Future Advances in Basin Modeling: Suggestions from Current Observations, Analyses, and Simulations

A special issue of Geosciences (ISSN 2076-3263). This special issue belongs to the section "Structural Geology and Tectonics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2019) | Viewed by 62548

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Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Tectonor AS, Stavanger, Norway
Interests: basin modelling; structural deveopment; tectonic processes; thermal regime; post glacial rebound

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Guest Editor
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA
Interests: post-glacial rebound; basin modelling; fluid flow in sedimentary basins; fluid-rock interactions in basins

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The intent of this special issue is to assemble a set or papers that describe the nature, causes, and consequences of the diverse fluid movements that occur in basins. The papers will provide a perspective of what could be added in the next generation of basin models. The twelve already committed papers describe the impact of magmatic sill intrusion and salt migration on maturation (incorporating fault movements), gas movements in the South China Sea, the maturation of Paleozoic source rock in the Llanos Basin of Colombia, the dynamic venting of H2 gas from Paleozoic formations, alteration and permeability modification related to petroleum migration, the impact of multiple glaciations on maturation and migration, and the detection of flow pathways using passive seismic techniques. Papers not yet committed could address secondary migration, determination of thermal conductivity from well log profiles, and gas desorption following glacial unloading. Fundamental questions such as continental lithosphere thickness and the characterization of unconventional hydrocarbon resources might also be included. 

The volume will be available free online and the cost per author is minimal, so its impact will depend on the quality and novelty of the included papers. Our intent is to distribute and update a list of tentative titles as papers are committed so that authors can see how their contribution fits into the overall context of the volume. Articles will be published as soon as they are accepted. The suggested August 31, 2019 deadline is not a firm deadline for the volume. Important contributions will be accepted after this date.

Dr. Willy Fjeldskaar
Prof. Lawrence Cathles
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Structural evolution
  • Thermal development
  • Diagenesis
  • Hydrocarbon maturation
  • Migration of hydrocarbons
  • Unconventional resources
  • Geophysical monitoring 

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Published Papers (17 papers)

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Editorial

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7 pages, 187 KiB  
Editorial
A Summary of “Future Advances in Basin Modeling: Suggestions from Current Observations, Analyses and Simulations”
by Lawrence Cathles and Willy Fjeldskaar
Geosciences 2020, 10(12), 506; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10120506 - 21 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1527
Abstract
The objective of this volume differs from that of the usual review of current advances [...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial

21 pages, 3284 KiB  
Article
Direct Inversion Method of Fault Slip Analysis to Determine the Orientation of Principal Stresses and Relative Chronology for Tectonic Events in Southwestern White Mountain Region of New Hampshire, USA
by Christopher C. Barton and Jacques Angelier
Geosciences 2020, 10(11), 464; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10110464 - 16 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2333
Abstract
The orientation and relative magnitudes of paleo tectonic stresses in the western central region of the White Mountains of New Hampshire is reconstructed using the direct inversion method of fault slip analysis on 1–10-m long fractures exposed on a series of road cuts [...] Read more.
The orientation and relative magnitudes of paleo tectonic stresses in the western central region of the White Mountains of New Hampshire is reconstructed using the direct inversion method of fault slip analysis on 1–10-m long fractures exposed on a series of road cuts along Interstate 93, just east of the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in North Woodstock, NH, USA. The inversion yields nine stress regimes which identify five tectonic events that impacted the White Mountain region over the last 410 Ma. The inversion method has potential application in basin analysis. Full article
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19 pages, 5388 KiB  
Article
Extensive Sills in the Continental Basement from Deep Seismic Reflection Profiling
by Larry D. Brown and Doyeon Kim
Geosciences 2020, 10(11), 449; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10110449 - 10 Nov 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3089
Abstract
Crustal seismic reflection profiling has revealed the presence of extensive, coherent reflections with anomalously high amplitudes in the crystalline crust at a number of locations around the world. In areas of active tectonic activity, these seismic “bright spots” have often been interpreted as [...] Read more.
