands Basalt Group, NE Atlantic Ocean

Simon R. Passey, David William Jolley

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87 Citations (Scopus)


The Palaeogene volcanic succession of the Faroe Islands in the NE Atlantic Ocean is formalised using a purely lithostratigraphic approach and following international guidelines. The Faroe Islands Basalt Group (FIBG) has a gross stratigraphic thickness of similar to 6.6 km. dominated by subaerial basalt lava flows, and is subdivided into seven formations. The Lopra Formation forms the basal similar to 1.1 km of the Lopra-1/1A borehole, dominated by hyaloclastites, volcaniclastic sandstones and invasive basaltic lavas/sills. It is overlain by the similar to 3.25 km-thick Formation, dominated by laterally extensive basalt sheet lobes separated by minor volcaniclastic lithologies. The Beinisvoro Formation is overlain by the <15 m-thick.. inter-eruption, coal-bearing facies of the Prestfjall Formation and the <50 m-thick, syn-eruption, pyroclastic and sedimentary facies of the Hvannhagi Formation. Lava flow volcanic activity resumed with the <1.4 km-thick Malinstindur Formation, dominated by thinly bedded compound basalt lava flows. The top of this formation is marked by a regional disconformity surface, overlain by sandstone and conglomerate deposits of the maximum 30 in-thick Sneis Formation, a newly recognised stratigraphic unit. The final phase of volcanism recorded on the Faroe Islands consists of the >900 in-thick Enni Formation composed of a mixture of basalt sheet lobes and compound flows with abundant volcaniclastic units, e.g. the Argir Beds, that may require a further Subdivision at this stratigraphic level. The new lithostratigraphy allows for more refined biostratigraphical and sequence stratigraphic correlations and prepares for a revised geological map of the Faroe Islands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-158
Number of pages32
JournalEarth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008


  • Basalt
  • facies architecture
  • stratigraphic marker units
  • subaerial lava flows
  • volcaniclastic rocks
  • beneath Faeroe Islands
  • Igneous Province
  • East Greenland
  • Iceland plume
  • lava-field
  • sediments
  • Scotland
  • constraints
  • evolution
  • eruption


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