Abstract

The Njord oil field of the mid-Norwegian continental margin comprises a hydrocarbon trap structure, which is delineated by segments of master faults with complex geometry. The Vingleia Fault Complex includes the major fault segments that delineate the Njord structure to the southeast and east. Three master fault segments with a change in strike orientation are recognized. Reflection seismic sections reveal that these segments show strong variations in fault plane geometry. The central part is characterized by a pronounced ramp–flat–ramp geometry, which diminishes both southwestward and northeastward, so that the northeastern and southwestern segments have a more listric geometry. Hence, an along-strike profile shows an antiform-like culmination in the master fault surface.

To the characteristic deformation of ramp–flat–ramp faults, additional deformation in the Njord Field is obvious and marked by extensional horses, extensive roll-over folding, varying strata rotation, characteristic fault bending and variable influence of synthetic and antithetic faults. The occurrence of the style of deformation and geometrical variations in fault pattern are closely related to the structural position above the detachment fault. The following steps in the development of the Vingleia Fault Complex and the associated deformation of the hanging-wall fault block are proposed. (1) Initiation of the master faults in early Triassic. This stage was characterized by slow, extensional displacement. The positions of the master fault segments were possibly influenced by basement in homogeneities marked by a magnetic/gravity anomaly. (2) It is likely that the ramp–flat–ramp had already become established at this stage and that the master fault geometry and a proposed weak salt layer promoted this. (3) During accelerating extension in mid to late Jurassic, the master fault segments became connected by one-sided, lateral linking of fault tip and fault plane or by mutual curved linking of the fault tips. (4) Simultaneously, a roll-over anticline developed within the hanging wall of the master fault. Its relatively large amplitude is produced by a differential movement on the fault surface in combination with a dip-parallel shift of the vertical displacement maximum, which is positioned above a change in the footwall dip.

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