Crustal seismic reflection profiling has revealed the presence of extensive, coherent reflections with anomalously high amplitudes in the crystalline crust at a number of locations around the world. In areas of active tectonic activity, these seismic “bright spots” have often been interpreted as fluid magma at depth. The focus in this report is high-amplitude reflections that have been identified or inferred to mark interfaces between solid mafic intrusions and felsic to intermediate country rock. These “frozen sills” most commonly appear as thin, subhorizontal sheets at middle to upper crustal depths, several of which can be traced for tens to hundreds of kilometers. Their frequency among seismic profiles suggest that they may be more common than widely realized. These intrusions constrain crustal rheology at the time of their emplacement, represent a significant mode of transfer of mantle material and heat into the crust, and some may constitute fingerprints of distant mantle plumes. These sills may have played important roles in overlying basin evolution and ore deposition. Full article
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3 pages, 588 KiB  
Communication
Earth Tides and H2 Venting in the Sao Francisco Basin, Brazil
by Jacob Simon, Patrick Fulton, Alain Prinzhofer and Lawrence Cathles
Geosciences 2020, 10(10), 414; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10100414 - 19 Oct 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1978
Abstract
Hydrogen gas seeping from Proterozoic basins worldwide is a potential non-carbon energy resource, and the vents are consequently receiving research attention. A curious feature of H2 venting in the Sao Francisco Basin in Brazil is that the venting displays a very regular [...] Read more.
Hydrogen gas seeping from Proterozoic basins worldwide is a potential non-carbon energy resource, and the vents are consequently receiving research attention. A curious feature of H2 venting in the Sao Francisco Basin in Brazil is that the venting displays a very regular daily cycle. It has been shown that atmospheric pressure tides could explain this cycle, but solid earth tides might be an alternative explanation. We show here that it is unlikely that solid earth tides are a dominant control because they have two equally strong peaks per day whereas the H2 venting has only one. Full article
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16 pages, 4480 KiB  
Article
Migration of Natural Hydrogen from Deep-Seated Sources in the São Francisco Basin, Brazil
by Frédéric-Victor Donzé, Laurent Truche, Parisa Shekari Namin, Nicolas Lefeuvre and Elena F. Bazarkina
Geosciences 2020, 10(9), 346; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10090346 - 2 Sep 2020
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 6130
Abstract
Hydrogen gas is seeping from the sedimentary basin of São Franciso, Brazil. The seepages of H2 are accompanied by helium, whose isotopes reveal a strong crustal signature. Geophysical data indicates that this intra-cratonic basin is characterized by (i) a relatively high geothermal [...] Read more.
Hydrogen gas is seeping from the sedimentary basin of São Franciso, Brazil. The seepages of H2 are accompanied by helium, whose isotopes reveal a strong crustal signature. Geophysical data indicates that this intra-cratonic basin is characterized by (i) a relatively high geothermal gradient, (ii) deep faults delineating a horst and graben structure and affecting the entire sedimentary sequence, (iii) archean to paleoproterozoïc basements enriched in radiogenic elements and displaying mafic and ultramafic units, and (iv) a possible karstic reservoir located 400 m below the surface. The high geothermal gradient could be due to a thin lithosphere enriched in radiogenic elements, which can also contribute to a massive radiolysis process of water at depth, releasing a significant amount of H2. Alternatively, ultramafic rocks that may have generated H2 during their serpentinization are also documented in the basement. The seismic profiles show that the faults seen at the surface are deeply rooted in the basement, and can drain deep fluids to shallow depths in a short time scale. The carbonate reservoirs within the Bambuí group which forms the main part of the sedimentary layers, are crossed by the fault system and represent good candidates for temporary H2 accumulation zones. The formation by chemical dissolution of sinkholes located at 400 m depth might explain the presence of sub-circular depressions seen at the surface. These sinkholes might control the migration of gas from temporary storage reservoirs in the upper layer of the Bambuí formation to the surface. The fluxes of H2 escaping out of these structures, which have been recently documented, are discussed in light of the newly developed H2 production model in the Precambrian continental crust. Full article
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18 pages, 4340 KiB  
Article
What Pulsating H2 Emissions Suggest about the H2 Resource in the Sao Francisco Basin of Brazil
by Lawrence Cathles and Alain Prinzhofer
Geosciences 2020, 10(4), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10040149 - 17 Apr 2020
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 3817
Abstract
Proterozoic sedimentary basins very often emit natural hydrogen gas that may be a valuable part of a non-carbon energy infrastructure. Vents in the Sao Francisco Basin in Brazil release hydrogen to the atmosphere mainly during the daylight half of the day. Daily temperature [...] Read more.
