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Sedimentary Basins (Part One). What are Sedimentary Basins?. Holes in the ground where sediment accumulates Global distribution: Sub-aerial and submarine. Why are Basins Interesting?. Hydrocarbons: Oil, Gas, Coal Ores & Minerals. Some estimates….

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Sedimentary Basins (Part One)

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Sedimentary basins part one l.jpg

Sedimentary Basins(Part One)


What are sedimentary basins l.jpg

What are Sedimentary Basins?

Holes in the ground where sediment accumulates

Global distribution: Sub-aerial and submarine


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Why are Basins Interesting?

Hydrocarbons:

Oil, Gas, Coal

Ores & Minerals


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Some estimates…

Liquid hydrocarbon production will peak in

~10 years at 30 Billion Barrels per annum,

declining to ~5 Billion Barrels per annum

by the end of the 21st Century


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Keeping up Supply: Polar Exploration?


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Keeping up Supply: Deep Water Exploration?


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Keeping up Supply: Importance of Technology

1988 and 1995 3D seismic surveys

BP Forties Field:

Monthly Average Oil Production Rate

1973 Year 2003

Technologies:

Seismic Reflection Imaging

Deep Water drilling/production

Finding: Direct hydrocarbon Indicators

Extracting: Mopping up the dregs


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Peak Oil: Supply Peaks & Declines Smoothly?

Technology buffers decline?


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Why does Sediment Accumulate Here?


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Basins form through Tectonic Subsidence

Accommodation Space

Sea-Level Change

Tectonic Uplift / Subsidence


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World’s Thickest Sediment Accumulations

Thickest sediment accumulations are 15 to 20 km

Tend to form in enclosed basins supplied by major rivers


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Sedimentary basins around Ireland


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Probing Sedimentary Basins

  • Surface sampling and mapping

  • Topography and bathymetry

  • Boreholes (<5 km)

  • Seismic experiments (2D, 3D, 4D)

  • Earthquake analysis

Undeformed basins are subsurface


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Very little of a typical underformed basin is accessible by surface sampling / mapping


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12 km

Seismic Reflection Imaging

Ninian Fault Block, North Sea

vertical exageration x3 to x4


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Seismic Reflection Imaging Technology


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Borehole Records

1. Thicknesses

2. Ages

3. Sediment Composition

Reconstruct sediment acccumulation history

Hence reconstruct tectonic subsidence history


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Stratigraphic Growth


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Timing of source maturation:

Cumulative Stratigraphy Plot


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Sediment Loading Correction


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Tectonic Subsidence Curves


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Basin Classification: Process

‘Basin Analysis’, Allen & Allen, Chapter 1


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Basin Classification: This Course

  • Extensional basins (60-70%)

  • Flexural or foreland basins (10-20%)

  • Basins associated with subduction zones

  • Other basin types…


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