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Abstract

Seismic analysis of salt structures in the Nordkapp Basin, a deep salt basin in the southern Barents Sea, combined with experimental modeling suggests that regional tectonics closely controlled diapiric growth. Diapirs formed in the Early Triassic during basement-involved regional extension. The diapirs then rose rapidly by passive growth and exhausted their source layer. Regional extension in the Middle-Late Triassic triggered down-to-the-basin gravity gliding, which laterally shortened the diapirs. This squeezed salt out of diapir stems, forcing diapirs to rise, extrude, and form diapir overhangs. After burial under more than 1000 m of Upper Triassic-Lower Cretaceous sediments, the diapirs were rejuvenated by a Late Cretaceous episode of regional extension and gravity gliding, which deformed their thick roofs. After extension, diapirs stopped rising and were buried under 1500 m of lower Tertiary sediments. Regional compression of the Barents Sea region in the middle Tertiary caused one more episode of diapiric rise. Diapirs in the Nordkapp Basin are now extinct.

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