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Brink, H.-J., D. Gajewski, M. Baykulov, and M.-K, Yoon, 2012, Moho, Basin dynamics, salt stock family development, and hydrocarbon system examples of the North German Basin revisited by applying seismic common reflection surface processing, in K. E. Peters, D. J. Curry, and M. Kacewicz, eds., Basin Modeling: New Horizons in Research and Applications: AAPG Hedberg Series, no. 4, p. 7186.


Copyright copy2012 by The American Association of Petroleum Geologists.

Moho, Basin Dynamics, Salt Stock Family Development, and Hydrocarbon System Examples of the North German Basin Revisited by Applying Seismic Common Reflection Surface Processing

Heinz-Juergen Brink,1 Dirk Gajewski,2 Mikhail Baykulov,3 Mi-Kyung Yoon4

1University of Hamburg, Institute of Geophysics, Wave Inversion Technology, Germany
2University of Hamburg, Institute of Geophysics, Wave Inversion Technology, Germany
3University of Hamburg, Institute of Geophysics, Wave Inversion Technology, Germany
4University of Hamburg, Institute of Geophysics, Wave Inversion Technology, Germany


We thank the German Society of Petroleum and Coal Science and Technology (DGMK, project 577-1) and the German Science Foundation (DFG) for the support within the priority program SPP 1135 (Dynamics of Sedimentary Systems Under Varying Stress Conditions: The Example of the Central European Basin-System, Project Ga 350/12-1, 2). The seismic data were released through DGMK by the German oil and gas industry. We thank the Wave Inversion Technology (WIT) consortium for supporting the development of the CRS and NIP-wave tomography software. We acknowledge the supporting comments of two anonymous reviewers and the very valuable and constructive review of Ken Peters.


Proper two-dimensional and three-dimensional basin modeling relies on accurate seismic processing and interpretation, correct depth conversion of the identified sedimentary layers, reliable modeling of the thermal history of the basin, and understanding of the regional geodynamic setting. Seismic reprocessing using the common reflection surface (CRS) stack technique allows revised interpretation of the structural setting and the evolution of salt plugs in the area of the Glueckstadt Graben, located near the center of the North German Basin (NGB). Reprocessing of seismic data also provides an alternative view of the geodynamic origin of the basin. Reprocessing of data clearly demonstrates the capabilities of the CRS technique to improve the quality of low-fold data. The images display a considerably improved signal-to-noise ratio and much more detail than the common midpoint processing (CMP) of the 1980s. Moreover, a velocity model consistent with the data was built and used to perform prestack and poststack depth migrations. The image of a Jurassic salt plug indicates tectonics similar to observations in the Allertal region at the northern fringe of the inverted Lower Saxony Basin, where overthrusting plays a major role in the evolution of salt structures. Consequently, shortening of the Mesozoic strata was included in the revised interpretation. The reprocessing also provided new insights into the petroleum systems in this area, indicating possible new exploration targets. The results may lead to a new geologic understanding of the area. Instead of a two-story salt plug, steep reverse faults and associated salt structures similar to the features along the Allertal lineament may best explain the investigated seismic line. Furthermore, CRS processing leads to a new view of the shape of the Moho in the center of the NGB. This view supports the assumption that the origin of the NGB may be more related to metamorphic processes during basin initiation than to crustal stretching.

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