In this paper we investigate the structural evolution of the northcentral Barents Sea during the Early Cretaceous, and the influence of fault activity on the sedimentation pattern in the area. This is achieved by integrating 2D seismic data, two exploration wells and information of available shallow cores from the Norwegian and Russian sectors. As a result of our work, three fault families, two Lower Cretaceous seismic sequences and seven seismic facies, were interpreted in the area. During the Hauterivian–Early Barremian (sequence 1), a syn-tectonic phase is observed, where fault families 1 and 2 of Late Paleozoic age were reactivated as reverse faults and induced the inversion of NE–SW and E–W structural highs that controlled deposition in the Kong Karls Land Platform, North Barents Basin and the newly formed Olga Basin. During Early Barremian–Early Aptian (sequence 2), the study area was marked by a tectonically quiescent period, where the increase of clastic supply from the N–NE was responsible for progradation of the system towards the S–SW Barents Sea. The progradation was controlled and routed by structural highs inherited from the Hauterivian–Early Barremian inversion. Our results suggest that three main regional tectonic events controlled the inversion of the Late Paleozoic faults, resulting in development of structural highs in the northcentral Barents Sea: 1) dextral transpression along the Novaya Zemlya; 2) dextral movement along a paleo-boundary of the northern margin of the Lomonosov Ridge during opening of the Amerasia Basin; and 3) a compressional event in the present day North Greenland and Ellesmere Islands with the NW Barents Sea (NW Svalbard).
- Programområde 3: Energiressourcer