Editing Post-Carboniferous burial and exhumation histories of Carboniferous rocks of the southern North Sea and adjacent onshore UK

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Despite these concerns, subsequent work has supported the conclusions of these early AFTA studies. The general validity of the approach employed in the EMS wells has been confirmed by application to controlled situations in various parts of the world, where geological evidence provides independent constraints on both the amount of removed section and the timing of cooling. In such situations, estimates from AFTA are highly consistent with the independent geological constraints (e.g. Green et al. 1995b, Crowhurst et al. 2002), suggesting that the approach can be used with confidence in less well controlled settings.
 
Despite these concerns, subsequent work has supported the conclusions of these early AFTA studies. The general validity of the approach employed in the EMS wells has been confirmed by application to controlled situations in various parts of the world, where geological evidence provides independent constraints on both the amount of removed section and the timing of cooling. In such situations, estimates from AFTA are highly consistent with the independent geological constraints (e.g. Green et al. 1995b, Crowhurst et al. 2002), suggesting that the approach can be used with confidence in less well controlled settings.
  
More specifically, reassessment of AFTA data from the Rufford-1 well (Green et al. 2001), located on the onshore EMS, has confirmed both the Palaeocene timing for the onset of cooling and the requirement for about 1450 m of post-Triassic cover removed during Cainozoic exhumation, much of which may have been removed during the Neogene. This most recent interpretation employs a palaeosurface temperature of 20°C, as suggested by Holliday (1993), coupled with a Palaeocene palaeogeothermal gradient about 30 per cent higher than the present-day value. Both these factors serve to reduce the amount of additional section required to explain the observed Palaeocene palaeotemperatures from those originally estimated by Green (1989) and Bray et al. (1992), although the amounts are still higher than suggested simply from regional geological tends, which would suggest a maximum of about 800–900 m (Green et al. 2001). Reasons for this discrepancy are the subject of continuing investigations in the region.
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More specifically, reassessment of AFTA data from the Rufford-1 well (Green et al. 2001), located on the onshore EMS, has confirmed both the Palaeocene timing for the onset of cooling and the requirement for about 1450m of post-Triassic cover removed during Cainozoic exhumation, much of which may have been removed during the Neogene. This most recent interpretation employs a palaeosurface temperature of 20°C, as suggested by Holliday (1993), coupled with a Palaeocene palaeogeothermal gradient about 30 per cent higher than the present-day value. Both these factors serve to reduce the amount of additional section required to explain the observed Palaeocene palaeotemperatures from those originally estimated by Green (1989) and Bray et al. (1992), although the amounts are still higher than suggested simply from regional geological tends, which would suggest a maximum of about 800–900m (Green et al. 2001). Reasons for this discrepancy are the subject of continuing investigations in the region.
  
 
The identification of significant Neogene exhumation in the results from the Rufford-1 well (Green et al. 2001) is consistent with the suggestion by Japsen (1997) that much of the Cainozoic exhumation in and around the UK southern North Sea may have taken place during the Neogene, although the suggestion by Japsen (1997) that Palaeocene exhumation was restricted principally to onshore areas is shown to be incorrect by the results presented here.
 
The identification of significant Neogene exhumation in the results from the Rufford-1 well (Green et al. 2001) is consistent with the suggestion by Japsen (1997) that much of the Cainozoic exhumation in and around the UK southern North Sea may have taken place during the Neogene, although the suggestion by Japsen (1997) that Palaeocene exhumation was restricted principally to onshore areas is shown to be incorrect by the results presented here.

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