Proterozoic sedimentary basins very often emit natural hydrogen gas that may be a valuable part of a non-carbon energy infrastructure. Vents in the Sao Francisco Basin in Brazil release hydrogen to the atmosphere mainly during the daylight half of the day. Daily temperature and the regular daily tidal atmospheric pressure variations have been suggested as possible causes of the pulsing of H2 venting. Here, we analyze a ~550 m-diameter depression that is barren of vegetation and venting hydrogen mainly at its periphery. We show that daily temperature changes propagated only ~1/2 m into the subsurface and are thus too shallow to explain the H2 variations measured at 1-m depth. Pressure changes could propagate deeply enough, and at the depth at which the cyclic variations are measured hydrogen concentration will have the observed phase relationship to atmospheric pressure changes provided: (1) the pressure wave is terminated by geologic barriers at about 25% of its full potential penetration distance, and (2) the volume of gas in the vents is very small compared to the volume of gas tapped by the venting. These constraints suggest that there is a shallow gas reservoir above the water table under the ~550 m-diameter barren-of-vegetation depression. The 1D-analytical and finite-element calculations presented in this paper help define the hydrogen system and suggest the further steps needed to characterize its volume, hydrogen flux and resource potential. Full article
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15 pages, 4424 KiB  
Article
Observational and Critical State Physics Descriptions of Long-Range Flow Structures
by Peter E. Malin, Peter C. Leary, Lawrence M. Cathles and Christopher C. Barton
Geosciences 2020, 10(2), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10020050 - 28 Jan 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2732
Abstract
Using Fracture Seismic methods to map fluid-conducting fracture zones makes it important to understand fracture connectivity over distances greater 10–20 m in the Earth’s upper crust. The principles required for this understanding are developed here from the observations that (1) the spatial variations [...] Read more.
Using Fracture Seismic methods to map fluid-conducting fracture zones makes it important to understand fracture connectivity over distances greater 10–20 m in the Earth’s upper crust. The principles required for this understanding are developed here from the observations that (1) the spatial variations in crustal porosity are commonly associated with spatial variations in the magnitude of the natural logarithm of crustal permeability, and (2) many parameters, including permeability have a scale-invariant power law distribution in the crust. The first observation means that crustal permeability has a lognormal distribution that can be described as κ κ 0 exp ( α ( φ φ 0 ) ) , where α is the ratio of the standard deviation of ln permeability from its mean to the standard deviation of porosity from its mean. The scale invariance of permeability indicates that αϕο = 3 to 4 and that the natural log of permeability has a 1/k pink noise spatial distribution. Combined, these conclusions mean that channelized flow in the upper crust is expected as the distance traversed by flow increases. Locating the most permeable channels using Seismic Fracture methods, while filling in the less permeable parts of the modeled volume with the correct pink noise spatial distribution of permeability, will produce much more realistic models of subsurface flow. Full article
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16 pages, 6251 KiB  
Article
Compaction and Fluid—Rock Interaction in Chalk Insight from Modelling and Data at Pore-, Core-, and Field-Scale
by Mona Wetrhus Minde and Aksel Hiorth
Geosciences 2020, 10(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10010006 - 21 Dec 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3063
Abstract
Water weakening is a phenomenon that is observed in high porosity chalk formations. The rock interacts with ions in injected water and additional deformation occurs. This important effect needs to be taken into account when modelling the water flooding of these reservoirs. The [...] Read more.
