Limburg Group

Formal (NAM & RGD 1980). Amended (Van Adrichem Boogaert & Kouwe 1995).
Lithological description

A group of clastic formations, forming a thick, monotonous succession of mostly grey to black, fine-grained siliciclastic sediments commonly containing intercalated coal seams in the middle and upper parts. Fossiliferous marine beds are frequently intercalated in the oldest parts, but these become scarce in the middle parts, and are absent from the youngest interval. The group also comprises light-coloured, massive sandstones, and primary red-bed intervals without coal seams. Volcanic beds (mostly mm-thin tuff layers) can be intercalated locally. The basal interval commonly consists of a black, bituminous shale, locally containing silicified limestone laminae. Secondary reddening is frequently observed beneath the top unconformity.
Various types of intrusive rocks have been encountered in this interval (Eigenfeld 1986), mostly much younger than the surrounding Pensylvanian to upper Mississippian (Silesian) sediments. Volcanic rocks that are intercalated in a stratigraphic sense, are rare and thin. These (a.o. ‘Tonstein’ bands) are part of the Limburg Group.

Depositional setting

Overall regressive deltaic foreland-basin fill (van Wijhe 1974; Ramsbottom 1979; Ramsbottom 1987; Guion 1988). The oldest interval consists of marine and lacustrine basin-floor fines and turbiditic distal deltaic deposits. The middle part is dominated by an intercalation of deltaic and fluvial-plain deposits. The youngest interval is characterised by (locally coarse-grained) fluvial-plain deposits, some of which exhibit a primary red-bed facies. Marine influence gradually decreased in time.

Definition of lower boundary

Poorly known because only a few wells in widely separated areas reached it. Towards the London-Brabant Massif, the group rests on the carbonates (frequently silicified) of the Carboniferous Limestone Group (Dinantian). Around the Mid North Sea High, the group grades into an alternation of carbonates and clastics of the Yoredale Formation (Farne Group).

Definition of upper boundary

Unconformably overlain by the Lower Rotliegend Group (volcanics, volcaniclastics, red beds), Upper Rotliegend Group (red-bed clastics, evaporites), Zechstein Group (claystones, carbonates, evaporites), Rijnland Group (glauconitic sands, clays, marls), or Chalk Group (glauconitic sands, marl and chalk). In the specific unit definitions these truncated situations will not be mentioned separately.

Thickness indication
Up to 1335 m in WSK-01.
Geographical distribution
Regional correlation
UK: Millstone Grit Group, Coal Measures and Warwickshire Group; GER: Ruhr-Gruppe; BEL: Belgian Coal Measures Group.
Serpukhovian - Moscovian.
Depth (thickness) AH:
1434 - 4644.5 m (3210.5 m)
The original definition of NAM and RGD (1980) has been modified considerably. Type well Rijsbergen-1 is located in a complex structural setting, where a significant fault zone crosses the Limburg Group interval. As a consequence of the poor quality of the available seismic data, the impact of this fault cannot be determined completely
Depth (thickness) AH:
489 - 1665 m (1176 m)
Origin of name
Named after the Dutch province of Limburg.
Previous name(s)
Reviewed by (date)
Tom van Hoof (2017).
Eigenfeld, R,W.F., & Eigenfeld-Mende, 1. 1986. Niederländische Permokarbone basische Magmatite als Fortsetzung der spilitisierten Effusiva in NW-Deutschland - Meded. Rijks Geol. Dienst, 40, 11-21.
Guion, P.D. & Fielding, C.R. 1988. Westphalian A and B sedimentation in the Pennine Basin. ln: Besly, B.M. & Kelling, G. (eds.): Sedimentation in a synorogenic basin complex - the Upper Carboniferous of Northwest Europe, 153-177.
NAM & RGD 1980. Stratigraphic nomenclature of The Netherlands. Verhandelingen van het Koninklijk Nederlands Geologisch Mijnbouwkundig Genootschap 32, 77 p.
Ramsbottom 1979. Rates oftransgression and regression in the Carboniferous of NW Europe - J. Geol. Soc. London, 136, 147-154.
Ramsbottom, W.H.C., Calver, M., Eagar, R.M.C., Hodson. F., Holliday, D.W., Stubblefield, C. & Wilson, R.W. 1978. A correlation of Silesian Rocks in the British lsles - Geol. Soc. London, Spec. Reprint 10,81 pp.
Van Adrichem Boogaert, H.A. & Kouwe, W.F.P. 1995. Stratigraphic nomenclature of The Netherlands, revision and update by RGD and NOGEPA, Section C, Silesian. Mededelingen Rijks Geologische Dienst, 50, 1-40.
van Wijhe, D.H. & Bless, M.J.M. 1974. The Westphalian of The Netherlands with special reference to miospore assemblages - Geol. en Mijnbouw, 53, 295-328.
Cite as
TNO-GDN ([YEAR]). Limburg Group. In: Stratigraphic Nomenclature of the Netherlands, TNO – Geological Survey of the Netherlands. Accessed on [DATE] from