Abstract

In this work we evaluate the role of lithospheric flexure resulting from post-glacial rebound as a possible source of regional stress variations in the northern North Sea. Compilations of leak-off and pore pressure data, estimates of the full stress tensor from observations of wellbore failure, and earthquake focal plane mechanisms indicate high horizontal compression (i.e., SHmax>Sv and Shmin=Sv) on the west side of the Viking Graben and decreased horizontal stresses on the east side. In this study we extend the available knowledge about regional stress magnitudes by analysis of leak-off and pore pressure data. We use numerical modeling of lithospheric flexure due to post glacial rebound to show that this is a possible cause of the observed high horizontal compression in the Tampen Spur, regional stress variations and possibly the high pore pressures observed at depth west of the Viking Graben.

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