Water weakening is a phenomenon that is observed in high porosity chalk formations. The rock interacts with ions in injected water and additional deformation occurs. This important effect needs to be taken into account when modelling the water flooding of these reservoirs. The models used on field scale are simple and only model the effect as a change in water saturation. In this paper, we argue that the water weakening effect can to a large extend be understood as a combination of changes in water activity, surface charge and chemical dissolution. We apply the de Waal model to analyse compaction experiments, and to extract the additional deformation induced by the chemical interaction between the injected water and the rock. The chemical changes are studied on a field scale using potential flow models. On a field scale, we show that the dissolution/precipitation mechanisms studied in the lab will propagate at a much lower speed and mainly affect compaction near the well region and close to the temperature front. Changes in surface charge travel much faster in the reservoir and might be an important contributor to the observed water weakening effect. We also discuss how mineralogical variations impacts compaction. Full article
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25 pages, 5031 KiB  
Article
On the Processes that Produce Hydrocarbon and Mineral Resources in Sedimentary Basins
by Lawrence Cathles
Geosciences 2019, 9(12), 520; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9120520 - 17 Dec 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3100
Abstract
Sedimentary basins are near-planetary scale stratigraphic-structural-thermochemical reactors that produce a cornucopia of organic and inorganic resources. The scale over which fluid movements coordinate in basins and the broad mix of processes involved is remarkable. Easily observed characteristics indicate the style of flow that [...] Read more.
Sedimentary basins are near-planetary scale stratigraphic-structural-thermochemical reactors that produce a cornucopia of organic and inorganic resources. The scale over which fluid movements coordinate in basins and the broad mix of processes involved is remarkable. Easily observed characteristics indicate the style of flow that has operated and suggest what kind of resources the basin has likely produced. The case for this proposition is built by reviewing and interpreting observations. Features that future basin models might include to become more effective exploration and development tools are suggested. Full article
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34 pages, 19785 KiB  
Article
Fracture Seismic: Mapping Subsurface Connectivity
by Charles Sicking and Peter Malin
Geosciences 2019, 9(12), 508; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9120508 - 6 Dec 2019
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 5048
Abstract
Fracture seismic is the method for recording and analyzing passive seismic data for mapping the fractures in the subsurface. Fracture seismic is able to map the fractures because of two types of mechanical actions in the fractures. First, in cohesive rock, fractures can [...] Read more.
Fracture seismic is the method for recording and analyzing passive seismic data for mapping the fractures in the subsurface. Fracture seismic is able to map the fractures because of two types of mechanical actions in the fractures. First, in cohesive rock, fractures can emit short duration energy pulses when growing at their tips through opening and shearing. The industrial practice of recording and analyzing these short duration events is commonly called micro-seismic. Second, coupled rock–fracture–fluid interactions take place during earth deformations and this generates signals unique to the fracture’s physical characteristics. This signal appears as harmonic resonance of the entire, fluid-filled fracture. These signals can be initiated by both external and internal changes in local pressure, e.g., a passing seismic wave, tectonic deformations, and injection during a hydraulic well treatment. Fracture seismic is used to map the location, spatial extent, and physical characteristics of fractures. The strongest fracture seismic signals come from connected fluid-pathways. Fracture seismic observations recorded before, during, and after hydraulic stimulations show that such treatments primarily open pre-existing fractures and weak zones in the rocks. Time-lapse fracture seismic methods map the flow of fluids in the rocks and reveal how the reservoir connectivity changes over time. We present examples that support these findings and suggest that the fracture seismic method should become an important exploration, reservoir management, production, and civil safety tool for the subsurface energy industry. Full article
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28 pages, 7760 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Magmatic Intrusions on Diagenetic Processes and Stress Accumulation
by Magnhild Sydnes, Willy Fjeldskaar, Ivar Grunnaleite, Ingrid Fjeldskaar Løtveit and Rolf Mjelde
Geosciences 2019, 9(11), 477; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9110477 - 13 Nov 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3448
Abstract
Diagenetic changes in sedimentary basins may alter hydrocarbon reservoir quality with respect to porosity and permeability. Basins with magmatic intrusions have specific thermal histories that at time of emplacement and in the aftermath have the ability to enhance diagenetic processes. Through diagenesis the [...] Read more.
