3D structure and formation of hydrothermal vent complexes at the Paleocene-Eocene transition, the Møre Basin, mid-Norwegian margin

Sigurd Kjoberg, Tobias Schmiedel, Sverre Planke, Henrik H Svensen, John M Millett, Dougal A Jerram, Olivier Galland, Isabelle Lecomte, Nick Schofield, Øystein T Haug, Andreas Helsem

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The mid-Norwegian margin is regarded as an example of a volcanic-rifted margin formed prior to and during the Paleogene breakup of the northeast Atlantic. The area is characterized by the presence of voluminous basaltic complexes such as extrusive lava and lava delta sequences, intrusive sills and dikes, and hydrothermal vent complexes. We have developed a detailed 3D seismic analysis of fluid- and gas-induced hydrothermal vent complexes in a 310  km2310  km2 area in the Møre Basin, offshore Norway. We find that formation of hydrothermal vent complexes is accommodated by deformation of the host rock when sills are emplaced. Fluids are generated by metamorphic reactions and pore-fluid expansion around sills and are focused around sill tips due to buoyancy. Hydrothermal vent complexes are associated with doming of the overlying strata, leading to the formation of draping mounds above the vent contemporary surface. The morphological characteristics of the upper part and the underlying feeder structure (conduit zone) are imaged and studied in 3D seismic data. Well data indicate that the complexes formed during the early Eocene, linking their formation to the time of the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum at c. 56 Ma. The well data further suggest that the hydrothermal vent complexes were active for a considerable time period, corresponding to a c. 100 m thick transition zone unit with primary Apectodinium augustum and redeposited very mature Cretaceous and Jurassic palynomorphs. The newly derived understanding of age, structure, and formation of hydrothermal vent complexes in the Møre Basin contributes to the general understanding of the igneous plumbing system in volcanic basins and their implications for the paleoclimate and petroleum systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)SK65-SK81
Number of pages17
Issue number3
Early online date9 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017

Bibliographical note

We thank Statoil for providing us with the PL251 (Tulipan)
geophysical and geologic reports for well 6302/6-
1. We thank NORSAR for the free academic use of the
SeisRox software during the modeling procedures and
to Schlumberger for the free academic use of Petrel
2015. Spectral decomposition was carried out using
FFA Geoteric software at the University of Aberdeen.
FFA are thanked for donation of the software license
to the University of Aberdeen. The authors further
acknowledge the support from the Research Council
of Norway through its Center of Excellence funding
scheme, project 223272 (CEED), and from the MIMES
project (grant no. 244155). We also gratefully acknowledge
the support by the Faculty of Mathematics and
Natural Sciences of the University of Oslo to TS. Clayton
Grove and Craig Magee are thanked for their many
insightful comments and suggestions that helped improve
the paper substantially.


  • 3D
  • interpretation
  • volcanics
  • Europe


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