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Sequence stratigraphy architecture of Carboniferous-Permian sedimentary systems of the Norwegian Barents Sea with comparison to coeval systems of the USA

DOI: 10.1016/s0928-8937(06)80086-x
  • Earth Science


The Upper Paleozoic carbonate-clastic succession of the southwestern Barents Sea is divided into two major packages termed supersequence sets that coincide with the Absaroka I (Upper Bashkirian to Asselian) and Absaroka II (Sakmarian to Tatarian) subsequences of Sloss (1963, 1988) in the United States. Each of these consists, in turn, of two 2nd-order supersequences, informally named the Moscovian, Asselian, Sakmarian-Lower Kungurian and Kazanian supersequences. Each supersequence consists of many (7 to 40) 3rd- and 4th-order sequences. Supersequence sets and supersequences developed as a result of long-term continental flooding and draining, principally driven by global-scale tectonic processes associated with the active stages of the Pangea assembly. Upper Carboniferous to Asselian carbonate stacking patterns of the Barents Sea and the USA are similar. Contrastingly, Sakmarian to Lower Kungurian and Kungurian to Tatarian Barents Sea successions show major differences from their time-equivalent US intervals. This evolution resulted from a complex sea-level history caused by the superposition of high-to low-amplitude, asymmetric and symmetric high-frequency (4th- and 5th-order) glacial eustasy and long-term (2nd- and 3rd-order) tectonics. In addition to sea-level change, climate, ocean circulation, biotic assemblages and related carbonate productivity played significant roles in sequence stacking-pattern development. Predictive locations for reservoir, seal and hydrocarbon source facies are proposed within this framework. Primary porosity reservoirs occur within lowstand slope-basin siliciclastic wedges, transgressive and highstand systems tracts. Secondary porosity reservoirs developed in updip, shallow-water depositional settings during high-frequency platform exposures and associated with the development of type-1 sequence boundaries. Stratigraphic seals are evaporitic sabkha facies within progradational highstand and onlapping basinal evaporites, shales and mudstones of lowstand systems tracts. Condensed sections within regionally transgressive sequences and lowstand basinal evaporites are potential source rocks.

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