Diagenetic changes in sedimentary basins may alter hydrocarbon reservoir quality with respect to porosity and permeability. Basins with magmatic intrusions have specific thermal histories that at time of emplacement and in the aftermath have the ability to enhance diagenetic processes. Through diagenesis the thermal conductivity of rocks may change significantly, and the transformations are able to create hydrocarbon traps. The present numerical study quantified the effect of magmatic intrusions on the transitions of opal A to opal CT to quartz, smectite to illite and quartz diagenesis. We also studied how these chemical alterations and the sills themselves have affected the way the subsurface responds to stresses. The modeling shows that the area in the vicinity of magmatic sills has enhanced porosity loss caused by diagenesis compared to remote areas not intruded. Particularly areas located between clusters of sills are prone to increased diagenetic changes. Furthermore, areas influenced by diagenesis have, due to altered physical properties, increased stress accumulations, which might lead to opening of fractures and activation/reactivation of faults, thus influencing the permeability and possible hydrocarbon migration in the subsurface. This study emphasizes the influence magmatic intrusions may have on the reservoir quality and illustrates how magmatic intrusions and diagenetic changes and their thermal and stress consequences can be included in basin models. Full article
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15 pages, 5332 KiB  
Article
Tilting and Flexural Stresses in Basins Due to Glaciations—An Example from the Barents Sea
by Ingrid F. Løtveit, Willy Fjeldskaar and Magnhild Sydnes
Geosciences 2019, 9(11), 474; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9110474 - 11 Nov 2019
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3534
Abstract
Many of the Earth’s sedimentary basins are affected by glaciations. Repeated glaciations over millions of years may have had a significant effect on the physical conditions in sedimentary basins and on basin structuring. This paper presents some of the major effects that ice [...] Read more.
Many of the Earth’s sedimentary basins are affected by glaciations. Repeated glaciations over millions of years may have had a significant effect on the physical conditions in sedimentary basins and on basin structuring. This paper presents some of the major effects that ice sheets might have on sedimentary basins, and includes examples of quantifications of their significance. Among the most important effects are movements of the solid Earth caused by glacial loading and unloading, and the related flexural stresses. The driving factor of these movements is isostasy. Most of the production licenses on the Norwegian Continental Shelf are located inside the margin of the former Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) ice sheet. Isostatic modeling shows that sedimentary basins near the former ice margin can be tilted as much as 3 m/km which might significantly alter pathways of hydrocarbon migration. In an example from the SW Barents Sea we show that flexural stresses related to the isostatic uplift after LGM deglaciation can produce stress changes large enough to result in increased fracture-related permeability in the sedimentary basin, and lead to potential spillage of hydrocarbons out of potential reservoirs. The results demonstrate that future basin modeling should consider including the loading effect of glaciations when dealing with petroleum potential in former glaciated areas. Full article
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22 pages, 4386 KiB  
Article
An Assessment of Stress States in Passive Margin Sediments: Iterative Hydro-Mechanical Simulations on Basin Models and Implications for Rock Failure Predictions
by Antoine Bouziat, Nicolas Guy, Jérémy Frey, Daniele Colombo, Priscille Colin, Marie-Christine Cacas-Stentz and Tristan Cornu
Geosciences 2019, 9(11), 469; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9110469 - 6 Nov 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3446
Abstract
Capturing the past and present hydro-mechanical behavior of passive margin sediments raises noticeable interest, notably in geo-hazard risk assessment and hydrocarbon exploration. In this work, we aim at assessing the stress states undergone by these sedimentary deposits through geological time. To do so, [...] Read more.
