Susanne's ongoing projects

The 3D nature of passive continental margins

We address the effects of oblique rifting on passive margin geometry using a combination of computer models, laboratory experiments, and knowledge from seismic and geological observations. The numerical experiments use 3D modelling software SULEC developed jointly at the Geological Survey of Norway and GNS Science in New Zealand. The laboratory experiments are built of sand and silicone in the modelling laboratory at the University of Bern in Switzerland. Our experiments are aimed at providing a new view on margin development, which is of direct relevance to margin hazard, hydrocarbon exploration and landscape development studies. The project is financed by the Norwegian Research Council, through project 213399/F20, and the Geological Survey of Norway (NGU).

Participants: Susanne Buiter (NGU, now RWTH Aachen University), John Naliboff (NGU, now New Mexico Tech), Ludovic Jeanniot (NGU, now at Utrecht University), Guido Schreurs (University of Bern), Frank Zwaan (University of Bern), Susan Ellis (GNS Science), Alvar Braathen (The University Centre in Svalbard, now University of Oslo), Trond Torsvik (University of Oslo, NGU), Torgeir Andersen (University of Oslo), Per Terje Osmundsen (NGU, now NTNU), Gwenn Peron-Pinvidic (NGU), and Cinthia Labails (Beicip-Franlab).

Finite-element code SULEC

SULEC is a finite element code that solves the incompressible Navier-Stokes equations for slow creeping flows. The code is developed by Susanne Buiter (RWTH Aachen University, formerly NGU) and Susan Ellis (GNS Sciences, NZ).

The formation of parallel-dipping normal faults on passive margins

Observations indicate that extension of the continental upper crust is often accommodated by arrays of normal faults. These faults can have alternating dip directions and define a horst and graben structure or they can all dip in the same direction. Arrays of parallel-dipping normal faults are, for example, observed in the extending domains of offshore Norway, the Basin and Range Province, the Galicia margin west of the Iberian Peninsula, and offshore Angola. We investigate factors and mechanisms that favour the formation of an array of parallel-dipping normal faults over a sequence of horst and graben structures. An understanding of the formation and evolution of such fault arrays is of clear importance for improving our understanding of the general framework of the development of the Norwegian margin.

Participants: Susanne Buiter, Guido Schreurs (University of Bern), and Susan Ellis (GNS Science).