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Abstract

The margins of the North Atlantic rift are covered by an extensive succession of volcanic rocks, with up to 5 km of continental flood basalts, hyaloclastites and interbedded sedimentary rocks. The volcanic succession deteriorates seismic imaging and has hampered petroleum exploration in these areas. Focused research and pioneering exploration activity, however, has improved the understanding and development of new play models in volcanic-influenced basins. In 2004, the Rosebank discovery finally proved that intra-volcanic siliciclastic sandstones of the Flett Formation may form attractive hydrocarbon reservoirs in the Faroe–Shetland Basin.

The Kangerlussuaq Basin in southern East Greenland offers a unique opportunity to study the interaction of siliciclastic sediments with lavas and various volcaniclastic units. It is demonstrated that: (1) laterally extensive siliciclastic sedimentary units are present in the lower part of the volcanic succession; (2) the morphology of the lavas controlled variations in sandstone geometry and thickness; and (3) deposition of the interbedded sediments and lavas occurred in a low-relief environment close to sea level. The mineralogical composition of the intra-volcanic sediments is highly variable, ranging from siliciclastic to purely volcaniclastic. Diagenetic studies suggest that the nature of the volcanic component in volcaniclastic sandstones is more important to reservoir properties than the relative concentration.

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