New model extends understanding of the eastern Black Sea basement structure

Black Sea - VOXI Density Slice with Interpretation

The history and dynamics of the Black Sea basin formation have long been a topic of debate, largely due to a shortage of data. At the end of the 19th century it was thought to be a gradually subsiding geosynclinal area. A later interpretation suggested it was the relics of oceanic crust formed as a result of the paleo-Tethys ocean closure.

By the late 1970s, a new concept was brought forward assuming the main mechanism of the Black Sea basin formation was horizontal crustal extension, localized rifting and further crustal basification.

A key issue continues to be the presence of oceanic crust in both the eastern and western basins but existing interpretations of geophysical data have been ambiguous and inconsistent.

Taking a new approach to regional integrated seismic exploration, Russia-based Geology Without Limits (GWL) combined old and new data - reflective and refractive seismic, and potential field - to create a more accurate model of the deep structure of the eastern Black Sea basin.

The team applied cutting-edge geophysical technologies, including Geosoft’s GM-SYS 3D and VOXI Earth Modelling software, to form the new model.

Given the Black Sea’s immense oil and gas potential, the study was more than an academic exercise.  While not directly related to hydrocarbon investigations, reconstruction of geodynamic conditions of the eastern Black Sea basin formation and further study provides an opportunity to make assumptions about sedimentation parameters and potential hydrocarbon resources.

Read the full story on Earth Explorer, to learn more about the data and techniques used in the study.

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