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Salt structures in the northeastern Nordkapp subbasin are interpreted on reflection seismic profiles. Thickness variations indicate localized accumulation of the mother salt in Late Carboniferous-Early Permian time. Rapid sedimentation in the Early Triassic accompanied rise of salt into asymmetric salt pillows during regional extension. These pillows domed the prekinematic Permian sediments and became diapiric during the late Early-Middle Triassic, perhaps as a result of thin-skinned normal faulting decoupled by the salt from old basement faults reactivated by thick-skinned regional (northwest-southeast) extension.

Variations in size, maturity, and evolution history of individual salt structures can be attributed to local differences in thickness of the initial salt layer and its burial history. Salt structures form three rows concentric to the basin margins and cover ~ 20% of the basin area. Some salt stocks appear to overlie basement faults. Asymmetric primary, secondary, and in places tertiary, peripheral sinks indicate that salt was withdrawn mainly from the basin side of most diapirs throughout Triassic downbuilding.

The ratio of net salt rise rate to net aggradation rate (R/Å) increased slowly from <1 to >1 during Middle Triassic time and increased markedly during slow sedimentation in the Late Triassic and Jurassic. By Jurassic time, more than 18 enormous salt fountains extruded downslope and spread a partial salt canopy in the central and northern parts of the northeastern subbasin. Larger and more widely spaced salt extrusions in the northeastern subbasin spread significantly farther than their equivalents in the southwestern subbasin, where Triassic subsidence or downbuilding was slower. Salt extrusion (and perhaps dissolution) ceased during Cretaceous burial but probably resumed locally in the late Tertiary. Salt loss during Cretaceous-Tertiary reactivation of salt rise reduced the area of the salt canopy. Surviving remnants of the salt canopy may still trap any pre-Jurassic hydrocarbons despite hydrocarbon venting throughout the Arctic during Tertiary uplift.

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