New Tectonostratigraphic Atlas published

03 Oct 2014

On 11 September, Copenhagen was the venue for the presentation of the NAG-TEC Atlas, a new comprehensive and up-to-date 340-page Tectonostratigraphic Atlas of the North East Atlantic Region. This collaborative effort involving 8 national geological surveys and cosponsored by 15 companies will ultimately help target regions for hydrocarbon exploration. As a member of the NAG-TEC steering committee, TNO was atlas editor and chapter reviewer.

In 2009 representatives of the eight participating geological surveys met to discuss an initiative centred around the tectonic development of the North Atlantic with a particular emphasis on continental margin evolution and understanding deep water basins along the continental margins. The prolific hydrocarbon presence on the east side of the basin raises expectations for the west side, based on the geological relationships between the two conjugate margins. To answer fundamental scientific questions, it became quickly apparent that it was necessary to compile a comprehensive database of information available to the surveys from the entire region. Led by GEUS in Copenhagen, the BGS, GSI, GSNI, ÍSOR, JF, NGU and TNO formally launched the NAG-TEC project on 1 June 2011.

Leading role

Ten TNO experts contributed to the project, especially the compilation of the Total Sediment Thickness map and the stratigraphic distribution maps of 7 chronostratigraphic intervals for the Northeast Atlantic (Devonian to Eocene-Pliocene). TNO also played a leading role in the regional heat flow mapping chapters and compiled the mantle structure in collaboration with Utrecht University. Together with CGG, TNO contributed oil-slick data for the entire atlas area and co-wrote the section on the North Sea peripheral area. TNO's Rader Abdul Fattah explains: "This new atlas will help the oil and gas industry in its search for hydrocarbons in the northern parts of the Atlantic by providing one comprehensive database of different data types from the area. In addition to new insights into the tectono-geological history of the area, regional correlations of key stratigraphic units and geological formations are also provided.


This is the latest in a series of important regional geological atlases that have been made possible with the help of TNO's expertise. Earlier atlases include The Geological Atlas of the Subsurface of the Netherlands and The Southern Permian Basin Atlas. Over the years TNO has been involved in several similar consortia where collaboration with multiple international parties was crucial. In addition to TNO's role in initiating, setting up and managing such multi-parties projects, TNO was a key contributor to the technical contents of those atlas projects relaying on its broad experience in regional mapping, database maintenance as well as exploration geology.

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