Red or buff-coloured sandstones and siltstones of fluvial origin comprise approximately 80% of the Ringerike Group, a late Silurian Old Red Sandstone (ORS) sequence that crops out extensively in the Oslo Region of southern Norway. These fluvial sediments are lithostratigraphically ascribed to two laterally equivalent formations-the Stubdal Formation (to the north of Oslo) and the Skien Formation (to the south of Oslo). The fluvial strata of each of the two formations have a distinct style of sandbody geometry, facies, provenance, and palaeocurrent direction. Within the Stubdal Formation, shallow channelized sandbodies, low- to upper-flow regime sedimentary structures, a Caledonide provenance and a palaeoflow toward the southeast are evident. Within the Skien Formation, sandbody geometry is entirely sheet form, with upper-flow regime sedimentary structures, a provenance from Precambrian rocks to the northern and local parts of the Oslo Region and a palaeoflow toward the east. No stratal contact can be seen between the two fluvial formations, due to a 15 km break in exposure between the southernmost Stubdal Formation and the northernmost Skien Formation. Relationships with adjacent formations indicate that they are diachronous, lateral equivalents. Given the abrupt change in sedimentary style between the two formations, it is proposed that a barrier had developed within the foreland basin, diverting the ORS fluvial systems in southern Norway, from a southward (north of Oslo), to an eastward direction (south of Oslo). This diversion had implications for depositional gradient, fluvial regime and provenance, resulting in the differences visible in the deposits of those rivers. The barrier invoked is arguably a Caledonide blind thrust fault that developed a topographic high, running east-west through the vicinity of Oslo, during the late Silurian. Copyright (C) 2004 John Wiley Sons, Ltd.