Tectonostratigraphic framework and depositional history of the Cretaceous-Danian succession of the Danish Central Graben (North Sea)-new light on a mature area

F. S.P. Van Buchem, F. W.H. Smit, G. J.A. Buijs, B. Trudgill, P. H. Larsen

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41 Scopus citations


An integrated tectonic and sequence stratigraphic analysis of the Cretaceous and Danian of the Danish Central Graben has led to significant new insights critical for our understanding of the chalk facies as a unique cool-water carbonate system, as well as for the evaluation of its potential remaining economic significance. A major regional unconformity in the middle of the Upper Cretaceous chalk has been dated as being of early Campanian age. It separates two distinctly different basin types: a thermal contraction early post-rift basin (Valanginian-Santonian), which was succeeded by an inversion tectonics-affected basin (Campanian-Danian). The infill patterns for these two basin types are dramatically different as a result of the changing influence of the tectonic, palaeoceanographic and eustatic controlling factors. Several new insights are reported for the Lower Cretaceous: a new depositional model for chalk deposition along the basin margins on shallow shelves, which impacts reservoir quality trends; recognition of a late Aptian long-lasting sea-level lowstand (which hosts lowstand sandstone reservoirs in other parts of the North Sea Basin); and, finally, the observation that Barremian-Aptian sequences can be correlated from the Boreal to the Tethyan domain. In contrast, the Late Cretaceous sedimentation patterns have a strong synsedimentary local tectonic overprint (inversion) that influenced palaeoceanography through the intensification of bottom currents and, as a result, the depositional facies. In this context, four different chalk depositional systems are distinguished in the Chalk Group, with specific palaeogeography, depositional features and sediment composition. The first formalization of the lithostratigraphic subdivision of the Chalk Group in the Danish Central Graben is proposed, as well as an addition to the Cromer Knoll Group.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-46
Number of pages38
JournalPetroleum Geology Conference Proceedings
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

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