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AAPG Bulletin, Preliminary version published online Ahead of Print 15 September 2022.

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Regional variability of onset and cessation of salt tectonics in the Mesozoic and Cenozoic Southern North Sea sub basins

Christopher Brennan and Jürgen Adam

Department of Earth Sciences, Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, Surrey, United Kingdom, TW20 0EX

Ahead of Print Abstract

Early post-Permian salt mobilisation of the Zechstein Supergroup was a major controlling factor of the post-Permian basin evolution and complex Mesozoic-Cenozoic architecture of different sub-basins across the Southern North Sea. Supra-regional merged seismic data sets enable the basin-scale systematic analysis of salt tectonic processes and their regional tectonic and local paleodepositional controls.

This study utilises the Southern North Sea MegaSurvey basin-scale 3D seismic dataset for the systematic identification and classification of salt structures with particular focus on onset and cessation of individual salt structures across different sub-basins. Regional analysis of high resolution isochron maps demonstrate the basin-wide onset of salt mobilisation occurred in the Triassic in most of the sub-basins. Exceptions are the Silverpit Basin and Cleaver Bank High where the onset of salt mobilisation was delayed until the Jurassic and Cretaceous times. Jurassic mobilisation was restricted to major depocenters such as the Broad Fourteens Basins, Silverpit Basin, and southern Central Graben. Basin wide pulses of mobilisation occurred throughout the Cretaceous and apart from the Sole Pit and Silverpit basins continued during the Paleogene. Cessation of salt mobilisation occurs mainly throughout the Paleogene with only a few isolated structures active until the Neogene in areas such as the Central Graben and Broad Fourteens Basin.

Improved understanding of these early salt tectonic processes will provide new insights into fundamental salt basin forming processes and mechanisms while developing new exploration strategies in the supra salt overburden in the mature Southern North Sea basin.

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Please cite this AAPG Bulletin Ahead of Print article as:

Christopher Brennan, Jürgen Adam: Regional variability of onset and cessation of salt tectonics in the Mesozoic and Cenozoic Southern North Sea sub basins, (in press; preliminary version published online Ahead of Print 15 September 2022: AAPG Bulletin, DOI:10.1306/08072221105.