Capturing the past and present hydro-mechanical behavior of passive margin sediments raises noticeable interest, notably in geo-hazard risk assessment and hydrocarbon exploration. In this work, we aim at assessing the stress states undergone by these sedimentary deposits through geological time. To do so, we use an iterative coupling between a basin simulator and a finite element mechanical solver. This method conciliates a computation of the full stress tensors with a dynamic and geologically detailed modelling of the sedimentation. It is carried out on a dedicated set of 2D synthetic basin models, designed to be representative of siliciclastic deposition in passive margins and integrating variations in their geological history. Contrary to common assumptions in operational basin modelling studies, our results imply that passive margin sedimentary wedges are multidimensional mechanical systems, which endure significant non-vertical stress without external tectonic input. Our results also highlight the variability of the stress states through space and time, with a strong control from the geometry and lithological heterogeneities of the deposits. Lastly, we used the simulation results to predict a location and timing for the development of weakness zones in the sedimentary stacks, as privileged areas for rock failure. The outcome underlines the influence of the basal tilt angle, with a slight tilt impacting the wedges stability to a similar extent as a substantial increase in sedimentation rate. Altogether, this study emphasizes the need for careful consideration of non-vertical stresses in basin simulations, including in passive tectonic contexts. It also suggests that the iterative coupling method employed is a promising way to match industrial needs in this regard. Full article
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23 pages, 9727 KiB  
Article
Multiscale Modeling of Glacial Loading by a 3D Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical Approach Including Erosion and Isostasy
by Daniele Cerroni, Mattia Penati, Giovanni Porta, Edie Miglio, Paolo Zunino and Paolo Ruffo
Geosciences 2019, 9(11), 465; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9110465 - 30 Oct 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2707
Abstract
We present a computational framework that allows investigating the Thermo-Hydro- Mechanical response of a representative part of a sedimentary basin during a glaciation cycle. We tackle the complexity of the problem, arising by the mutual interaction among several phenomena, by means of a [...] Read more.
We present a computational framework that allows investigating the Thermo-Hydro- Mechanical response of a representative part of a sedimentary basin during a glaciation cycle. We tackle the complexity of the problem, arising by the mutual interaction among several phenomena, by means of a multi-physics, multi-scale model with respect to both space and time. Our contribution addresses both the generation of the computational grid and the algorithm for the numerical solution of the problem. In particular we present a multi-scale approach accounting for the global deformation field of the lithosphere coupled with the Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical feedback of the ice load on a representative part of the domain at a finer scale. In the fine scale model we also include the erosion possibly caused by the ice melting. This methodology allows investigating the evolution of the sedimentary basin as a response to glaciation cycle at a fine scale, taking also into account the large spatial scale movement of the lithosphere due to isostasy. The numerical experiments are based on the analysis of simple scenario, and show the emergence of effects due to the multi-physics nature of the problem that are barely captured by simpler approaches. Full article
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25 pages, 17562 KiB  
Article
On the Significance of Salt Modelling—Example from Modelling of Salt Tectonics, Temperature and Maturity Around Salt Structures in Southern North Sea
by Ivar Grunnaleite and Arve Mosbron
Geosciences 2019, 9(9), 363; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9090363 - 22 Aug 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4516
Abstract
Salt structures are attractive targets for hydrocarbon exploration. Salt can flow as a viscous fluid, act as hydrocarbon seal, and salt-related deformation may create reservoir traps. The high conductivity of salt can be crucial for hydrocarbon maturation in a basin. Here, we present [...] Read more.
Salt structures are attractive targets for hydrocarbon exploration. Salt can flow as a viscous fluid, act as hydrocarbon seal, and salt-related deformation may create reservoir traps. The high conductivity of salt can be crucial for hydrocarbon maturation in a basin. Here, we present results from the study of salt structures on the Eastern flank of Central Graben, on the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. By using our in-house basin modeling software (BMTTM), we modelled the salt structure evolution and the effects of salt on temperature and maturation. Our results show up to 85 °C cooling due to the salt heat pipe effect. An integrated impact of cooling is the depression of vitrinite Ro by up to 1.0% at the base of a large salt balloon. Our work shows that it is of critical importance to correctly identify salt volumes and to have a good geological model, and to understand the timing and geometrical evolution of salt structures. This study is, to our knowledge, the most specific analysis of the impact of salt on basin temperature and maturation published so far, and is an example of how basin modeling in the future should be an integrated part of exploration. Full article
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25 pages, 9843 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Salt Tectonics on the Thermal Evolution and the Petroleum System of Confined Rift Basins: Insights from Basin Modeling of the Nordkapp Basin, Norwegian Barents Sea
by Andrés Cedeño, Luis Alberto Rojo, Néstor Cardozo, Luis Centeno and Alejandro Escalona
Geosciences 2019, 9(7), 316; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9070316 - 17 Jul 2019
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 7553
Abstract
Although the thermal effect of large salt tongues and allochthonous salt sheets in passive margins is described in the literature, little is known about the thermal effect of salt structures in confined rift basins where sub-vertical, closely spaced salt diapirs may affect the [...] Read more.
