3D seismic analysis reveals the origin of ambiguous erosional features at a major sequence boundary in the eastern North Sea: near top Oligocene
J. P. V. Hansen, O. R. Clausen, M. Huuse, 2004. "3D seismic analysis reveals the origin of ambiguous erosional features at a major sequence boundary in the eastern North Sea: near top Oligocene", 3D Seismic Technology: Application to the Exploration of Sedimentary Basins, Richard J. Davies, Joseph A. Cartwright, Simon A. Stewart, Mark Lappin, John R. Underhill
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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.