Potential Eocene and Oligocene stratigraphic traps of the Rockall Plateau, NE Atlantic Margin

McInroy, D.B.; Hitchen, K.; Stoker, M.S.. 2006 Potential Eocene and Oligocene stratigraphic traps of the Rockall Plateau, NE Atlantic Margin. In: Allen, M.R.; Goffey, G.P.; Morgan, R.K.; Walker, I.M., (eds.) The Deliberate Search for the Stratigraphic Trap. London, Geological Society of London, 247-266, 20pp. (Special Publication Geological Society of London, 254, 254).

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Following thermal uplift during the late Paleocene to early Eocene, the denudation of the subaerial hinterland provided a massive sediment supply that led to the development of a number of large, prograding sedimentary wedge systems flanking the Hatton and Rockall basins. Regional seismic data mapping and borehole data indicate that the wedges are Eocene in age and have a high percentage of coarse clastic material typical of highenergy, fluvial or near-shore marine environments. The prograding wedges have been mapped and can be viewed as large, clastic fairways within which trapping at a number of scales exists. Seismic interpretation suggests that the wedges are present at various stratigraphic levels within the Eocene and are locally separated by unconformities. However, all pre-date the margin-wide late Eocene unconformity (C30), which resulted in subsidence and deepening of the Rockall and Hatton basins. A marine transgression inundated most former land areas, and a marked change occurred in basinal facies; a change from fluvial/near-shore clastic sedimentation to deep-water mud and ooze deposition influenced by bottom currents. These conditions persisted throughout most of the Oligocene and Neogene and hence provided a seal for potential hydrocarbon-bearing sand-prone Eocene reservoirs internal to the wedge-systems. Additional sealing potential may be provided by shale layers internal to the wedges. Buried Eocene pinchout lobes, submarine fans at the base of basalt scarp faces and Oligocene slump deposits also provide potential trapping mechanisms. High, and probably unacceptable, risks include biodegradation and poor seal development due to the typically shallow depth of burial of the wedges. However, the majority of the wedges should be treated as analogues, with some of the deeper examples providing some scope for consideration as exploration targets. The scale of the prograding wedge play fairway is massive, with volumes measured in tens of cubic kilometres.

Item Type: Publication - Book Section
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: BGS Programmes > Marine, Coastal and Hydrocarbons
ISSN: 0305-8719
Additional Keywords: Rockall Plateau, Eocene, Oligocene, stratigraphic trap, NE Atlantic Margin
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Date made live: 01 Nov 2007 17:17 +0 (UTC)

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