The glaciogenic unconformity of the southern North Sea
Published:January 01, 2012
J. Moreau, M. Huuse, A. Janszen, P. van der Vegt, P. L. Gibbard, A. Moscariello, 2012. "The glaciogenic unconformity of the southern North Sea", Glaciogenic Reservoirs and Hydrocarbon Systems, M. Huuse, J. Redfern, D. P. Le Heron, R. J. Dixon, A. Moscariello, J. Craig
Download citation file:
The southern North Sea is a shallow epicontinental sea that was glaciated several times during the Quaternary. The area is known for its remarkable record of tunnel valleys, the age and origin of which are debated. The recent availability of continuous three-dimensional seismic data between the coasts of Britain and the Netherlands provides the opportunity to establish a new seismic interpretation workflow adapted to the intracratonic glaciogenic successions. By analysing the geomorphology of the buried basal glaciogenic unconformity, four distinct major ice fronts are identified and correlated onshore. The ice fronts provide robust relative timelines, and the analysis of tunnel-valley orientations and their merging points indicates that the number of glacial phases has been underestimated. By comparing the erosion capacities of sand and chalk substrates, it is suggested that mechanical abrasion processes are also involved during tunnel-valley genesis. The methods and observations used in this study are applicable to the ancient glaciogenic record in general and constitute a basis for the sedimentological analysis of tunnel valleys.
Figures & Tables
Glaciogenic Reservoirs and Hydrocarbon Systems
Glaciogenic reservoirs and hydrocarbon systems occur intermittently throughout the stratigraphic record, with particular prominence in Neoproterozoic, Late Ordovician, Permo-Carboniferous and Late Cenozoic strata. Recent interest in glaciogenic successions has been fuelled by hydrocarbon discoveries in ancient glaciogenic reservoirs in North Africa, the Middle East, Australia and South America. Glaciogenic deposits of Pleistocene age are noteworthy for their content of groundwater onshore and potentially prospective and/or hazardous gas accumulations offshore. The abundant imprints of Pleistocene glaciations in both hemispheres can be used to reconstruct complex histories of repeated ice cover and retreat, and glacier-bed interactions, thus informing our view on the dynamics of older ice caps and predictions of future glaciations. This volume aims to provide a better understanding of glaciogenic processes, their stratigraphic record and reservoir characteristics of glaciogenic deposits. The book comprises 3 overview papers and 16 original case studies of Neoproterozoic to Pleistocene successions on 6 continents and will be of interest to sedimentologists, glaciologists, geophysicists, hydrologists and petroleum geologists alike.