Logo EMR


Salt kinematics and regional tectonics East Frisia, NW Germany

This study presents a reconstruction of the tectonic history of an Upper Rotliegend tight gas field in Northern Germany. Tectonism of the greater study area was influenced by multiple phases of salt movement, which produced a variety of salt-related structural features such as salt walls, salt diapirs as well as salt glaciers (namakiers). A sequential 2D retro-deformation and stratal backstripping methodology was used to differentiate mechanisms inducing salt movement and to discuss their relation to regional tectonics. The quantitative geometric restoration included sedimentary balancing, decompaction, fault-related deformation, salt movement, thermal subsidence, and isostasy to unravel the post-depositional tectonic overprint of the Rotliegend reservoir rock. The results of this study indicate that reactive salt diapirism started during an Early Triassic interval of thin-skinned extensional tectonics, followed by an active diapirism stage with an overburden salt piercement in the Late Triassic, and finally a period of intensive salt surface extrusion and the formation of salt glaciers (namakiers) in Late Triassic and Jurassic times. Since the Early Cretaceous, salt in the study area has been rising by passive diapirism.

Associated researchers: Alexandra Vackiner, Philipp Antrett, Frank Strozyk, Stefan Back, Peter Kukla