High-resolution architecture of a polygonal fault interval inferred from geomodel applied to 3D seismic data from the Gjallar Ridge, Vøring Basin, Offshore Norway

Laurent, Dimitri; Gay, Aurélien; Baudon, Catherine; Berndt, Christian; Soliva, Roger; Planke, Sverre; Mourgues, Régis; Lacaze, Sébastien; Pauget, Fabien; Mangue, Marion; Lopez, Michel. 2012 High-resolution architecture of a polygonal fault interval inferred from geomodel applied to 3D seismic data from the Gjallar Ridge, Vøring Basin, Offshore Norway. Marine Geology, 332-334. 134-151.

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3D seismic data located in the Gjallar Ridge (Vøring Basin, offshore Norway) reveals a closely-spaced polygonal fault system affecting more than 800 m of homogeneous mud-dominated Quaternary and Tertiary sequences. As some faults reach the modern seafloor, they represent an active polygonal fault system at present day. Even if the processes remain unclear and are still under debate, it is generally agreed that the initiation of polygonal faults is the result of shallow burial dewatering of fine-grained unconsolidated sediments by volumetric compaction. 3D seismic data are commonly interpreted by propagating horizons automatically and by picking faults manually. However, in the case of polygonal fault intervals, this approach is time consuming due to the huge number of faults and because automatic propagation can be misleading. In this study, we applied a new technique of 3D seismic interpretation based on a sequential stratigraphy analysis, using the new PaleoScan© software (Eliis Company). It allowed us to build a 3D geological model computing more than 300 horizons within the faulted intervals. We then used the coherency attribute, depicting anomalies in the shape of seismic waveform like faults, in order to constrain a possible link between fault distribution and stratigraphic levels. Our approach allows fault throws to be calculated in milliseconds on any polygonal fault plane. The result shows that fault segments have been reactivated by dip-linkage. Distribution of faults depends on mechanical units, intervals characterized by different petrophysical properties, which are independent from lithological and diagenetic changes. According to these results, we propose a model showing the evolution of polygonal fault intervals in which faulting stages are separated by a quiescence phase during burial. A first tier of polygonal faults is initiated at a specific depth, according to the Cam–clay model. Then, following a period of quiescence during which mud-rich sediments continued to accumulate, new fault segments are initiated above the first mechanical unit and within this undeformed interval. New nucleated faults then connect downward to pre-existing underlying polygonal fault system, thus progressively increasing the thickness of the faulted interval.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: NOC Programmes
ISSN: 00253227
Additional Keywords: polygonal faulting; 3D seismic geomodel; dip linkage; mechanical unit; fluid flow; PaleoScan© Software
Date made live: 02 Jan 2013 17:22 +0 (UTC)

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