The Langeland Fault System unravelled: Quaternary fault reactivation along an elevated basement block between the North German and Norwegian–Danish basins

Niklas Ahlrichs, Christian Hübscher, Theis Raaschou Andersen, Jonas Preine, Laura Bogner, Wiebke Schäfer

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    Abstract

    The reactivation of faults and possible impact on barrier integrity marks a critical aspect for investigations on subsurface usage capabilities. Glacial isostatic adjustments, originating from repeated Quaternary glaciations of northern Europe, cause tectonic stresses on pre-existing fault systems and structural elements of the North German and Norwegian–Danish basins. Notably, our current understanding of the dynamics and scales of glacially induced
    fault reactivation is rather limited. A high-resolution 2D seismic data set recently acquired offshore northeastern Langeland Island allows the investigation of a fault and graben system termed the Langeland Fault System. Seismostratigraphic
    interpretation of reflection seismic data in combination with diffraction imaging unravels the spatial character of the Langeland Fault System along an elevated basement block of the Ringkøbing–Fyn High. In combination with sediment echosounder data, the data set helps to visualize the continuation of deep-rooted faults up to the sea floor. Initial Mesozoic faulting occurred during the Triassic. Late Cretaceous inversion reactivated a basement fault flanking the southern border of the elevated basement block of the Ringkøbing–Fyn High while inversion is absent in the Langeland Fault System. Here, normal faulting occurred in the Maastrichtian–Danian. We show that a glacial or postglacial fault reactivation occurred within the Langeland Fault System, as evident by the
    propagation of the faults from the deeper subsurface up to the sea floor, dissecting glacial and postglacial successions. Our findings suggest that the Langeland Fault System was reactivated over a length scale of a minimum of 8.5 km. We discuss the causes for this Quaternary fault reactivations in the context of glacially induced faulting and the present day stress field. The combination of imaging techniques with different penetration depths and vertical resolution used
    in this study is rarely realized in the hinterland. It can therefore be speculated that many more inherited, deep-rooted faults were reactivated in Pleistocene glaciated regions.
    OriginalsprogEngelsk
    TidsskriftBoreas
    Vol/bind52
    Udgave nummer3
    Sider (fra-til)381-401
    Antal sider22
    ISSN0300-9483
    StatusUdgivet - 2023

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