3D Seismic Reflection Experiment over the Galicia Deep Basin

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Dale S Sawyer1, Brian Jordan1, Timothy J Reston2, Timothy A Minshull3, Dirk Klaeschen4, Cesar Ranero5, Donna J Shillington6 and Julia K Morgan1, (1)Rice University, Houston, TX, United States, (2)University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom, (3)Univeristy of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom, (4)GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Kiel, Germany, (5)CMIMA-CSIC, Barcelona, Spain, (6)Lamont -Doherty Earth Observatory, Palisades, NY, United States
In June thru September, 2013, a 3D reflection and a long offset seismic experiment were conducted at the Galicia rifted margin by investigators from the US, UK, Germany, and Spain. The 3D multichannel experiment covered 64 km by 20 km (1280 km2), using the RV Marcus Langseth. Four streamers 6 km long were deployed at 12.5 m hydrophone channel spacing. The streamers were 200 m apart. Two airgun arrays, each 3300 cu in, were fired alternately every 37.5 m, to collectively yield a 400 m wide sail line consisting of 8 CMP lines at 50 m spacing. The long offset seismic experiment included 72 short period OBS’s deployed below the 3D reflection survey box. Most of the instruments recorded all the shots from the airgun array shots.

The 3D seismic box covered a variety of geologic features. The Peridotite Ridge (PR), is associated with the exhumation of upper mantle rocks to the seafloor during the final stage of the continental separation between the Galicia Bank and the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. The S reflector is present below most of the continental blocks under the deep Galicia basin. S is interpreted to be a low-angle detachment fault formed late in the rifting process, and a number of rotated fault block basins and ranges containing pre and syn-rift sediments.

Initial observations from stacked 3D seismic data, and samples of 2D pre-stack time migrated (PSTM) 3D seismic data show that the PR is elevated above the present seafloor in the South and not exposed through the seafloor in the North. The relative smoothness of the PR surface for the entire 20 km N-S contrasts with the more complex, shorter wavelength, faulting of the continental crustal blocks to the east. The PR does not seem to show offsets or any apparent internal structure. The PSTM dip lines show substantial improvement for the structures in the deep sedimentary basin East of the PR. These seem to extend the S reflector somewhat farther to the West. The migrated data show a substantial network of clear normal faults in the sediments well after the postrift period.