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A deep seismic reflection profile across the northern North Sea


The Viking Graben is a major Mesozoic rift basin in the northern North Sea1. Seismic refraction data2, gravity surveys3 and theoretical modelling4 have led to the general acceptance of an extensional tectonic origin for the Viking Graben, involving an early Mesozoic phase of extension and fault-controlled subsidence, followed by a more regional, thermal-contraction subsidence. The early success of the BIRPS deep seismic reflection profiling5 and the results from COCORP6 led to the planning and acquisition during 1983 of a deep seismic line, recorded to 15 s TWT (two-way time), across the north Viking Graben. The aims of the present study were to provide constraints on the geometry of the Viking Graben and its extensional faults, to provide data on the geometry of crustal thinning beneath the graben, and to provide an insight into the relation between the shallow extensional features of the sedimentary basin and the deep crustal thinning. Here we present a specific interpretation of this seismic profile; further details will be given elsewhere7.

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