Evolution of the Yorkshire, Sole Pit and East Midland basin system, U.K.
The objective of this study is to examine the thermo-mechanical evolution of the Yorkshire(Cleveland), Sole Pit and East Midland Basins, Southern North Sea using theoretical models of basin formation(subsidence) and basin destruction(inversion).Subsidence occurs in response to a driving tectonic force and is amplified by the input of sediments, which impart a load on the Uthosphere. The form of subsidence varies depending on the degree of crustal and sub-crustal involvement. In order to isolate this driving tectonic subsidence the loading effect of the sediments is removed by backstripping. Intrinsic to the accurate modelling of basin formation using this method are firstly, the presence of a complete sedimentary sequence representing the maximum load on the basement and secondly, a normal and representative compaction trend. Subsidence in the Yorkshire, Sole Pit and East Midland Basins was terminated in the late Cretaceous-early Tertiary by inversion. This inversion is demonstrated to have been controlled by pre-existing structures and accommodated differentially within the Yorkshire and Sole Pit Basins in the form of basement uplift and shortening. A significant proportion of the sediments was removed by this uplift. This is quantified by studying compaction trends and is used to reconstruct the basin configuration prior to inversion to facilitate modelling of basin formation. The patterns of subsidence appear to conform well to those predicted by a model of simple lithospheric stretching with a rapid initial subsidence followed by more gentle thermal and flexural subsidence. Superimposed on this background subsidence are discrete events which appear to be related to periods of active faulting or increases in regional loading(eustatic). Subsidence, like inversion, occurs differentially within the fault bounded margins of the Yorkshire and Sole Pit Basins. The relationship between faults at different crustal levels is complicated by stress partitioning by Permo-Triassic salt horizons, yet it does appear that reactivation of Carboniferous and older structures has influenced the geological evolution of these basins.