A Late Paleozoic sill complex and related paleo-topography in the eastern North Sea analyzed using 3D seismic data

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In this paper, we utilize large igneous intrusions as a key to a detailed analysis and understanding of the late Paleozoic evolution of the Ringkøbing-Fyn High, an important structural element in the North West European Craton. The study takes advantage of high-quality 3D seismic data and boreholes to map the geometry and lateral distribution of intrusive sills cross-cutting the sedimentary strata at a low angle (transgressive sills). Our analysis shows that the transgressive sills most likely sourced the vast extrusion of volcanics, which covered most of the Early Permian Northern Basin and which is associated to the Skagerak-Centered Large Igneous Province (SCLIP). Furthermore, a geometrical analysis of the sills demonstrates that the magmatic source for the sills was located SE of the studied area, suggesting a correlation with geophysically inferred lower crust intrusions. Hence, we are in this study able to constrain the full magmatic system from the lower crust intrusions to the surface volcanics. Intrusion of the sills occurred prior to an Early Permian faulting event, which created rotated fault blocks outlining the present Ringkøbing-Fyn High. The sills exposed for erosion at the crest of the footwall in turn controlled the Late Permian paleo-topography and the distribution of the Zechstein evaporites due to the fact that they are harder to erode. Hence, we are able to demonstrate a topography controlled thickness variation of the Zechstein evaporites. The study furthermore emphasizes that an understanding of the deepest parts of the North Sea Basin is crucial when evaluating the potential for yet unrecognized hydrocarbon plays.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftTectonophysics
Vol/bind674
Sider (fra-til)76-88
Antal sider13
ISSN0040-1951
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2 apr. 2016

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