Skip to main content

3D geodynamic modelling of sedimentary basin and passive margin formation

Final Activity Report Summary - 3DGEODYNAMICS (3D Geodynamic Modelling of Sedimentary Basin and Passive Margin Formation)

This project has focused on understanding the evolution and structural style of sedimentary basins and passive margins in 3 dimensions (3D) using state of the art computational modelling techniques. Very few 3D models exist that follow the evolution of rifting to large deformation with sufficient resolution to resolve individual fault and shear zones. We have used state of the art finite element techniques to model the 3D evolution of sedimentary basin and passive margin formation. Insight into the 3D structural evolution of these systems is both a fundamental first order scientific problem but is also highly relevant for hydro-carbon exploration, as well as for understanding seismic hazard potential in these settings. 3 dimensional numerical modelling has focussed on factors controlling rift segmentation, rift propagation and oblique rifting.

The results indicate that offset inherited weakness zones form a primary control on the efficiency of rift linkage and propagation of deformation in rift segments. Extending zones with small offset weakness zones are easily linked, whereas large offset results in highly oblique rift linkage structures and/or inefficient to absent linkage.