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The Plate Tectonic, Palaeogeographic and Palaeoclimatic Context for the Development of Greenland and the Eurasian Arctic: Petroleum Play Fairway Concepts and Constraints on Mapping

Jim Harris1, Edward Anderson1, Alberto Adriasola Muñoz1, Rob Crossley1, Claire Glover1, Nick Stronach1, and Paul Valdes2
1Fugro-Robertson Ltd., Llandudno, N. Wales.
2University of Bristol, UK

For frontier basins in the Arctic the development of petroleum play concepts is difficult and in particular the presence of source rocks and reservoirs represents some of the main uncertainties for exploration. To provide an objective, process based, predictive methodology focused on these problems, global plate reconstructions were used as the basis for palaeogeographic mapping. These maps are underpinned by data and were coupled with state-of-the-art palaeo-Earth systems models (HadCM3 palaeoclimate model). Detailed palaeotectonics and palaeoenvironments maps were prepared and a new method relating topography and bathymetry to plate tectonic environments was used as the basis for palaeo digital elevation models (DEMs). These were gridded in GIS and used to provide the topographic and bathymetric boundary conditions for coupled ocean-atmosphere general circulation models (GCMs), and a barotropic model to simulate palaeotides. The compilation of the base maps was based on a global database of palaeoenvironmental and lithofacies data, the legacy of over 25 years of petroleum geological studies and an equally extensive source rocks database. These data include climate proxies that were used to test the veracity of the modelling results. Together with Plate Wizard reconstructions this work is used to provide an understanding of the palaeogeographic and palaeoclimatic geohistory of Greenland and the Eurasian Arctic.It also provides key petroleum play concepts and constraints on play fairway mapping, illustrated here for the Northeast Greenland basin and Atlantic conjugate margin.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90130©2011 3P Arctic, The Polar Petroleum Potential Conference & Exhibition, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, 30 August-2 September, 2011.