Seismic data reveal eastern Black Sea Basin structure

Minshull, T. A. and White, N. J. and Edwards, R. A. and Shillington, D. J. and Scott, C. L. and Demirer, A. and Shaw-Champion, M. and Jones, S. M. and Erduran, M. and Besevli, T. and Cosku, G. and Raven, K. and Price, A. and Peterson, B. (2005) Seismic data reveal eastern Black Sea Basin structure. Eos, 86. 43, 413-419.

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Abstract

Rifted continental margins are formed by progressive extension of the lithosphere. The development of these margins plays an integral role in the plate tectonic cycle, and an understanding of the extensional process underpins much hydrocarbon exploration. A key issue is whether the lithosphere extends uniformly, or whether extension varies with depth. Crustal extension may be determined using seismic techniques. Lithospheric extension may be inferred from the waterloaded subsidence history, determined from the pattern of sedimentation during and after rifting. Unfortunately, however, many rifted margins are sediment-starved, so the subsidence history is poorly known. To test whether extension varies between the crust and the mantle, a major seismic experiment was conducted in February–March 2005 in the eastern Black Sea Basin (Figure 1), a deep basin where the subsidence history is recorded by a thick, post-rift sedimentary sequence. The seismic data from the experiment indicate the presence of a thick, low-velocity zone, possibly representing overpressured sediments. They also indicate that the basement and Moho in the center of the basin are both several kilometers shallower than previously inferred. These initial observations may have considerable impact on thermal models of the petroleum system in the basin. Understanding the thermal history of potential source rocks is key to reducing hydrocarbon exploration risk. The experiment, which involved collaboration between university groups in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Turkey, and BP and Turkish Petroleum (TPAO), formed part of a larger project that also is using deep seismic reflection and other geophysical data held by the industry partners to determine the subsidence history and hence the strain evolution of the basin.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2006 AREP IA48 IA50 2005 P
Subjects: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
Divisions: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
Journal or Publication Title: Eos
Volume: 86
Page Range: 43, 413-419
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2010 12:06
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2013 09:59
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/1750

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