Neogene evolution of the Atlantic continental margin of NW Europe (Lofoten Islands to SW Ireland); anything but passive

Author(s): Stoker, M. S.; Praeg, D.; Shannon, P. M; Hjelstuen, B. O.; Laberg, J. S.; Nielsen, T.; van Weering, T. C. E.; Sejrup, H. P.; Evans, D.
Author Affiliation(s): Primary:
British Geological Survey, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
ExxonMobil International, United Kingdom
University College Dublin, Ireland
University of Bergen, Norway
University of Tromso, Norway
Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Denmark
Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, Netherlands
Volume Title: Petroleum geology; north-west Europe and global perspectives; proceedings of the 6th petroleum geology conference
Volume Author(s): Doré, A. G., editor; Vining, B. A.
Source: Petroleum Geology Conference Series, Vol.6, p.1057-1076; 6th petroleum geology conference, London, United Kingdom, Oct. 6-9, 2003, edited by A. G. Doré and B. A. Vining. Publisher: The=Geological Society of London, London, United Kingdom. ISSN: 2047-9921. ISBN: 1-86239-164-5
Note: In English. 85 refs.; illus., incl. 1 table, geol. sketch maps
Summary: A regional stratigraphic framework for the Neogene succession along and across the NW European margin is presented, based on a regional seismic and sample database. The stratigraphy provides constraints on the timing and nature of the mid-to late Cenozoic differential tectonic movements that have driven major changes in sediment supply, oceanographic circulation and climate (culminating in continental glaciation). The overall context for Neogene deposition on the margin was established in the mid-Cenozoic, when rapid, km-scale differential subsidence (sagging) created the present-day deep-water basins. The Neogene is subdivided into lower (Miocene-lower Pliocene) and upper (lower Pliocene-Holocene) intervals. The lower Neogene contains evidence of early to mid-Miocene compressive tectonism, including inversion anticlines and multiple unconformities that record uplift and erosion of basin margins, as well as changes in deep-water currents. These movements culminated in a major expansion of contourite drifts in the mid-Miocene, argued to reflect enhanced deep-water exchange across the Wyville-Thomson Ridge Complex, via the Faroe Conduit. The distribution and amplitude of the intra-Miocene movements are consistent with deformation and basin margin flexure in response to enhanced intra-plate compressive stresses during a local plate reorganization (transfer of the Jan Mayen Ridge from Greenland to Europe). The upper Neogene records a seaward tilting (<1°) of the margin from the early Pliocene, in which km-scale uplift and erosion was accompanied by increased offshore subsidence, resulting in a major seaward progradation of the shelf-slope wedge as well as deep-marine erosion during a reorganization of bottom current patterns. The large amplitude of tilting cannot be accounted for by intra-plate stress variations, but is consistent with a dynamic topographic response to upper mantle convection, in particular edge-driven flow beneath the continental margin. Sedimentary and oceanographic changes resulting from dynamic topographic responses to the evolution of upper mantle convective flow during ocean widening may be characteristic of the development of "passive" continental margins.
Year of Publication: 2005
Research Program: DSDP Deep Sea Drilling Project
ODP Ocean Drilling Program
Key Words: 16 Structural Geology; 29 Economic Geology, Energy Sources; Arctic Ocean; Atlantic Ocean; Basin analysis; Basins; Cenozoic; Chronostratigraphy; Clastic sediments; Continental margin; Contourite; Convection; Deep Sea Drilling Project; Deformation; Drift; Europe; Geophysical methods; Geophysical profiles; Geophysical surveys; Glaciation; Ireland; Jan Mayen Ridge; Lofoten Islands; Neogene; Nordland Norway; North Atlantic; Northeast Atlantic; Norway; Norwegian Sea; Ocean Drilling Program; Ocean circulation; Offshore; Paleoclimatology; Paleoenvironment; Paleogeography; Passive margins; Petroleum; Petroleum exploration; Plate tectonics; Progradation; Scandinavia; Sedimentary basins; Sedimentation; Sediments; Seismic methods; Seismic profiles; Stratigraphic units; Subsidence; Surveys; Tectonics; Tertiary; Tilt; Topography; Western Europe; Wyville-Thomson Ridge
Coordinates: N530000 N620000 W0100000 W0200000
Record ID: 2008097079
Copyright Information: GeoRef, Copyright 2019 American Geosciences Institute.