Catalogue of Jurassic/Cretaceous fossils and sedimentary rocks from Andøya, northern Norway

Collections in the Paleontological Museum, Oslo, the Bergen Museum, the Tromsø Museum, and the Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm.

Arne Kristoffer Norborg, Arne Dalland, Natascha Heintz & Hans Arne Nakrem

Contributions from the Paleontological Museum, University of Oslo, no. 406, Oslo 1997


Author's adresses:

Arne Kristoffer Norborg(*), Natascha Heintz & Hans Arne Nakrem: Paleontologisk museum, Sars’ gate 1, N-0562 Oslo, Norway. (*) Present adress: Amerada Hess Norge A/S, Langkaien 1, N-0150 Oslo, Norway

Arne Dalland, STATOIL, Sandslihaugen 30, Pb. 5049, N-5020 Bergen, Norway

Suggested reference to this catalogue:

NORBORG, A. K., DALLAND, A., HEINTZ, N. & NAKREM, H. A., 1997. Catalogue of Jurassic/Cretaceous fossils and sedimentary rocks from Andøya, northern Norway. Collections in the Paleontological Museum, Oslo, the Bergen Museum, the Tromsø Museum, and the Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm. Contributions from the Paleontological Museum, University of Oslo, 406, 77 pp.

© Paleontologisk museum, Oslo, 1997. ISBN 82-90915-06-3

Paper version available from Paleontologisk museum, Sars’ gate 1, N-0562 Oslo, Norway.





Geological framework

Museum collections of geological material from Andøya


Cited references and other publications related to the geology of Andøya

Database structure

Stratigraphic position of Dalland's samples

Index of genera and species

Index of species

Collection contents:


Figure 1. Earlier and present (Dalland 1975) stratigraphic scheme of the Ramså region of Andøya. [File size 13 kb; GIF]

Figure 2. Location of Andøya, and known Mesozoic sub-surface sediments on the Norwegian mainland. [File size 14 kb; GIF]

Figure 3. Exposure of the Ramså Formation during pit mining for bituminous shales of the Kullgrøfta Member (lower half of photograph) in 1957/58. The view is north at approximately right angle to the formations' strike. The white spot in the middle of the photograph and the spade to the right of it mark a ca. 80 cm thick seam of coal and coaly shale near the top of the Kullgrøfta Member, about 20 cm below the light-coloured, coarse sandstone of the Bonteigen Member. The shale yielded a gymnosperm flora described in Manum et al. (1991). Photo: S.B. Manum, July 1957. [File size 57 kb; JPG]

Figure 4. Fieldwork in the Ramså area, summer 1971. The nearly complete skeleton of Ophthalmosaurus sp. is visible in the foreground near the pond to the right. Arne Dalland in the centre of the picture conducted the field work that summer. Photo: N. Heintz, August 1971. [File size 75 kb; GIF]

Figure 5. Map of sampled localities in the Ramså region of Andøya. [File size 5 kb; GIF]


Table 1. Summary of all collections.

Table 2. Types and illustrated material from the Paleontological Museum, Oslo

Table 3. Other material from the Paleontological Museum, Oslo

Table 4. Bergen Museum

Table 5. Tromsø Museum

Table 6. Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm


This catalogue provides a list of the fossil and rock material collected on Andøya in northern Norway from 1867 to the present. The first official collecting was made by T. Dahll in the late 1860's, during work to explore the economic potential of the coal resources on Andøya. J.H.L. Vogt also undertook extensive fieldwork at Andøya and published the first geological framework in 1905. Other collections now in the Paleontological Museum, Oslo (PMO) include those made by J.P. Friis (the beginning of this century), B. Parmann (fieldwork in the summer of 1919) and T. Ørvig and N. Heintz (collections from the summer of 1952). S.B. Manum made collections in 1957 and 1958. A. Dalland collected the most extensive material during several field seasons in the late 1960's and early 1970's. The Ørvig/Heintz collection is deposited in PMO, the Tromsø Museum (TSGF), and the Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm (NRM). Dalland's material is deposited in PMO and in the Bergen Museum (BM). This is the only collection of significant stratigraphic value.


