AAPG Europe Regional Conference, Global Analogues of the Atlantic Margin

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New insights into the Cretaceous and Cenozoic tectono-stratigraphic evolution of the southern Lofoten and northern Vøring margins, offshore northern Norway


The northern Vøring and southern Lofoten margins are located offshore northern Norway, and are separated by the Bivrost Lineament. While the Vøring margin is extensively studied, the Lofoten-Vesterålen margin is one of the least explored areas on the Norwegian continental shelf. Although challenging, the better understanding of the geological evolution of the Lofoten-Vesterålen margin is of great importance as the margin represents the link between the mid-Norwegian, SW Barents and conjugate NE Greenland margins, and is a key area to study the rift-basin architecture and tectono-sedimentary evolution of the NE Atlantic margins. The tectono-stratigraphic evolution of the southern Lofoten and northern Vøring margins has been studied in detail utilizing several datasets, consisting of: 2D multi-channel seismic reflection profiles, well-to-seismic ties and stratigraphic information from four exploration wells, in addition to gravity and magnetic data. The main focus of the work has been on seismic and structural interpretation in order to refine the rift phases that affected the study area and to decipher the eventual role of the Bivrost Lineament, as well as to improve the understanding of the evolution the West Røst High Fault Complex and the outer Lofoten margin. Four main rift phases have been recognised and refined in the study area. Late-Jurassic-earliest Cretaceous rifting controlled the initial structuring of the main structural elements. Mid Cretaceous rifting is responsible for initiation of faulting in the West Røst High Fault Complex, while rifting continued during Late Cretaceous and led to a westward propagation of fault activity. Paleocene rifting reactivated several Late Jurassic-earliest Cretaceous and Cretaceous faults, prior to continental breakup and seafloor spreading initiation at the Paleocene-Eocene transition. The Bivrost Lineament is recognized as a major margin boundary with an uncertain exact location, which segments highs and sub-basins on the northern Vøring and southern Lofoten margins. Furthermore, two dome-shaped features have been observed on the southern Lofoten margin, which probably experienced several phases of growth from Late Cretaceous to Miocene times, reaching their maximum dimensions during Middle Miocene. Furthermore, the tectono-stratigraphic evolution of the southern Lofoten and northern Vøring margins is compared to the conjugate Northeast Greenland margin, to get a better understanding of the evolution in a regional and conjugate context.