We demonstrate that automated reconstruction of the thermal, tectonic, and stratigraphic evolution of sedimentary basins is possible and fast. We achieve this by coupling a numerical forward model with an optimization module. The numerical model allows for self consistent implementation of virtually unlimited physical processes. The optimization module modifies the parameters of the forward model iteratively until a best fit satisfying the constraints is found. The package is tested with the benchmark case study of the Viking Graben, North Sea. The petroleum system of the Viking Graben is well studied and allows for detailed comparison of the model results. In particular, we show that the predicted hydrocarbon maturity corresponds well to actual production fields. The possibility to implement additional physics is exploited in the presented case with mantle phase transitions activated. These density changes are known to occur in the mantle but are not implemented in other models. In essence the effect of phase transitions is to amplify the effect of thinning and perturbing the thermal field, leading to smaller (depth dependent) stretching factors compared to cases with phase transitions deactivated. This leads to smaller heat input and consequently a relatively cooler evolution of sedimentary basins.


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