Denne katalogen gir en oversikt over alt tilgjengelig fossil- og bergartsmateriale som er samlet på Andøya i Nord-Norge fra 1867 og frem til i dag. T. Dahll samlet inn materiale i 1867 som følge av at områdets kullforekomster var av økonomisk interesse på slutten av 1860-tallet. J.H.L. Vogt samlet også noe materiale og var den første som ga en fullstendig oversikt over de mesozoiske bergartene på Andøya i 1905. Ytterligere materiale ble samlet av J.P. Friis på slutten av 1800-tallet, B. Parmann i 1919, T. Ørvig og N. Heintz i 1952. S.B. Manum samlet inn materiale gjennom to feltsesonger i 1957 og 1958. Hoveddelen av materialet forøvrig er samlet av A. Dalland som gjennom flere år på slutten av 1960-tallet og begynnelsen av 1970-tallet utførte feltarbeide i jura- og krittlagene på Andøya. Materialet er fordelt mellom universitetsmuseene i Norge, med hovedvekten av materiale oppbevart ved Paleontologisk museum, Oslo (PMO) og Bergen Museum (BM), der særlig materialet i BM er av stor stratigrafisk verdi. Ørvig og Henitz' materiale er fordelt mellom Tromsø Museum (TSGF), PMO og Paleozoologiska avdelingen ved Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet, Stockholm (NRM) (U. Borgen pers. medd. 1996). Det resterende materialet fra Andøya er med få unntak (se katalog) plassert ved PMO.


The study of sedimentary rocks of Andøya took place mainly in two periods, from 1867-1920 and from 1952 to the present day. The first geologist to visit Andøya was T. Dahll in 1867. The purpose of his following study was to determine whether the coal-bearing sequences were of economic value (Dahll 1891). Dahll collected some material which was identified to be of middle Jurassic age (Heer 1877), and he also supervised the drilling of cores for stratigraphic studies. Friis (1903) published a report on the coals, and confirmed their potential. Vogt (1905) gave an account of his work at Andøya in the period 1895-1897 and presented the first overall description of the Mesozoic succession on Andøya, including the fossils, the sedimentology and the structural framework of the area. He divided the succession into three units based on the position of the coal beds, and estimated the succession to be 550-600 metres thick based on drillings and the structural geology. An early Jurassic age for the lower part was suggested, a late Jurassic age for the middle part and an early Cretaceous age for the upper part (Fig. 1) based on a few specimens of Pecten sp. Sokolov (1912) divided the Jurassic into three units, the «Untere-», «Mittlere-» and «Obere Schichten» (Fig. 1), based on bivalves and cephalopods.

During World War II, coals were used by the German occupants who arrived at Ramså in the autumn of 1944 to explore the outcrops. Work in the quarry started in the spring of 1945 and was carried out by soldiers. For reasons which need no explanation this work was short lived (pers. comm. K. Isachsen 1996).

Ørvig (1953) described the first fossil remains of an ichthyosaur, reviewed previous work and presented a new stratigraphic scheme introducing the Ramså and Skarstein Series (Fig. 1). The material collected by Manum in 1957 and 1958 resulted in a series of publications refining the palaeobotanical and palynological knowledge of the investigated rocks. Dalland (1975; 1980) proposed the present lithostratigraphic scheme (Fig. 1). Earlier in 1971, he discovered a fairly complete skeleton of the ichthyosaurus Ophthalmosaurus sp. in the Breisanden Member, later described by Norborg (1996). In addition to the ichthyosaurus remains Dalland also made extensive collections of bivalves, ammonites and sedimentary rocks. This material was processed for macro- and microfossils, subsequently described by Birkelund et al. (1978), thus providing a more exact biostratigraphic age for the investigated units.

