Geodynamikk og Bassengstudier

Tectono-Sedimentary Evolution of Deep-Water Syn-Rift Systems on the Western Flank of the Utsira High – South Viking Graben, northern North Sea

PhD candidate: James Opemipo Olomo

James Opemipo Olomo
James Opemipo Olomo



Main supervisor:  Professor Rob Gawthorpe (UiB-GEO). Co-supervisors: Professor Atle Rotevatn (UiB-GEO), Professor Christopher Jackson (University of Manchester, UK),  Dr. Tim Cullen (UiB-GEO)




The overarching aim of this PhD research is to develop an integrated tectono-sedimentary understanding of deep-water syn-rift systems within the Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous on the western flank of the Utsira High. This overall aim is sub-divided into three main objectives.

1.    Characterisation of present-day structural style and the evolution of faults and depocentres along the South Viking Graben/western  Utsira High

  • Interpretation of present-day structural geometry
  • Reconstruction of the structural styles and growth history of normal faults and fault-related depocentres
  • Examine the influence of structural inheritance on fault geometry and evolution (e.g., pre-existing basement and cover structures)

2.    Characterise depositional systems and sediment routing in the Late Jurassic syn-rift and transition to post-rift through the Early Cretaceous

  • Integration of well information (cores, wireline logs), seismic interpretation to establish a detailed deep-water depositional systems model.
  • Seismic geomorphology to constrain the location and distribution of sediment inputs, routing pathways and depositional architectures and volumes.
  • Integrate structural evolution and sedimentology to understand the driving mechanisms of palaeo-seafloor evolution and sediment routing pathways from western Utsira shorelines to the various deep-water depocenters.

3.    Integrate stratigraphy, sedimentology, and structural studies with aforementioned objectives along with estimation of sediment source areas on the Utsira High to examine the impact of sediment supply, local tectonics and regional palaeoenvironmental controls on Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous depositional systems on the western flank of the Utsira High.

  • Biostratigraphic calibration and synthesis of tectono-sedimentary evolution.
  • Build an integrated source-to-sink understanding of volumes, timing and spatial distribution of sediment dispersal from the Utsira High across the faulted western flank.
  • Integrate structural restorations and depositional mapping to understand the role of inherited bathymetry versus protracted rift activity from the Late Jurassic into the Early Cretaceous
  • Link with regional and local palaeoenvironmental records and tectono-stratigraphic restorations to determine likely triggers of variability in denudation and sediment flux from the Utsira High.