AAPG Europe Regional Conference, Global Analogues of the Atlantic Margin

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Palaeoenvironmental Reconstruction and Crustal Modelling for the Vøring and Møre Atlantic Margin: The Predictive Mapping of Source Rocks and the History of Hydrocarbon Charge


For the Vøring Basin on Norway’s Atlantic margin, the pre-Late Cretaceous geology is largely unknown and therefore source rock distribution and the timing of hydrocarbon charge are significant difficulties for exploration. To address this problem a diverse exploration database was compiled and a multi-disciplinary approach was adopted. Seabed coring surveys and an associated analytical programme were undertaken to identify hydrocarbon micro-seepage sites. Seismic interpretation and a biostratigraphic synthesis were used to derive input parameters for a regional crustal model (OCTek gravity inversion). Plate Kinematics deformable reconstructions together with palaeo-Earth systems model results (UK Met Office HadCM3 climate model) were used with a regional sedimentological synthesis to map palaeoenvironments for key time slices. The crustal model and associated deformable plate model were used to reconstruct the Late Palaeozoic - Cenozoic break-up history of the North Atlantic margin basins. The complex subsidence history of the Vøring and Møre Margin created an evolving series of erosional uplift zones and depocentres and was accompanied by variations in palaeoclimate. Together these represent the main controls on source facies that were mapped using palaeobathymetry derived from the crustal model. The regional burial and thermal history from the crustal model provided constraints on the modelling of source maturation, the definition of source kitchens and the timing of hydrocarbon charge. To provide new insights for exploration regionally, these results were tested against the distribution of hydrocarbon occurrences and the results of the surface geochemical surveys.