For frontier basins, the development of petroleum play concepts and the construction of play fairway maps are difficult. In particular, the presence and potential extent of source rocks and reservoirs represents some of the main uncertainties. To provide an objective, process based, predictive methodology focused on these problems, global plate reconstructions were used as the basis for palaeogeographic mapping. These maps are underpinned by data and were coupled with state-of-the-art palaeo-Earth systems models (HadCM3 palaeoclimate model). Detailed palaeotectonics and palaeoenvironments maps were prepared and a new method relating topography and bathymetry to plate tectonic environments was used as the basis for palaeo digital elevation models (DEMs). These were gridded in GIS and used to provide the topographic and bathymetric boundary conditions for coupled ocean-atmosphere general circulation models. The compilation of the base maps was based on a global database of palaeoenvironmental and lithofacies data. These data include climate proxies that were used to test the veracity of the modelling results. This work is used to provide an understanding of the geohistory of the North Atlantic. It also provides key petroleum play concepts and unique, innovative methods to produce improved play fairway maps for North Atlantic margin basins.


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