Section 4.5: Basin Modelling

The lithospheric structure of passive continental margins does not only reflect their geodynamic evolution from the rifting stage to oceanic break-up and seafloor spreading, but also controls their present-day thermomechanical configuration, both aspects being critical for the assessment of geological hazard and resource potentials. We investigate the present-day crustal and upper mantle structure of the North East Atlantic (NEA) region which encompasses the conjugate passive margins of Greenland and Norway/Svalbard as well as the North Atlantic Ocean which is aged ≤65 Ma and interacting with the Iceland Plume. Going beyond the mere analysis of seismic profiles across the margins, we develop a lithospheric-scale 3D model of the entire region by integrating various geological and geophysical observations, including the gravity field. The derived 3D geological model allows us to causatively relate regionally traceable tectonic structures to the geodynamic evolution of the NEA and, by means of numerical simulations, investigate the thermomechanical behavior of first-order crustal and mantle lithospheric heterogeneities under evolving (e.g., climate controlled) stress conditions.

3-D-Deutschland (3-D-D) is a project devoted to the construction and development of a 3-D lithospheric-scale model covering the area of Germany that images the regional characteristics of the structural, thermal and rheological configuration.

The Caribbean plate originated in Early Cretaceous time due to the interaction of the Farallon lithosphere with a mantle plume, probably associated with the present-day Galápagos hot spot. This particular interaction gave as a result the Caribbean Large Igneous Plateau (CLIP), a complex lithospheric structure consisting of several stages of spilled basalts flows and underplated ultramafic cumulates. During the migration of the proto-Caribbean (Farallon) plate, accreted fragments were left behind along the northwest and north of the South American margin.

The Sea of Marmara and its basins mainly evolved due to the activities of the Thrace-Eskisehir Fault Zone (TEFZ) in the Neogene and the North Anatolian Fault Zone (NAFZ) in the Quaternary. At present-day, the Sea of Marmara is still evolving due to the NAFZ and the Marmara region is an earthquake hazard zone while hosting around 20 million of inhabitants. For a better understanding of the tectonic processes and geodynamic evolution, it is important to assess the geological structure and the thermomechanical state of this region, considering variations in rheology and strength of the lithosphere in the Marmara region.

Deformation patterns in relation to the deep configuration of the lithosphere of the Alps and their forelands – DEFORM The objective of DEFORM project is to test the hypothesis that different processes controlling recent crustal deformation can be isolated and their relative contributions quantified if first-order characteristics of lithosphere configuration are considered in concert with physical processes.

In times of rising energy prices geothermal heat provision becomes an increasingly attractive alternative. Therefore knowing the subsurface temperatures, the general hydrothermal regime and consequences of producing geothermal energy are prerequisites before implementing expensive production infrastructures.

The 'Advanced Earth System Modelling Capacity' (ESM) is a joint project in the research field 'Earth & Environment' funded by the Helmholtz networking fund. The project aims to develop and establish a world-leading, modular and flexible modelling infrastructure to promote a deeper understanding of the complex dynamics of the system Earth under different forcing by fostering advancement in modelling the respective model compartments as well as their interactions across scales.

The Andean orogen is a ~7000 km long N-S trending mountain range along the South American western continental margin. In the central part, the formation of this mountain range is driven by the subduction of the oceanic Nazca plate beneath the continental South American plate.

[Translate to English:] We developed a hybrid model combining elements from statistics following a Gutenberg-Richter frequency magnitude scaling for fracture size and reservoir physics via Coulomb frictional stress variations to provide a better estimate of the induced seismic hazard from reservoir operations. Our model is a generalization of previous approaches and provide estimates that...

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