About This Item

Share This Item

The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


AAPG Bulletin, V. 104, No. 7 (July 2020), P. 1531-1565.

Copyright ©2020. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists. All rights reserved.

DOI: 10.1306/03172018173

Evidence of rift segmentation and controls of Middle to Late Jurassic synrift deposition in the Ryggsteinen ridge area, northern North Sea

Xiaoan Zhong,1 and Alejandro Escalona2

1Department of Energy Resources, University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway; [email protected]
2Department of Energy Resources, University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway; [email protected]


Multiple episodes of rifting and preexisting structure reactivation may result in rift segmentation, which is a fundamental factor in deformation variability and sediment dispersal. To understand the structural framework and basin evolution in segmented rift systems, this study addresses an integrated structural and stratigraphic analysis of the Middle–Upper Jurassic sequences in the northern North Sea. Four major fault systems were active during the Jurassic oblique rifting: (1) east-northeast–striking synthetic shear faults along preexisting Caledonian structures, which developed into basin-wide transfer fault zones and induced first-order rift segmentation. Each rift segment shows independent deformation; (2) north-south–striking reactivated Permian–Triassic faults, which uplifted the footwall developing major structural highs; (3) southwest-northeast–striking normal faults; and (4) northwest-southeast–striking antithetic shear (oblique-slip) faults, which caused internal deformation and induced second-order rift segmentation within rift segments. Rift segmentation led to stepovers from the Viking graben to the Sogn graben. The entry of regional drainages was determined by first-order rift segmentation. Prior to segmentation (Bathonian–Callovian), drainage shows a northeast-southwest line-source nature, and facies changes are quite homogenous. During the Oxfordian–Kimmeridgian, segmentation took place and modified the drainage system into a point source. Facies show a large spectrum of variability from shallow-marine to deep-water turbidites over short distances. Furthermore, drainage routes were influenced by second-order rift segmentation. West-directed drainages deflected toward the northwest by adapting to gradient surfaces established by oblique-slip faults. As such, the structural and stratigraphic expressions in this study provide an example of synrift deposition controlled by different orders of rift segmentation.

Pay-Per-View Purchase Options

The article is available through a document delivery service. Explain these Purchase Options.

Watermarked PDF Document: $14
Open PDF Document: $24

AAPG Member?

Please login with your Member username and password.

Members of AAPG receive access to the full AAPG Bulletin Archives as part of their membership. For more information, contact the AAPG Membership Department at [email protected].