Department of Earth Science

Detrital Monazite and Zircon Provenance of Lower Jurassic Reservoir Rocks, North Sea and Norwegian Sea

This Master's project was designed for Synnøve Håheim Bakk who started her Master's program in Earth Sciences, UiB, in the fall semester 2023. The Master's project is given by the research group Geodynamics and basin studies.

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Project description

The Tilje Formation in the Norwegian Sea shows anomalous preservation of porosity and permeability with depth due to presence of grain-coating chlorite that inhibits precipitation of quartz cement. This leads to viable hydrocarbon reservoirs down to 6 km depth, but these reservoirs show extreme variations in porosity and permeability in relatively similar facies. These variations are likely caused by the influence of sedimentological and petrographic controls on development of chlorite coats. The Tilje formation is relatively well understood in terms of variations in facies associations, but the provenance variations in terms of location and stratigraphic interval has not been investigated for the Tilje formation at relevant level of detail before. The sparse published regional-scale provenance work indicates sediment sources in mid-Morway and East Greenland, but published sedimentological work suggests a much more complicated sediment routing system with multiple sediment input points and intrabasinal sediment sources.

In this project, the candidate will investigate the provenance of sandstones in a well-develop stratigraphic framework, and investigate and test the sediment transport pathways inferred from sedimentological results. Specifically, the candida will apply U-Pb detrital zircon provenance and a newly developed U-Pb detrital monazite workflow at the University of Bergen on a dataset of c. 20 samples, foucssing on a) local provenance evolution in the well-understood Smørbukk Field, and b) regional provenance evolution and sediment routing between the Dønna and Halten Terrace. The candidate will evaluate the provenance results in terms of source areas, temporal variations in sediment routing, and on defining the relative influence of provenance and sedimentological controls on porosity preservation and presence of chlorite coats in deep reservoirs.

Proposed course plan during the master's degree (60 ECTS):

External data
Core data from NPD, Equinor, AkerBP

Field- lab and analysis
The student will work on subsurface log data in Petrel, process sandstone samples and perform detrital zircon and
monazite U-Pb dating.