Geological framework

Outcrops of in situ Mesozoic sedimentary rocks on the Norwegian mainland are so far only known from the island of Andøya in Vesterålen (Fig. 2). The outcrops cover approximately 8 km2 and consist of sandstones and shales resting on a weathered granitic Precambrian basement.

The first geologist to describe the geology of Andøya was T. Kjerulf in his book «Steinriget og fjeldlæren» in 1870. O. Heer became aware of this book and became interested in the fossils from Andøya. He later described the plant fossils found (Heer 1877).

During the late 1960's and the beginning of the 1970's the Andøya region was of significant economic interest initiated by the oil exploration in the North Sea. During this period several oil companies published extensive reports on the Andøya deposits and the shelf surrounding Andøya.

The basement has a thick weathered upper part overlain by a sandy carbonate rock, giving potassium/argon dates of inferred Palaeozoic age (Sturt et al. 1979). In general, the Mesozoic part of the succession consists of two fining-upwards sequences separated by an unconfromity. The lower sequence of middle Jurassic to early Cretaceous age; the upper sequence of early Cretaceous to late early Cretaceous age (Fig. 1).

The base of the Mesozoic rocks on Andøya (the Hestberget and Kullgrøfta Members) is composed of fluvial and lacustrine sediments. The upper part of the Bonteigen Member marks a transition from fluvial, mainly point bar sedimentation into high energy beach and shallow marine deposits. The overlaying Breisanden, Taumhølet, Ratjønna, Leira and Skjermyrbekken members represent a transgressive development into more marine settings.

The upper part of the Breisanden Member contains a specific layer («fossil layer») of significant palaeontological interest. In addition to Ophthalmosaurus sp., bivalves and ammonites occur quite abundantly in this layer. Biostratigraphically this layer is correlated with the Rasenia cymodoze ammonite zone of Kimmeridgian age (Birkelund 1978). The Breisanden Member is a carbonate cemented sandstone with a high percentage of quartz and clay minerals (Norborg 1996). It most probably reflects deposition in a shallow marine environment (Dalland 1975).

The second succession extends through sediments in the Nordelva Member, of marine intermediate depth, through the Helnesset Member representing a deeper marine environment (Dalland 1975).

Museum collections of geological material from Andøya

Material kept in the museum collections in Oslo, Bergen, Tromsø and Stockholm has been systematically computer registered during the preparation of this catalogue. Other collections, from oil companies and other research institutions have not been studied. The material is computer database registered according to procedures adapted at PMO (see Nakrem 1990 and Nakrem & Sunding 1994), and as such is available for further computer handling, revisions and updating.

The information attached to each specimen has been registered «as is» from original or revised labels, from older catalogues and from publications and reports. No attempts have been made to revise the material, and consequently, some nomenclatural errors are almost certainly present. During the period of collecting at Andøya, the stratigraphy of the area has been revised several times. This is reflected in the stratigraphy recorded for each specimen. The accuracy of the stratigraphic position of the material in the tables for each collection varies accordingly. Also, the number of specimens and the taxonomic and stratigraphic composition vary in the different collections. The following tables outline the composition of each collection.


Information about the collections outside PMO, and comments on the text in this catalogue were provided by Ulf Borgen (Stockholm), Haakon Fossen (Bergen) and Elsebeth Thomsen (Tromsø). The printing of this catalogue was made possible due to generous funding from Amerada Hess Norway.

Cited references and other publications related to the geology of Andøya

Aslagsen, M., 1981. Studier av kjemisk forvitret grunnfjell, rekrystallisert paleozoisk (?) kalkstein og mesozoiske sandsteiner fra Andøy, nord-Norge. Unpublished thesis, University of Bergen, 173 pp.

Birkelund, T., Thusu, B. & Vigran, J. O. 1978. Jurassic-Cretaceous biostratigraphy of Norway, with comments on the British Rasenia cymodoce zone. Palaeontology 21: 31-63.

