Editing Westphalian mid-A to mid-C depositional controls, UK Pennine Basin: regional analyses and their relevance to southern North Sea interpretations

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The Westphalian mid-A to mid-C Coal Measures of the eastern part of the Pennine Basin are very well documented and also serve as useful analogues for stratigraphically equivalent successions in the North Sea. However, there are still conflicting interpretations of the onshore successions, mainly regarding the application of sequence stratigraphy. Sequence stratigraphical interpretation is not straightforward, particularly as major sandbodies occupy nearly all stratigraphical intervals; thus, potential sequence boundaries, defined by erosion surfaces at the bases of channel belts, could lie at virtually all horizons. Sandstone thicknesses and connectivities relate mainly to their location within the evolving basin. Coal and mudstone thicknesses and connectivities are also mainly related to basin location, although the stratigraphical distribution (and some thicknesses) of coal seams indicate control by marine base level. The paper also considers the validity of interpretations relevant to North Sea hydrocarbon fields. The onshore conclusions are derived from study of an extensive dataset across varied basin settings; the more restricted spatial and stratigraphical scope of offshore data significantly limits the interpretation of depositional relationships and trends. The paper’s main conclusions relate to investigative scales, to the achievable inter-basin correlation resolution, to the 3 D connectivity and thickness patterns of coals, mudstones and sandstones (reflecting specific basin subsidence), and to more robust sequence stratigraphical interpretations.
 
The Westphalian mid-A to mid-C Coal Measures of the eastern part of the Pennine Basin are very well documented and also serve as useful analogues for stratigraphically equivalent successions in the North Sea. However, there are still conflicting interpretations of the onshore successions, mainly regarding the application of sequence stratigraphy. Sequence stratigraphical interpretation is not straightforward, particularly as major sandbodies occupy nearly all stratigraphical intervals; thus, potential sequence boundaries, defined by erosion surfaces at the bases of channel belts, could lie at virtually all horizons. Sandstone thicknesses and connectivities relate mainly to their location within the evolving basin. Coal and mudstone thicknesses and connectivities are also mainly related to basin location, although the stratigraphical distribution (and some thicknesses) of coal seams indicate control by marine base level. The paper also considers the validity of interpretations relevant to North Sea hydrocarbon fields. The onshore conclusions are derived from study of an extensive dataset across varied basin settings; the more restricted spatial and stratigraphical scope of offshore data significantly limits the interpretation of depositional relationships and trends. The paper’s main conclusions relate to investigative scales, to the achievable inter-basin correlation resolution, to the 3 D connectivity and thickness patterns of coals, mudstones and sandstones (reflecting specific basin subsidence), and to more robust sequence stratigraphical interpretations.
  
== Introduction ==
 
 
The Westphalian mid-A to mid-C Coal Measures of the eastern part of the Pennine Basin are very well documented, following intensive mining and exploration, and there is an extensive literature. The main aim of the paper is to consider basinwide relationships that can be substantiated from the detail, and then to evaluate their application to other depositional areas, including southern North Sea gas fields. The paper discusses regional correlation and controls on sedimentation for the Pennine and other onshore basins, and attempts to discuss the succession in a sequence stratigraphical context.
 
The Westphalian mid-A to mid-C Coal Measures of the eastern part of the Pennine Basin are very well documented, following intensive mining and exploration, and there is an extensive literature. The main aim of the paper is to consider basinwide relationships that can be substantiated from the detail, and then to evaluate their application to other depositional areas, including southern North Sea gas fields. The paper discusses regional correlation and controls on sedimentation for the Pennine and other onshore basins, and attempts to discuss the succession in a sequence stratigraphical context.
  

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