Extensional Tectonics, Halokinesis, Eustacy in the Norwegian Central Graben, North Sea: A Testing Ground for Sequence and Seismic Stratigraphic Principles
P. A. Spencer and S. D. Prosser
The Norwegian Central Graben is a mature hydrocarbon province with proven reserves within the Upper Jurassic succession. Several phases of extensional tectonics ranging from the Permo-Triassic to the Upper Jurassic, and a thick mobile salt section, serve to complicate a clear regional understanding of the area. A full integration of structural interpretation, seismic and sequence stratigraphic principles, biostratigraphy and core studies is required to achieve a realistic interpretation and predict Upper Jurassic facies distributions within this complex area.
Utilising some 30 wells, regional seismic data and biostratigraphy, candidate sequence boundaries and regionally correlatable flooding surfaces (e.g. Eudoxus), have been identified. Horizon flattening on these surfaces has allowed the recognition of thickening-away reflection geometries adjacent to salt features and divergent geometries into graben boundary faults. This facilitates the identification of the dominant local or regional controls on accommodation space creation. Detailed seismic facies analysis was then used to reveal the relative expansion or suppression of depositional systems tracts as a response to either regional or local structural controls. It was subsequently possible to place these systems within a biostratigraphically constrained regional framework.
Mapping the base Zechstein, base Jurassic and base Cretaceous horizons has provided a map view of the active faults and slopes controlling sediment transport at any given time. This provided the third dimension essential in depicting the spatial distribution of depositional systems, and is a crucial component of any sequence stratigraphic interpretation. A regional picture of the progressive evolution of this complex area has been thus been derived, and the effect of both regional and local controls on sequence stratigraphic expressions has been determined
AAPG Search and Discover Article #91019©1996 AAPG Convention and Exhibition 19-22 May 1996, San Diego, California