ABSTRACT

The long and narrow island Hopen exposes mainly the Late Triassic De Geerdalen Formation, which is time-equivalent to the upper part of the Snadd Formation: a proven hydrocarbon reservoir in the Barents Sea. The De Geerdalen Formation on Hopen has previously been superficially described in a regional context and has been suggested to represent tidally dominated, paralic coastal plain deposits. Recent sedimentological investigations explain subtle but important variability in sedimentary architecture pointing to different depositional processes. Tidal and fluvial channel deposits show equal size and geometry, but are distinguishable by virtue of characteristic internal heterogeneities and structures. Lateral correlation along the island suggests that the channel-sandstone deposits are positioned at different stratigraphic levels and that they were deposited in a dynamic, paralic depositional environment. Based on the interpreted gross depositional environments, sequence-stratigraphic intervals are defined; these can be used as a basis for correlation. The scales of depositional architectures at Hopen are found to be directly relatable to subsurface seismic data from the upper part of the Snadd Formation in the Barents Sea, and, through regionally correlatable maximum flooding surfaces, these depositional elements can be put in a stratigraphic context. Additionally, some of the channel features demonstrated at Hopen are of comparable size and geometry to plan-view channel bodies extracted from seismic attribute mapping in the Snadd Formation. Detailed sedimentological studies undertaken on Hopen explain these depositional elements in more detail than can be resolved in subsurface data, with implications for future exploration efforts in the Barents Sea.

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