Post-Caledonian extension in the West Norway–northern North Sea region: the role of structural inheritance
Haakon Fossen, Hamed Fazli Khani, Jan Inge Faleide, Anna K. Ksienzyk, W. James Dunlap, 2017. "Post-Caledonian extension in the West Norway–northern North Sea region: the role of structural inheritance", The Geometry and Growth of Normal Faults, C. Childs, R. E. Holdsworth, C. A.-L. Jackson, T. Manzocchi, J. J. Walsh, G. Yielding
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The northern North Sea region has experienced repeated phases of post-Caledonian extension, starting with extensional reactivation of the low-angle basal Caledonian thrust zone, then the formation of Devonian extensional shear zones with 10–100 km-scale displacements, followed by brittle reactivation and the creation of a plethora of extensional faults. The North Sea Rift-related approximately east–west extension created a new set of rift-parallel faults that cut across less favourably orientated pre-rift structures. Nevertheless, fault rock dating shows that onshore faults and shear zones of different orientations were active throughout the history of rifting. Several of the reactivated major Devonian extensional structures can be extrapolated offshore into the rift, where they appear as bands of dipping reflectors. They coincide with large-scale boundaries separating 50–100 km-wide rift domains of internally uniform fault patterns. Major north–south-trending rift faults, such as the Øygarden Fault System, bend or terminate against these boundaries, clearly influenced by their presence during rifting. Hence, the North Sea is one of several examples where pre-rift basement structures oblique to the rift extension direction can significantly influence rift architecture, even if most of the rift faults are newly-formed structures.