Silverpit Formation

Formal (NAM & RGD 1980). Amended (Van Adrichem Boogaert & Kouwe 1994).
Lithological description

Sequence of red-brown, silty, often anhydritic claystones with some sand- or siltstone stringers and thin beds, and with rock-salt intercalations in the centre of the basin. Bedding structures can be massive, laminated or rippled, locally with abundant cracks, fluidisation phenomena and/or evaporite nodules. Intercalated sandstone beds are frequently reddish, graded, cross-bedded, and may contain clay pebbles. Some sandstone beds are light-coloured, free of clay matrix, laminated or cross-bedded. (see e.g. Mijnlieff et al 2011, Appendix B, Figure B2d).

Depositional setting

Mainly water-laid deposits, although indications of subaerial exposure have been encountered. Predominantly lacustrine and playa-lake settings in the centre of the basin. In the transition zone, sabkha deposits predominate, with intercalations of distal fluvial-plain and aeolian sandflat deposits.

Definition of lower boundary

Unconformably overlies the Limburg Group (or possibly locally the volcanics of the Lower Rotliegend Group), or conformably covers the sandstone-conglomerate sequence of the Slochteren Formation (see e.g. Mijnlieff et al 2011, Appendix B, Figure B2d).

Definition of upper boundary

Overlain by the black bituminous shales of the Coppershale Member of the Z1 (Werra) Formation.

Thickness indication
Up tp 715 m in G13-01.
Geographical distribution
Regional correlation
UK: Silverpit Formation; GER: Elbe Sub-Group; BEL: -.
Capitanian - Wuchiapingian.
Depth (thickness) AH:
3308 - 3634.5 m (326.5 m)
Depth (thickness) AH:
2666 - 2709 m (43 m)
B03G0104 Uithuizermeeden-01
Depth (thickness) AH:
2875 - 2949 m (74 m)
Depth (thickness) AH:
3041 - 3058 m (17 m)
Origin of name
Named after the Outer Silver Pit, an offshore deep in the British sector of the North Sea.
Previous name(s)
Reviewed by (date)
Harmen Mijnlieff (2017).
NAM & RGD 1980. Stratigraphic nomenclature of The Netherlands. Verhandelingen van het Koninklijk Nederlands Geologisch Mijnbouwkundig Genootschap 32, 77 p.
Van Adrichem Boogaert, H.A. & Kouwe, W.F.P. 1994. Stratigraphic nomenclature of The Netherlands; revision and update by RGD and NOGEPA, Section D, Permian. Mededelingen Rijks Geologische Dienst, 50, 1-42.
Mijnlieff, H.F., Van Ojik, K., Nortier, J., Okkerman, J.A., Gaupp, R. & Grötsch, J. 2011. The Permian Rotliegend of the Netherlands: Core Atlas, Appendix B.
Cite as
TNO-GDN ([YEAR]). Silverpit Formation. In: Stratigraphic Nomenclature of the Netherlands, TNO – Geological Survey of the Netherlands. Accessed on [DATE] from