Although the thermal effect of large salt tongues and allochthonous salt sheets in passive margins is described in the literature, little is known about the thermal effect of salt structures in confined rift basins where sub-vertical, closely spaced salt diapirs may affect the thermal evolution and petroleum system of the basin. In this study, we combine 2D structural restorations with thermal modeling to investigate the dynamic history of salt movement and its thermal effect in the Nordkapp Basin, a confined salt-bearing basin in the Norwegian Barents Sea. Two sections, one across the central sub-basin and another across the eastern sub-basin, are modeled. The central sub-basin shows deeply rooted, narrow and closely spaced diapirs, while the eastern sub-basin contains a shallower rooted, wide, isolated diapir. Variations through time in stratigraphy (source rocks), structures (salt diapirs and minibasins), and thermal boundary conditions (basal heat flow and sediment-water interface temperatures) are considered in the model. Present-day bottom hole temperatures and vitrinite data provide validation of the model. The modeling results in the eastern sub-basin show a strong but laterally limited thermal anomaly associated with the massive diapir, where temperatures in the diapir are 70 °C cooler than in the adjacent minibasins. In the central sub-basin, the thermal anomalies of closely-spaced diapirs mutually interfere and induce a combined anomaly that reduces the temperature in the minibasins by up to 50 °C with respect to the platform areas. Consequently, source rock maturation in the areas thermally affected by the diapirs is retarded, and the hydrocarbon generation window is expanded. Although subject to uncertainties in the model input parameters, these results demonstrate new exploration concepts (e.g., deep hydrocarbon kitchens) that are important for evaluating the prospectivity of the Nordkapp Basin and similar basins around the world. Full article
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31 pages, 7633 KiB  
Article
Transient Thermal Effects in Sedimentary Basins with Normal Faults and Magmatic Sill Intrusions—A Sensitivity Study
by Magnhild Sydnes, Willy Fjeldskaar, Ivar Grunnaleite, Ingrid Fjeldskaar Løtveit and Rolf Mjelde
Geosciences 2019, 9(4), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9040160 - 5 Apr 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3444
Abstract
Magmatic intrusions affect the basin temperature in their vicinity. Faulting and physical properties of the basin may influence the magnitudes of their thermal effects and the potential source rock maturation. We present results from a sensitivity study of the most important factors affecting [...] Read more.
Magmatic intrusions affect the basin temperature in their vicinity. Faulting and physical properties of the basin may influence the magnitudes of their thermal effects and the potential source rock maturation. We present results from a sensitivity study of the most important factors affecting the thermal history in structurally complex sedimentary basins with magmatic sill intrusions. These factors are related to faulting, physical properties, and restoration methods: (1) fault displacement, (2) time span of faulting and deposition, (3) fault angle, (4) thermal conductivity and specific heat capacity, (5) basal heat flow and (6) restoration method. All modeling is performed on the same constructed clastic sedimentary profile containing one normal listric fault with one faulting event. Sills are modeled to intrude into either side of the fault zone with a temperature of 1000 °C. The results show that transient thermal effects may last up to several million years after fault slip. Thermal differences up to 40 °C could occur for sills intruding at time of fault slip, to sills intruding 10 million years later. We have shown that omitting the transient thermal effects of structural development in basins with magmatic intrusions may lead to over- or underestimation of the thermal effects of magmatic intrusions and ultimately the estimated maturation. Full article
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