'Lithostratigraphic Lexicon of Svalbard' comprises the Upper Palaeozoic to Cenozoic lithostratigraphy of Svalbard. The lexicon is the result of a very comprehensive compilation and evaluation of hundreds of formal and informal lithostratigraphic units carried out by the Committee on the Stratigraphy of Svalbard (SKS) during the period 1990-1998. The Stratigraphic Committee of Svalbard has been affiliated to the Norwegian Committee on Stratigraphy (NSK) which has supervised the work of SKS. According to the 'Rules and recommendations for naming geological units in Norway' (Nystuen 1989) NSK has approved the proposals from SKS of redefinition, revision and abandonment of all published as well as unpublished Upper Palaeozoic to Cenozoic lithostratigraphic units of Svalbard.
The geological investigations of Svalbard started in the last part of the nineteenth century. Geological research groups from France, Germany, Great Britain, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, USA and other countries have contributed to the present knowledge on stratigraphy and geological development of Svalbard. Principles on how to define lithostratigraphic units have changed a lot during more than one hundred years and have also varied through time between geologists working in Svalbard. Due to this long and mixed history of geological studies the resulted lithostratigraphy at the end of the 1980s happened to contain numerous inconsistencies in subdivision and naming of the rock record. The aim of the 'Lithostratigraphic Lexicon of Svalbard' has been to establish a lithostratigraphic scheme for Svalbard, harmonised as well as possible to the principles of lithostratigraphy recommended by the International Subcommission on Stratigraphic Classification of IUGS Commission on Stratigraphy (Hedberg 1976; Nystuen 1989).
The Svalbard archipelago forms the uplifted and emerged parts of the northwesternmost Eurasian lithospheric plate, now mostly flooded by the epeiric Barents Sea. Great scientific as well as economic interests are connected to this region. It is hoped that the 'Lithostratigraphic Lexicon of Svalbard', will give an improved overview of the lithostratigraphy of the region and act as a guide for future geological studies. The Norwegian Committee on Stratigraphy acknowledges the work of the Stratigraphic Committee of Svalbard, its subcommittees, the great number of individual contributors and the Editor of the Lexicon, Winfried K. Dallmann.


Oslo, June 29th 1999

Johan Petter Nystuen
Chairman of Norwegian Committee on Stratigraphy (1986-1998)

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