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High Resolution Seismic Sequence Stratigraphy of the NPRA, North Slope, Alaska


The NPRA is a poly-history basin on the North Slope of Alaska. The USGS has recently released a robust dataset including 2D seismic and well data from an exploration program run by the U.S Navy and the USGS from 1974 to 1982 which amounts to over 19,000 kilometers of 2D line data and 37 exploratory wells. This research addresses fundamental problems in classic lithostratigraphic correlation. The lithofacies of the NPRA was governed by both global and local allocyclic and local autocyclic controls and may be separated into four Parasequence Sets: Highstand Systems Tract (HST), Regressive Systems Tract (RST), Lowstand Systems Tract (LST), and Transgressive Systems Tract (TST). Applying Galloway log motif analysis and Vail seismic sequence stratigraphy methodology reveals several previously undifferentiated packages. When viewed in a chronostratigraphic Wheeler diagram these packages show the progressive evolution of petroleum system criticals. Three major phases have been identified in the basin evolution: 1) Crustal Extension/Rifting, 2) Sediment transport from the North, 3) Collision and Simple Shear with associated reactivation of older faults and sediment transport from the Southwest. A holistic understanding of the complex interplay between these depositional systems and the tectonic phases will substantially assist hydrocarbon explorational strategies in the NPRA.