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Forced folding in the Kora Volcanic Complex, New Zealand: A case study with relevance to the production of hydrocarbons and geothermal energy

Kumar, Priyadarshi Chinmoy, Alves, Tiago M. ORCID: and Sain, Kalachand 2021. Forced folding in the Kora Volcanic Complex, New Zealand: A case study with relevance to the production of hydrocarbons and geothermal energy. Geothermics 89 , 101965. 10.1016/j.geothermics.2020.101965

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The intrusion of magma into relatively shallow strata often results in structural deformation. Forced folds are typically formed above intrusions so as to accommodate the addition of new volumes of magma into the sedimentary pile. This work uses a high-resolution 3D seismic volume from the offshore Taranaki Basin, New Zealand to investigate large forced folds formed in Upper Cretaceous-Paleocene sequences due to the intrusion of magmatic dikes and sills. These magmatic intrusions are related to the plumbing system of the Kora volcano. We apply a novel filtering technique to enhance the contrast between the dip-azimuth of seismic reflectors and that of any overprinting noise, preserving the lateral continuity of seismic events. Forced folds were generated by the intrusion of flat-laying saucer-shaped sills into shallow strata. These folds (Fold A and Fold B) have a domal geometry and a structural relief of 250−350 m, for a total area of 45 km2 and 35 km2, respectively. Out of the 18 interpreted sills, two sills (S1 and S4) contributed the most to the generation of the forced folds in the study area. The sill-fold relationships observed in this work suggest that sills with greater length-to-intrusion ratios deform the strata more effectively. However, it is also clear that forced folds are, in parts of the study area, larger than the intruded sills below. This hints at the presence of a larger volume of intruded magma than that imaged on seismic data where forced folds are significantly larger than the volume of the sills below. Such a character makes the establishment of fold-sill relationships crucial to the identification of magmatic bodies below forced folds - if one identifies a large forced fold on seismic profiles, but only a few small sills are imaged, then the mass of igneous rock below the fold is potentially larger than that imaged on seismic data. More importantly, forced folding in the Taranaki Basin is shown to have led to the development of four-way closures to form prolific traps for hydrocarbon and geothermal energy resources.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0375-6505
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 8 October 2020
Date of Acceptance: 16 September 2020
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 03:24

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