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AAPG Bulletin


AAPG Bulletin, V. 98, No. 3 (March 2014), P. 515544.

Copyright copy2014. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists. All rights reserved.


Evolution of shelf-margin clinoforms and deep-water fans during the middle Eocene in the Sorvestsnaget Basin, southwest Barents Sea

Polina A. Safronova,1 Sverre Henriksen,2 Karin Andreassen,3 Jan Sverre Laberg,4 Tore O. Vorren5

1Department of Geology, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Tromso, Dramsveien 201, 9037-Tromso, Norway; present address: GDF SUEZ, Vestre Svanholmen 6, 4313-Sandnes, Norway; [email protected]
2Statoil Research Centre, Rotvoll, 7005-Trondheim, Norway; [email protected]
3Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate (CAGE), University of Tromso, 9037-Tromso, Norway; [email protected]
4Department of Geology, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Tromso, Dramsveien 201, 9037-Tromso, Norway; [email protected]


Interpretation of seismic data from the Sorvestsnaget Basin, southwest Barents Sea, demonstrates gradual middle Eocene basin infilling (from the north) generated by southward-prograding shelf-margin clinoforms. The basin experienced continued accommodation development during the middle Eocene because of differential subsidence caused by the onset of early Eocene sea-floor spreading in the Norwegian-Greenland Sea, faulting, salt movement, and different tectonic activity between the Sorvestsnaget Basin and Veslemoy high. During this time, the margin shows transformation from an initially high-relief margin to a progradation in the final stage. The early stage of progradation is characterized by the establishment of generally oblique clinoform shifts creating a flat shelf-edge trajectory that implies a gentle falling or stable relative sea level and low accommodation-to-sediment supply ratio (lt1) in the topsets. During the early stage of basin development, the high-relief margin, narrow shelf, stable or falling relative sea level, seismicity, and presumably high sedimentation rate caused accumulation of thick and areally extensive deep-water fans. Seismic-scale sandstone injections deform the fans.

A fully prograding margin developed when the shelf-to-basin profile lowered, apparently because of increased subsidence of the northern part. This stage of the basin development is generally characterized by the presence of sigmoid clinoform shifts creating an ascending shelf-edge trajectory that is implying steady or rising relative sea level with an accommodation-to-sediment supply ratio of greater than 1, implying sand accumulation on the shelf. This study suggests that some volume of sand was transported into the deep water during relative sea level rise considering the narrow shelf and inferred high rates of sediment supply.

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