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3D seismic analysis reveals the origin of ambiguous erosional features at a major sequence boundary in the eastern North Sea: near top Oligocene

By
J. P. V. Hansen
J. P. V. Hansen
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Aarhus, 8000 Arhus C, Denmark (e-mail: jenspeter@geo.au.dk)
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O. R. Clausen
O. R. Clausen
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Aarhus, 8000 Arhus C, Denmark (e-mail: jenspeter@geo.au.dk)
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M. Huuse
M. Huuse
3D-Lab, School of Earth, Ocean and Planetary Sciences, Cardiff University, Main Building, Park Place, Cardiff CE10 3YE, UK
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Published:
January 01, 2004

Abstract

The near top Oligocene unconformity is a major sequence boundary in the eastern North Sea Basin. It is characterized by erosional scarps below the boundary and a pronounced basinward shift in onlap above. The shift in onlap has previously been interpreted as caused by a major fall in sea level. Detailed 3D seismic analysis of a 20 by 20 km area at and basinward of the uppermost Oligocene clinoform breakpoint reveals that the erosional scarps were caused by undercutting of steep clinoforms by contour-parallel currents and resulting mass wasting whilst the lowermost onlap package consists of a contour-parallel drift deposited as the erosive currents waned. The 3D seismic analysis corroborates a recent analysis based on regional 2D seismic data, which found that the erosional scarps and the geometry of the onlap sequence were indicative of a major shift in sediment input directions and not necessarily associated with any change of sea level. The paper thus demonstrates the utility of local 3D seismic analyses as a form of 'ground truthing' regional basin analyses based on widely spaced 2D seismic grids.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Memoirs

3D Seismic Technology: Application to the Exploration of Sedimentary Basins

Richard J. Davies
Richard J. Davies
Cardiff University, UK
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Joseph A. Cartwright
Joseph A. Cartwright
Cardiff University, UK
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Simon A. Stewart
Simon A. Stewart
BP, Azerbaijan
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Mark Lappin
Mark Lappin
ExxonMobil Exploration Company, USA
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John R. Underhill
John R. Underhill
The University of Edinburgh, UK
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Geological Society of London
Volume
29
ISBN electronic:
9781862394049
Publication date:
January 01, 2004

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