Structure and evolution of basin and petroleum systems within a transformrelated passive margin setting : data-based insights from crust-scale 3D modelling of the Western Bredasdorp Basin, offshore South Africa

Sonibare, Wasiu Adedayo (2015-04)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study investigates the crustal structure, and assesses the qualitative and quantitative impacts of crust-mantle dynamics on subsidence pattern, past and present-day thermal field and petroleum system evolution at the southern South African continental margin through the application of a multi-disciplinary and multi-scale geo-modelling procedure involving both conceptual and numerical approaches. The modelling procedure becomes particularly important as this margin documents a complex interaction of extension and strike-slip tectonics during its Mesozoic continental rifting processes. Located on the southern shelf of South Africa, the Western Bredasdorp Basin (WBB) constitutes the focus of this study and represents the western section of the larger Bredasdorp sub-basin, which is the westernmost of the southern offshore sub-basins. To understand the margin with respect to its present-day structure, isostatic state and thermal field, a combined approach of isostatic, 3D gravity and 3D thermal modelling was performed by integrating potential field, seismic and well data. Complimenting the resulting configuration and thermal field of the latter by measured present-day temperature, vitrinite reflectance and source potential data, basin-scale burial and thermal history and timing of source rock maturation, petroleum generation, expulsion, migration and accumulation were forwardly simulated using a 3D basin modelling technique. This hierarchical modelling workflow enables geologic assumptions and their associated uncertainties to be well constrained and better quantified, particularly in three dimensions. At present-day, the deep crust of the WBB is characterised by a tripartite density structure (i.e. prerift metasediments underlain by upper and lower crustal domains) depicting a strong thinning that is restricted to a narrow E-W striking zone. The configuration of the radiogenic crystalline crust as well as the conductivity contrasts between the deep crust and the shallow sedimentary cover significantly control the present-day thermal field of the study area. In all respects, this present-day configuration reflects typical characteristics of basin evolution in a strike-slip setting. For instance, the orientations of the deep crust and fault-controlled basin-fill are spatially inconsistent, thereby indicating different extension kinematics typical of transtensional pull-apart mechanisms. As such, syn-rift subsidence is quite rapid and short-lived, and isostatic equilibrium is not achieved, particularly at the Moho level. Accompanied syn-rift rapid subsidence and a heat flow peak led to petroleum preservation in the basin since the Early Cretaceous. Two additional post-rift thermal anomalies related to the Late Cretaceous hotspot mechanism and Miocene margin uplift in Southern Africa succeeded the syn-rift control on maturation. This thermal maturity of the five mature source rocks culminated in four main generation and three main accumulation phases which characterise the total petroleum systems of the WBB. The Campanian, Eocene and Miocene uplift scenarios episodically halted source maturation and caused tertiary migration of previously trapped petroleum. Petroleum loss related to the spill point of each trap configuration additionally occurs during the Late Cretaceous-Paleocene and Oligocene-Early Miocene. The timing and extent of migration dynamics are most sensitive to the geological scenario that combined faulting, intrusive seal bypass system and facies heterogeneity. In fact, for models that do not incorporate facies heterogeneity, predicted past and present-day seafloor leakage of petroleum is largely underestimated. This complex interplay of generation and migration mechanisms has significant implications for charging of petroleum accumulations by multiple source rocks. Due to early maturation and late stage tertiary migration, the syn-rift source rocks particularly Mid Hauterivian and Late Hauterivian source intervals significantly control the extent of petroleum accumulation and loss in the basin. Lastly, the modelled 3D crustal configuration and Mezosoic to Cenozoic thermal regime of the WBB dispute classic uniform lithospheric stretching for the southern South African continental margin. Rather, this PhD thesis confirms that differential thinning of the lithosphere related to a transtensional pull-apart mechanism is the most appropriate for accurately predicting the evolution of basin and petroleum systems of the margin. Also, the presented 3D models currently represent the most advanced insights, and thus have clear implications for assessing associated risks in basin and prospect evaluation of the margin as well as other similar continental margins around the world.