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3D analogue models of rift systems: templates for 3D seismic interpretation

By
K. R. McClay
K. R. McClay
Fault Dynamics Research Group, Geology Department, Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX, UK
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T. Dooley
T. Dooley
Fault Dynamics Research Group, Geology Department, Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX, UK
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P. Whitehouse
P. Whitehouse
Fault Dynamics Research Group, Geology Department, Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX, UK
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L. Fullarton
L. Fullarton
Fault Dynamics Research Group, Geology Department, Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX, UK
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S. Chantraprasert
S. Chantraprasert
Fault Dynamics Research Group, Geology Department, Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX, UK
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Published:
January 01, 2004

Abstract

3D visualizations of modern, high-resolution seismic data have provided valuable insights into the finite geometries and spatial extent of extensional fault systems, but their evolution in time is poorly understood. Scaled 3D analogue models of rift basin evolution provide kinematic templates for understanding the 4D evolution of extensional fault systems. This paper reviews the development of extensional fault systems in analogue models of orthogonal, oblique and offset rifts. In orthogonal and oblique models, stretching above a zone of ductile deformation at the base of the model initially produced segmented rift border faults whose orientations were strongly controlled by the underlying baseplate configuration. In contrast, the intra-rift faults generally initiated at high angles to the extension direction. With increased extension both the rift border faults and the intra-rift faults propagated along strike, first producing segmented fault systems separated by relay ramps, which, with increased extension, became breached as fault linkage occurred. Kinks in the fault traces indicate linkage points. Within the models, asymmetric intra-rift sub-basins were formed where the extensional fault arrays had a dominant dip polarity. Intra-basin accommodation zones, separating individual sub-basins along the rift axis, were formed by interlocking oppositely dipping fault systems. Offset oblique rift models, formed above a zone of ductile stretching with basement offsets, generated intra-basin accommodation zones whose orientation was controlled by the underlying basement fabric. The results of the analogue models can be directly compared with fault systems in the Northern Ethiopian rift system, with the accommodation zones in the Gulf of Suez, Egypt, with extensional fault arrays in Canyonlands, Utah, and with rift fault systems in the Gulf of Thailand and the southern North Sea.

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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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