Exploration of the Faroes Region: Seismic Images Beneath a Basalt Province
Lars O. Boldreel, Judith Keser Neish, and Heri Ziska
The Faroes Region, located between Iceland and Scotland, represents one of the significant Tertiary Igneous provinces of Western Europe.
During the Paleocene and Eocene, vast amounts of basaltic material was extruded and therefore superimposed upon the pre-existing structural and stratigraphic fabric of the area.
This basalt cover presents a substantial barrier to exploration in the area, and has not been penetrated by drilling to date. However, recent advances in geophysical data acquisition and processing resulted in the acquisition of state of the art data sets in 1994 and 1995. This seismic data demonstrates imaging capability both within and beneath the basalt, allowing definition of intra and sub basalt units in the more basinal areas. Seismic studies carried out within the basalt units give valuable information concerning the paleogeography and subsidence behaviour of the area.
Shot records from these surveys have been analysed for their wide angle reflection and refraction information in order to constrain the velocity model for the overlying Tertiary section and to study the velocity behaviour of the basalt units themselves. Application of this analysis has resulted in the derivation of substantially more accurate depth estimates for the underlying units.
This study demonstrates that penetration of the basalt and resolution of the underlying features is possible, making petroleum exploration in the Faroese offshore area viable.
AAPG Search and Discover Article #91019©1996 AAPG Convention and Exhibition 19-22 May 1996, San Diego, California