Bjorøy, M., Hall, K. & Vigran, J. O. 1979. Organic geochemical study on Mesozoic shales from Andøya, North Norway. In: A. G. Douglas and J. R. Maxwell (editors), 9th International Meeting on Organic Geochemistry. Advances in Organic Geochemistry 1979 12: 77-91.

Bose, L. I. 1959. Leaf cuticle and other plant microfossils from the Mesozoic rocks of Andøya, Norway. The Paleobotanist 8 (1-2): 1-7.

Brøgger, W. C. 1900. Jurafeltet paa Andø. In: Norges geologi: 21-22. Christiania: Cammermeyer.

Dahll, T. 1891. Kulforekomsten paa Andøen. Norges geologiske undersøkelse 4: 131-138.

Dalland, A. 1974. Geologisk undersøkelse av den mesozoiske lagrekkja på Andøya, Nord-Noreg. Unpublished thesis, University of Bergen, 223 pp.

Dalland, A. 1975. The Mesozoic rocks of Andøy, northern Norway. Norges Geologiske Undersøkelse 316: 271-287.

Dalland, A. 1979. The sedimentary sequence of Andøy, northern Norway-depositional and structural history. In: Norwegian Sea Symposium, Norwegian Petroleum Society 26: 31 pp.

Dalland, A. 1980. Mesozoic sedimentary succession at Andøy, northern Norway, and relation to structural development of the north Atlantic area. Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists Memoir 7: 563-584.

Dalland, A. 1984. Fossilar frå jura og kritt periodane på Andøya. Ottar 146 (1): 42-56.

Dalland, A. & Thusu, B. 1977. Kimmeridgian volcanic ash in Andøya, north Norway. In: Mesozoic Northern North Sea Symposium, Norwegian Petroleum Society 9: 1-14.

Dypvik, H. 1979. Mineralogy and geochemistry of the Mesozoic sediments of Andøya, northern Norway. Sedimentary Geology 24: 45-67.

Friis, J. P. 1903. Andøens kulfelt. Norges Geologiske Undersøkelse 36 (1): 38 pp.

Gundersen, H. 1980. Andøyas juraflora. En kutikula-undersøkelse. Unpublished thesis, University of Oslo, 101 pp+16 plates.

Heer, O. 1877. Über die Pflanzen-Versteinerungen von Andö in Norwegen. Flora Fossilis Arctica 4: 1-4.

Helland, A. 1897. Lofoten og Vesterålen. Norges Geologiske Undersøkelse 23: 64-83.

Johansson, N. 1920. Neue mesozoische Pflanzen aus Andö in Norwegen. Svensk Botanisk Tidsskrift 14: 249-257.

Kjerulf, T. 1870. Stenriget og Fjeldlæren.: 272-275 Christiania: Carl C. Werner & Co.

Lundgren, B. 1894. Faunaen i Andöns Jurabildningar. Christiania Videnskabs-Selskabs Forhandlinger 1894, 5: 1-11.

Løfaldli, M. & Thusu, B. 1979. Micropalaeontological studies of the Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous of Andøya, northern Norway. Palaeontology 22: 413-425.

Manum, S. 1966a. Nytt om Andøyas mesozoikum. Fossil-Nytt 5: 4-6.

Manum, S. 1966b. Deposits of probably Upper Cretaceous Age off-shore from Andøya, Northern-Norway. Norsk Geologisk Tidsskrift, 46: 246-247.

Manum, S. 1968. A new species of Pseudotorellia Florin from the Jurassic of Andøya, Northern-Norway. Linnean Society of London Botanical journal 61 (384): 197-200.

Manum, S. B. 1987. Mesozoic Sciadopitys-like leaves with observation on four species from the Jurassic of Andøya, Northern Norway, and emendation of Sciadopityoides Sveshnikova. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 51: 145-168.

Manum, S. B., Bose, M. N. & Sawyer, R.T. 1991.Clitellate cocoons in freshwater deposits since the Triassic. Zoologica Scripta 20: 347-366.

