Abstract

In contrast to the Norwegian and Danish sectors, where significant hydrocarbon reserves were found in chalk reservoirs, limited studies exist analysing the chalk evolution in the Dutch part of the North Sea. To provide a better understanding of this evolution, a tectono-sedimentary study of the Late Cretaceous to Early Palaeogene Chalk Group in the northern Dutch North Sea was performed, facilitated by a relatively new 3D seismic survey. Integrating seismic and biostratigraphic well data, seven chronostratigraphic units were mapped, allowing a reconstruction of intra-chalk geological events.

The southwestward thickening of the Turonian sequence is interpreted to result from tilting, and the absence of Coniacian and Santonian sediments in the western part of the study area is probably the result of non-deposition. Seismic truncations show evidence of a widespread inversion phase, the timing of which differs between the structural elements. It started at the end of the Campanian followed by a second pulse during the Maastrichtian, a new finding not reported before. After subsidence during the Maastrichtian and Danian, renewed inversion and erosion occurred at the end of the Danian. Halokinesis processes resulted in thickness variations of chalk units of different ages.

In summary, variations in sedimentation patterns in the northern Dutch North Sea relate to the Sub-Hercynian inversion phase during the Campanian and Maastrichtian, the Laramide inversion phase at the end of the Danian, and halokinesis processes. Additionally, the Late Cretaceous sea floor was characterized by erosion through contour bottom currents at different scales and resedimentation by slope failures.

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