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Evolution of the Jeanne d'Arc Basin, Offshore Newfoundland, Canada: 3-D Seismic Evidence for >100 Million Years of Rifting

Serrano-Suarez, Beatriz E.; Withjack, Martha O.; Schlische, Roy W.

The petroliferous Jeanne d'Arc rift basin formed during the breakup of Pangea from Late Triassic through Early Cretaceous time. Previous studies concluded that rifting was episodic, occurring during two or three distinct events with intervening periods of thermal subsidence. To test these conclusions, we used 3-D seismic data, well data, and restoration techniques to determine the spatial and temporal evolution of the Flying Foam region in the northwestern part of the basin. The Flying Foam region lies between the NNE-striking, E-dipping Mercury and Murre border faults of the basin. In the southern Flying Foam region, a series of basement-involved faults are present between the Mercury and Murre faults. In the north, a major anticline (the Flying Foam anticline) overlies the Murre fault. We have identified three syn-rift tectonostratigraphic packages, none of which are present in the footwall of the Mercury fault. Strata within the basal Late Triassic/Early Jurassic syn-rift package thicken toward basement-involved faults. This package contains salt of the Argo Formation, which decouples the basement-involved faults from shallow structures. The overlying Jurassic package lacks evident fanning toward the Murre and Mercury faults. However, changes in thickness across the Murre fault and along-strike thickness variations in the hanging wall of the Mercury fault reflect displacement on the faults during deposition. The overlying Early Cretaceous package thins toward the Flying Foam anticline, a structure produced by a combination of forced folding above the Murre fault and fault-bend folding associated with a listric fault that detaches within the Argo salt. Thus, the Early Cretaceous package is also a syn-rift unit. In conclusion, our work indicates that extension in the Jeanne d'Arc basin was not episodic, but rather rifting was continuous, occurring from the Late Triassic through the Early Cretaceous. The intensity and extension directions could have changed through time.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90163©2013AAPG 2013 Annual Convention and Exhibition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, May 19-22, 2013