The Mechanism of Formation of the North Sea Basin
- Raymond A. Price
Published Online: 18 MAR 2013
Copyright 1989 by the American Geophysical Union
Origin and Evolution of Sedimentary Basins and Their Energy and Mineral Resources
How to Cite
Artyushkov, E. V. and Baer, M. A. (1989) The Mechanism of Formation of the North Sea Basin, in Origin and Evolution of Sedimentary Basins and Their Energy and Mineral Resources (ed R. A. Price), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM048p0109
- Published Online: 18 MAR 2013
- Published Print: 1 JAN 1989
Print ISBN: 9780875904528
Online ISBN: 9781118666654
- Sedimentary basins—Congresses;
- Mines and mineral resources—Congresses;
- Power resources—Congresses
The North Sea basin is filled by a thick sequence of sediments which are underlain by strongly thinned continental crust. This is commonly attributed to lithospheric stretching (β∼1.5–2.0). An intense stretching is, however, possible only under specific deformation types that do not occur in the North Sea. The geometry of the normal faults ensures extension of only <10–20%.
During the interval from Permian to Cenozoic three rapid phases of subsidence without intense stretching occurred in the North Sea; in each case deeper-water basins were formed (∼0.5 km). The subsidences were caused by the destruction of the lowermost crust by asthenospheric upwelling. Under regional tensile stresses the thinned crust broke into wide blocks (>10 km), these subsided isostatically along normal faults. This was associated with a moderate extension of the basin.