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ABSTRACT

Complex structure, poorly understood sedimentology and poor biostratigraphic control make the Upper Jurassic Humber Group of the South Central Graben one of the least understood and most complex hydrocarbon reservoirs of the North Sea. Detailed logging of available core from 19 exploration wells has been combined with an improved understanding of the relevance of trace fossils and a recognition of important base-level variations to provide a greatly enhanced understanding of the depositional system active within the area at that time. A new sedimentological model, based upon the distribution of facies and facies associations, illustrates that Upper Jurassic structure and consequent basin geometry were the principal controls upon the distribution of depositional environments. Rifting and second-order transgression controlled the back-stepping onlap patterns observed and higher frequency base-level fluctuations controlled the internal architecture of individual sandbodies. The model presented accounts for features of these deposits that were previously considered anomalous, such as the thickness of bioturbated sandstones, paucity of foreshore deposits and complex age relationships of sands.