Department News

 Congratulations to Etikha who presented and successfully defended her MS Thesis "Postrift Deformation of the Scotian Basin, Offshore Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, Canada: Insights from 2D and 3D Seismic-Reflection Data.  (Tuesday, December 20th, 2011).  For those of you not there, Etikha gave a nice presentation and handled questions quite well... from the audience and as I understand from her committee as well. Advisors: Martha Withjack and Roy Schlische, committee members Vadim Levin and Don Monteverde.

Once Etikha dots a few i's and crosses a few t's, she will be off to work with Exxon Mobil Indonesia


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Postrift deformation of the Scotian basin, offshore Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, Canada: Insights from 2D and 3D seismic-reflection data


Thesis Directors:

Dr. Martha Oliver Withjack and Dr. Roy W. Schlische

The Scotian basin is one of a series of postrift basins located on the eastern North America passive margin. Using 2D and 3D seismic data, I have identified a variety of folds and faults that developed after rifting. Folds include secondary fault-related folds (e.g., fault-bend folds, fault-propagation folds, and fault-displacement folds) and folds associated with shallow salt structures. Folds associated with shallow salt structures are subparallel to the strike of deep-seated, basement-involved faults. Folded strata above salt structures is thick. The upward buoyancy force alone is not enough to cause the salt to pierce the thick overburden. Deep-seated deformation weakened the overburden and triggered salt movement.

Faulting in the study areas are related to the reactivation of deep-seated faults, salt movement, and non-tectonic deformation. Reactivation of deep-seated faults resulted in faults at shallow levels with normal and reverse separation that, respectively, were active from Cretaceous through middle Cenozoic (Miocene?) time and after the deposition of Early Cretaceous strata. Faults associated with deeper salt movement were active during the Early Cretaceous and again during the Cenozoic until Miocene time. Faults associated with shallow salt movement were active from late Early Cretaceous through middle Cenozoic (Miocene?) time. Other faults associated with shallow salt structures have reverse separation at depth and normal separation at shallow levels. Faults with reverse separation formed during early Early Cretaceous time. Faults with normal separation were active from Late Cretaceous time through early Cenozoic time. Polygonal faults are non-tectonic faults and associated with lithological changes. They were active from Late Cretaceous time through early Cenozoic time.

            In the Penobscot study area, episodic normal faulting during Late Cretaceous time and the presence of polygonal faults with a preferred orientation indicate NW-SE extension during Late Cretaceous-Early Cenozoic time.

            The NW-trending anticline along the Laurentian Channel resulted from reactivation of deep-seated faults. Faults with reverse separation formed beneath the anticline. Miocene channels are deflected from the anticline, whereas Pliocene-Pleistocene channels directly overly the anticline, indicating that the anticline was active during Miocene time. The anticline and subsidiary structures are subparallel to modeled seafloor displacement from the 1929 Grand Banks earthquake.