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Basin Analysis and Seismic Investigation in North Germany

The intracontinental NE German Basin is of great local and regional scientific and commercial importance. As part of the Southern Permian Basin it is one of a series of related basins which have been extensively explored, not only for their hydrocarbons, but also for other raw materials, groundwater and geothermal energy potential.

Spanning the region from the Tornquist Zone - an inferred Paleozoic suture - to the Harz Mountains, and from the North Sea to Poland, the NE German Basin shows a complex image with various geophysical anomalies, magmatic intrusions and several changes in tectonic regime and fault systems during the past 300 Ma. The underlying mechanisms controlling basin formation in the region, however, are poorly understood (see tectonic map).

The BASIN '96 seismic data cross the entire NE German Basin and were gathered as a combined offshore-onshore survey (800 km reflection line offshore - 500 km onshore) with the aim

  • to consistently image the entire basin and its margins on a lithospheric scale,
  • to reveal the basin structure below the base of the Zechstein and into the mantle,
  • to image the suture zone between Caledonian and Variscan basement,
  • to develop a geodynamic model of the basin formation.


BASIN 9601 and BASIN 9602:

The 330 km long, NE-SW trending onshore seismic transect (profile BASIN 9601) across the NE German Basin and the 75 km long, perpendicular cross-line in the basin centre (profile BASIN 9602) reveal the structure of the basin between the stable Precambrian Baltic Shield to the north and the weaker Mid-European Variscides to the south. Using the same receiver spread, a high-coverage vibroseis and a low-fold explosive seismic technique were used for energy penetration along both profiles.
Additional experiment components were (A) cross-line recordings with 9 layouts on the main profile 9601, and 2 layouts on line 9602 (active and passive vibroseis, recording of all explosive shots); (B) a wide-angle experiment with 4 fixed configurations (Rügen, Gardelegen, Harz, east of line 9602) and constant offset recording in the northern half of the basin (Rügen-Elbe).


                                   long (start)            lat (start)            long (end)             lat (end)
BASIN 9601           10.72239                  51.68252               13.29702                 54.2276
BASIN 9602           11.55018                  53.21026               12.62755 0             52.92041

PQ2-002 - PQ2-006, PQ2-008, PQ2-009.1 - PQ2-009.4:

The offshore component was acquired in collaboration with the BGR Hannover during cruise Polar Queen 2. Ten near-vertical incidence reflection seismic lines were shot in the SW Baltic Sea. The signals from the airguns were also recorded by mobile land-stations and broadband seismographs in Sweden, Denmark and Germany, providing important velocity information. 

                              long (start)           lat (start)          long (end)         lat (end)
PQ2-002               14.50306                54.43282           15.81224              55.4118
PQ2-003               13.78264              54.80844          14.61194            54.44079
PQ2-004               13.68379               54.42192            13.99407              54.79248
PQ2-005               13.92652              54.73893          15.29987            55.84952
PQ2-006               15.08574               55.70364            15.80194              55.34904
PQ2-008               12.88209              55.20186          13.9272               54.65921
PQ2-009.1           12.19455                54.30409           13.09032              55.27076
PQ2-009.2           11.41406              54.21583         12.19356             54.30371
PQ2-009.3           11.41396                54.21649           11.55089              54.53526
PQ2-009.4           10.73681              54.6589            11.54975             54.53543

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