Triassic platform-margin deltas in the western Barents Sea

  • Glørstad-Clark E
  • Birkeland E
  • Nystuen J
 et al. 
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The Early to Middle Triassic in the Barents Sea was dominated by prograding transgressive-regressive sequences. Internal clinoform geometries indicate that sediments were derived from the Baltic Shield in the south and the Uralian Mountains in the east and southeast. These systems were formed in a large, relatively shallow epicontinental basin, where modest variations in relative sea-level relocated the shoreline significantly. This study shows the development of strike elongated depositional wedges that thicken just basinward of the platform-edge. Seismic facies and time-thickness maps show the position and development of platform-margin delta complexes within each sequence. Seismic clinoforms and trajectory analysis show significant lateral variation from the axis of the delta complex to areas adjacent to the main delivery system. Frequent toplap geometries are observed in proximity to coarse-grained deposits, while aggradation of seismic clinoforms characterizes areas laterally to the platform-margin deltas. Complex shifts in depocenters are revealed by large-scale compensational stacking pattern and relict platform breaks. Locally, relict breaks are created due to pre-existing paleo-topography. Platform-margin deltas can be identified by careful mapping of clinoform geometries, clinoform angles and trajectories. However, seismic analysis of prograding clinoform units indicate that the shoreline and delta complexes commonly are positioned landward of the platform-edge. Deposition of platform-margin deltas is sometimes caused by locally increased sediment supply during slightly rising relative sea-level, and occasionally caused by a regional drop in relative sea-level with significant shelf bypass.Development, position, thickness and facies distribution of platform deltas and platform-margin deltas of very broad low-relief basins, like the Triassic of the epicontinental Barents Sea basin, are strongly sensitive to changes in relative sea-level due to rapid emergence and submergence of wide areas, and to changes in position of major rivers supplying sand to the delta systems. In this respect, the depositional model of the present study deviates from models of clinoform successions obtained from small and narrow basins or siliciclastic platforms with high coarse-clastic sediment supply. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Lithology predictions
  • Platform-margin delta
  • Seismic facies analysis
  • Shelf-edge delta
  • Trajectory analysis

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