Late Cretaceous–Cenozoic intraplate contractional deformation at the Norwegian continental shelf: timing, magnitude and regional implications

Late Cretaceous–Cenozoic intraplate contractional deformation at the Norwegian continental... Contractional structures (large anticlines and synclines, reverse faults and inverted centres of deposition) of assumed Late Cretaceous–Cenozoic age are common in Cretaceous–Tertiary basins of the northwestern European margin. The similarities in style, orientation and timing of these structures are striking. The present detailed analysis of one anticline (the Ormen Lange Dome) of the mid-Norwegian continental shelf indicates that the total contraction is moderate (less than 2–3%), and that the analysed anticline has been growing almost continuously since its initiation in Eocene till Present. Inversion in the Barents Sea started already in the Late Cretaceous. This episode is suggested to be related to far-field effects of active plate-margin processes, and transfer of stresses across the plate as a consequence of the sub Hercynian and Paleocene `Laramide' event of the Alpine Orogeny. The development of co-axial structures was facilitated by stress focusing along pre-existing, high-relief N–S- and NE–SW-trending fault complexes. Far-field plate tectonic stresses originating mainly from the Alpine Orogeny seem to have been the most important cause of contractional deformation on the NW European shelf. In addition, ridge push from the North Atlantic spreading may have contributed significantly, particularly during the Neogene. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Tectonophysics Elsevier

Late Cretaceous–Cenozoic intraplate contractional deformation at the Norwegian continental shelf: timing, magnitude and regional implications

Tectonophysics, Volume 300 (1) – Dec 31, 1998

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.
ISSN
0040-1951
eISSN
1879-3266
DOI
10.1016/S0040-1951(98)00232-7
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Contractional structures (large anticlines and synclines, reverse faults and inverted centres of deposition) of assumed Late Cretaceous–Cenozoic age are common in Cretaceous–Tertiary basins of the northwestern European margin. The similarities in style, orientation and timing of these structures are striking. The present detailed analysis of one anticline (the Ormen Lange Dome) of the mid-Norwegian continental shelf indicates that the total contraction is moderate (less than 2–3%), and that the analysed anticline has been growing almost continuously since its initiation in Eocene till Present. Inversion in the Barents Sea started already in the Late Cretaceous. This episode is suggested to be related to far-field effects of active plate-margin processes, and transfer of stresses across the plate as a consequence of the sub Hercynian and Paleocene `Laramide' event of the Alpine Orogeny. The development of co-axial structures was facilitated by stress focusing along pre-existing, high-relief N–S- and NE–SW-trending fault complexes. Far-field plate tectonic stresses originating mainly from the Alpine Orogeny seem to have been the most important cause of contractional deformation on the NW European shelf. In addition, ridge push from the North Atlantic spreading may have contributed significantly, particularly during the Neogene.

Journal

TectonophysicsElsevier

Published: Dec 31, 1998

References

  • Graben inversion in nature and experiments
    Brun, J.P.; Nalpas, T.
  • Tertiary or Cretaceous age for Spitsbergens Fold-Thrust belt on the Barents Shelf
    Maher, H.D.; Braathen, A.; Bergh, S.; Dallmann, W.; Harland, W.B.
  • Stress evaluation in offshore regions of Norway
    Spann, H.; Brudy, M.; Fuchs, K.

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