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Structural Evolution, Temperature and Maturity of The Netherlands: Results of Combined Structural and Thermal 2D Modeling

Susanne Nelskamp1, Petra David1, and Ralf Littke2
1TNO Bouw en Ondergrond, Princetonlaan 6, 3584 CB Utrecht, The Netherlands
2RWTH Aachen University, Lochnerstrasse 4-20, 52056 Aachen, Germany

In the context of this study a 2D section across the Netherlands onshore was studied with emphasis on the structural evolution and the temperature and maturity history of the area. The 2D section crosses the Netherlands from the southwest to the northeast and cuts several major structural elements almost perpendicular. The studied structural elements are from SW to NE the Zeeland Platform, the West Netherlands Basin, the Zandvoort Ridge, the Central Netherlands Basin, the Friesland Platform and the westernmost Lower Saxony Basin (Fig. 1). Along this line several 1D models were built to get an under-standing of the burial history of the different areas. The results of the 1D models within the basins are published in Nelskamp et al. (2008).

Along the 2D section structural modeling with 2DMove of Midland Valley was performed implementing the results of the 1D models. With the help of this a model of the structural evolution, especially the crustal shortening and amount of erosion during the inversion in the Late Cretaceous, was developed. The structural model allowed furthermore to build a balanced temperature and maturity model that accounts for different times of erosion and uplift and to calculate the timing of hydrocarbon generation in the different structural elements of the section.

Within the context of the study it became evident, that the estimation of the amount of erosion in the Late Cretaceous was the main factor for the reconstruction of the evolution of the basins. According to modeling, based on vitrinite calibration, the maximum amount of erosion in the West Netherlands Basin occurred on the southeastern side and exceeded 1500m. The amount of erosion gets less to the west of the basin as can be seen already on the present-day section of the model (Fig. 2). The erosion pattern in the Central Netherlands Basin is different. This basin shows severe erosion of up to 2500m in the centre. In some parts the whole Mesozoic succession is eroded. The amount of erosion decreases towards the margins. Furthermore there are graben structures in the Central Netherlands Basin that show significantly less erosion.

Another important erosion event occurred in the Late Jurassic/Early Cretaceous. This phase can be seen on the structural highs but also in the parts of the basins where the Cretaceous uplift was less severe. This erosion phase is especially important for the maturity and the distribution of oil fields generated by the Posidonia Shale, an important oil source rock. The present-day distribution of the Posidonia Shale is influenced by both major erosion phases. Clearly for oil generation and accumulation it is important whether erosion occurred shortly after Posidonia Shale deposition in the Late Jurassic or after its deepest burial in the Late Cretaceous.

Nelskamp S, David P, Littke R (2008) A comparison of burial, maturity and temperature histories of selected wells from sedimentary basins in The Netherlands. Int J Earth Sci 97:931–953

Van Adrichem Boogaert HA, Kouwe WPF (1993–1997) Stratigraphic nomenclature of the Netherlands, revision and update byRGD and NOGEPA. Rijks Geologische Dienst, Maastricht, Netherlands

Figure 1. Structural overview of the Netherlands with the position of the studied section (Modified after Van Adrichem Boogaert and Kouwe 1993–1997)

Figure 2. 2D Section with the major lithological units (NU – Neogene, NM+NL – Paleogene, CK – Late Cretaceous, KN – Early Cretaceous, SL – Late Jurassic, AT – Early and Middle Jurassic, RN – Middle and Late Triassic, RB – Early Triassic, ZE – Late Permian, RO – Early and Middle Permian, DC – Late Carboniferous)



AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90091©2009 AAPG Hedberg Research Conference, May 3-7, 2009 - Napa, California, U.S.A.