Fracture formation due to differential compaction under glacial load: a poro-elastoplastic simulation of the Hugin Fracture

Publisert i Marine Geophysical Research 42, 1(2021)

The Hugin Fracture, discovered in 2011, is an approximately 3.5 km long seafloor fracture in the North Sea. This fracture was unexpected and, due to the geology in the North Sea no obvious explanation could be found. In our study, we adopt the hypothesis that the Hugin fracture was formed by differential compaction controlled by glacial load. We construct a simplified 2D geomechanical model partly covered by top load (ice sheet) and test this hypothesis. We employ transient poro-elastoplastic simulation with a finite element method. For the simulations, we had to make assumptions regarding the material properties, because the fracture is located in-between well locations. We used descriptions from drilling site survey reports and literature values and performed seismic matching form well paths to the Hugin Fracture.

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