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie ondersoek die korsstruktuur en evalueer die kwalitatiewe en kwantitatiewe impakte van kors-mantel-dinamika op insinkingspatroon, die termiese veld en petroleumstels evolusie aan die suidelike Suid-Afrikaanse kontinentale grens, in die hede en die verlede, deur die toepassing van ’n multidissiplinêre en multiskaal-geomodelleringsprosedure wat beide konseptuele en numeriese benaderings behels. Die modelleringsprosedure veral is belangrik aangesien hierdie kontinentale grens ’n komplekse interaksie van uitbreidings- en strekkingsparallelle tektoniek gedurende die Mesosoïese vastelandskeurprosesse daarvan dokumenteer. Omdat dit op die suidelike platvorm van Suid-Afrika geleë is, maak die Westelike Bredasdorp Kom (WBK) die fokus van hierdie studie uit, en verteenwoordig dit die westelike deel van die groter Bredasdrop-subkom, wat die verste wes is van die suidelike aflandige subkomme. Om die grens met betrekking tot sy huidige struktuur, isostatiese staat en termiese veld te verstaan, is ’n kombinasie benadering bestaande uit isostatiese, 3D-gravitasie- en 3D- termiese modellering gebruik deur potensiëleveld-, seismiese en boorgatdata te integreer Ondersteunend totot die gevolglike konfigurasie en termiese veld van die laasgenoemde deur middel van hedendaagse temperatuur, soos gemeet, vitriniet-refleksiekoëffisiënt en bronpotensiaal data, komskaal-begrawing en termiese geskiedenis en tydsberekening van brongesteentematurasie, is petroleumgenerasie, -uitwerping, -migrasie en -akkumulasie in die toekoms gesimuleer deur gebruik te maak van ’n 3D-kommodelleringstegniek. Hierdie hierargiese modelleringswerkvloei maak dit moontlik om geologiese aannames en hulle geassosieerde onsekerhede goed aan bande te lê en beter te kwantifiseer, veral in drie dimensies. In die hede word die diep kors van die WBK gekarakteriseer deur ’n drieledige digtheidstruktuur (met ander woorde voorrift-metasedimente onderlê deur bo- en benedekors domeine) wat dui op ’n baie wesenlike verdunning, beperk tot ’n dun O-W-strekkingsone. Die konfigurasie van die radiogeniese kristallyne kors, sowel as die konduktiwiteitskontraste tussen die diep kors en die vlak sedimentêre dekking, beheer grotendeels die hedendaagse termiese veld van die studiearea. Hierdie hedendaagse konfigurasie weerspieël in alle opsigte tipiese eienskappe van kom-evolusie in ’n skuifskeur omgewing. Byvoorbeeld, Die oriëntasies van die diep kors en verskuiwingbeheerde komsedimentasie byvoorbeeld is ruimtelik inkonsekwent en dui daardeur op verskillende ekstensiekinematika, tipies van transtensionale tensiemeganisme. As sulks, is sin-rift-versakking taamlik vinnig en kortstondig, en word isostatiese ekwilibrium nie by die Moho-vlak, in die besonder, bereik nie. Samehangende sin-rift vinnige versakking en hittevloeihoogtepunt het gelei tot petroleum behoud in die kom sedert die vroeë Kryt. Twee bykomende post-rift termiese anomalieë wat verband hou met die laat Kryt-“hotspot” meganisme en die Mioseense kontinentale grensopheffing in Suidelike Afrika het die sin-rift-beheer met maturasie opgevolg. Hierdie termiese maturiteit van die vyf gematureerde brongesteentes het in vier hoofgenerasie- en drie hoofakkumulasie fases, wat die totaliteit van die petroleumstelsels van die WBK karakteriseer, gekulmineer. Die Campaniese, Eoseense en Mioseense opheffings senarios het episodies bronmaturasie gestop en tersiêre migrasie van petroleum wat vroeër opgevang was veroorsaak. Addisioneel vind petroleumverlies gekoppel aan die spilpunt van elke opvanggebiedkonfigurasie tydens die laat Kryt-Paleoseen en Oligoseenvroeë Mioseen plaas. Die tydstelling en omvang van migrasiedinamika is die sensitiefste vir die geologiese scenario wat verskuiwing, seëlomseilingstelsel en fasiesheterogeniteit kombineer. Trouens, vir modelle wat nie fasiesheterogeniteit inkorporeer nie, is voorspellings van vroeëre en huidige seebodemlekkasie van petroleum grotendeels onderskattings. Hierdie komplekse wisselwerking van generasie- en migrasiemeganismes het beduidende implikasies vir die laai van petroleumakkumulasies deur veelvoudige brongesteentes. Vanweë vroeë maturasie en laatstadiumtersiêre migrasie, oefen die sin-rift-brongesteentes, veral middel Hauterivium- en laat Hauteriviumbronintervalle, beduidende beheer oor die omvang van petroleumakkumulasie en -verlies in die kom uit. Laastens weerspreek die gemodelleerde 3D-korskonfigurasie en Mesosoïese-tot-Senosoïesetermiese regime van die WBK ’n klassieke uniforme litosferiese rekking vir die suidelike Suid- Afrikaanse kontinentale grens. Inteendeel, hierdie PhD-proefskrif bevestig dat ’n differensiële verdunning van die litosfeer, gekoppel aan ’n transtensiemeganisme, die beste geskik is om ’n akkurate voorspelling oor die evolusie van kom- en petroleumstelsels van die kontinentale grens mee te maak. Verder, verteenwoordig die 3D-modelle, wat hier aangebied word, tans die mees gevorderde insigte, en het hierdie modelle dus duidelike implikasies vir die assessering van verwante risiko’s in kom- en petroleum teikene valuering van die kontinentale grens, so wel as van ander soortgelyke kontinentale grense regoor die wêreld.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96832
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