Manum, S. B., Bose, M. N. & Vigran, J. O. 1991.The Jurassic flora of Andøya, northern Norway. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 68: 233-256.

Nakrem, H. A. 1990. Management of type and figured fossil collections, Palaeontological Museum, Oslo, using dBASE III/IV and a personal computer. In: D. L. Bruton & D. A. T. Harper (editors), Microcomputers in Palaeontology, Contributions from the Paleontological Museum, University of Oslo 370: 3-12.

Nakrem, H. A. & Sunding, E. 1994. Paleontologisk museums databasesystem for elektronisk registrering av museets samlinger. Contributions from the Paleontological Museum, University of Oslo 385: 32 pp.

Norborg, A. K. 1996. En paleontologisk, tafonomisk og stratigrafisk beskrivelse av fiskeøgle (Ichthyosaurus sp.) fra Andøya i Nord-Norge. Unpublished thesis, University of Oslo, 116 pp.

Norborg, A. K. & Wulff-Pedersen, E. 1997. Andøyas mesozoiske bergarter og fossiler. Naturen 1 (1997): 40-45.

Pettersen, K. 1881. Lofoten og Vesteraalen. Archiv for Mathematik og Naturvidenskap 5: 369-435.

Sokolov, N. 1911. Coucher à Aucelles de ile Andø. Académie impériale de St. Petersbourg, Bulletin 6, 5 pp.

Sokolov, N. 1912. Fauna der mesozoischen Ablagerungen von Andö. Vitenskapsselskapets i Kristianias Skrifter, I Matematisk-Naturvitenskaplig klasse 6: 1-16.

Sturt, B. A., Dalland, A. & Mitchell, J. L. 1979. The Age of the Sub Mid-Jurassic Tropical Weathering Profile of Andøya, Northern Norway, and the Implications for the Late Palaeozoic Palaeography in the North Atlantic Region. Geologische Rundschau 68 (2): 523-542.

Thomsen, E. 1996. Pre-Quaternary fossil localities in Northern Norway, Northern Sweden and Northern Finland. The scientific investigations 1807-1995 and database. Tromura Naturvitenskap 81: 210 pp. Tromsø.

Thusu, B. & Vigran, J. O. 1975. A review of the palynostratigraphy of the Jurassic system in Norway. In: M. K. Finstad and R. C. Selley (editors), Jurassic Northern Sea Symposium, Stavanger 1975 9: 1-16.

Vigran, J. & Thusu, B. 1975. Illustrations of Norwegian microfossils. Illustrations and distribution of the Jurassic palynomorphs of Norway. Royal Norwegian Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (NTNF), Continental Shelf Division, Publication 65, 15 pp. Trondheim.

Vogt, J. H. L. 1905. Om Andøens jurafelt, navnlig om landets langsomme nedsynken under juratiden og den senere hævning samt gravforkastning. Norges Geologiske Undersøkelse 43 (5): 67 pp.

Zakharov, V. A., Surlyk, F. & Dalland, A. 1981. Upper Jurassic - Lower Cretaceous Buchia from Andøy, northern Norway. Norsk Geologisk Tidsskrift 61: 261-269.

Ørvig, T. 1953. On the Mesozoic field of Andøya 1. Notes on the Ichthyosaurian remains collected in 1952, with the remarks on the age of the vertebrate bearing beds. Acta Borealia, A. Scientia 4: 32 pp.

Ørvig, T. 1960. The Jurassic and Cretaceous of Andøy in northern Norway. Norges Geologiske Undersøkelse 208: 344-350.

Aarhus, N., Verdenius, J. & Birkelund, T. 1986. Biostratigraphy of a Lower Cretaceous section from Sklinnabanken, Norway, with some comments on the Andøya exposure. Norsk Geologisk Tidsskrift 66: 17-44.

Publisert 20. feb. 2009 08:31 - Sist endret 28. feb. 2012 15:51