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Structural characterization offshore Newfoundland

Understanding tectonic evolution through geologic time informs future oil and gas exploration in this frontier area

Date:
September 28, 2021
Source:
Southwest Research Institute
Summary:
Geologists completed research characterizing the complex geological evolution of the Orphan Basin, offshore Newfoundland and Labrador, using an extensive database of newly available, modern 2D and 3D broadband seismic reflection data. These data allow geologists to visualize and understand the subsurface.
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Southwest Research Institute completed research characterizing the complex geological evolution of the Orphan Basin, offshore Newfoundland and Labrador, using an extensive database of newly available, modern 2D and 3D broadband seismic reflection data. These data allow geologists to visualize and understand the subsurface.

"By incorporating seismic interpretations of rock structures and layers, along with regional gravity and magnetic data and estimates of crustal thicknesses, we were able to generate structural interpretations of the Earth's crust," said SwRI's Dr. Adam Cawood, who led the research and is lead author of two recent papers. "Integrating multiple datasets is critical for understanding complex structural development in frontier oil and gas exploration regions."

The Orphan Basin and Flemish Pass region on the Newfoundland continental margin is a frontier area for oil and gas exploration. The region has historically been poorly understood in terms of structural and tectonic evolution, with few exploration wells and, until recently, sparse seismic data coverage.

"We characterized the region using 2D and 3D seismic data, interpreting structural geometries and basin evolution through time. These analyses provide the context for upcoming assessments of location and distribution of source rock, reservoir and seal strata for exploration in the area," said SwRI's Dr. David Ferrill, who co-authored the papers.

"By using defined protocols for cross-section construction and restoration, we tested multiple scenarios, generating robust models for the geologic evolution of the Orphan Basin, Flemish Pass and Flemish Cap region," Cawood said. "By doing this, we can better understand the tectonic evolution and related sediment accumulation during the formation of the North Atlantic, as the supercontinent of Pangea broke up and land masses drifted apart. These results are important for interpreting the oil and gas potential in this frontier area."

Cawood is presenting on the "Tectonostratigraphic Evolution of the Orphan Basin, Offshore Newfoundland: Results from Coupled Structural Restoration and Crustal Area Balancing" Wednesday, September 29, at the International Meeting for Applied Geoscience & Energy (SEG/AAPG IMAGE) in Denver. This presentation will summarize the results from two companion papers recently published by SwRI staff in collaboration with the Oil and Gas Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador.


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Journal References:

  1. Adam J. Cawood, David A. Ferrill, Alan P. Morris, David Norris, David McCallum, Erin Gillis, Kevin J. Smart. Tectonostratigraphic evolution of the Orphan Basin and Flemish Pass region – Part 2: Regional structural development and lateral variations in rifting style. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 2021; 133: 105219 DOI: 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2021.105219
  2. Adam J. Cawood, David A. Ferrill, Alan P. Morris, David Norris, David McCallum, Erin Gillis, Kevin J. Smart. Tectonostratigraphic evolution of the Orphan Basin and Flemish Pass region – Part 1: Results from coupled kinematic restoration and crustal area balancing. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 2021; 128: 105042 DOI: 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2021.105042

Cite This Page:

Southwest Research Institute. "Structural characterization offshore Newfoundland." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 September 2021. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/09/210928102245.htm>.
Southwest Research Institute. (2021, September 28). Structural characterization offshore Newfoundland. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 26, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/09/210928102245.htm
Southwest Research Institute. "Structural characterization offshore Newfoundland." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/09/210928102245.htm (accessed May 26, 2024).

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