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Abstract

Interpretation of recently acquired high-resolution three-dimensional seismic data has been combined with two-dimensional cross-section restorations and new insights into salt tectonics derived from scaled physical and numerical models. This prompted a reevaluation of the development of salt-related structures in our areas of interest in the U.K. Southern Gas Basin. Salt-related structures in the overburden comprise a series of broadly northwest-trending grabens and associated salt diapirs and walls. These structures are considered to be caused by thin-skinned gravity-driven deformation that triggered and controlled the growth of grabens and diapirs and the later inversion of selected grabens. Additional structures were created by bending and by vertical movements associated with extensionally driven diapiric collapse. The development of the overburden structure was not driven by salt movement; salt structures developed as a simple “reaction” to the thin-skinned extension and subsequent contraction of the overburden.

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