Integrated seismic analysis of the Chalk Group in eastern Denmark—Implications for estimates of maximum palaeo-burial in southwest Scandinavia

Lars Nielsen, Lars Ole Boldreel, Thomas Mejer Hansen, Holger Lykke-Andersen, Lars Stemmerik, Finn Surlyk, Hans Thybo

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The origin of the topography of southwest Scandinavia is subject to discussion. Analysis of borehole seismic velocity has formed the basis for interpretation of several hundred metres of Neogene uplift in parts of Denmark.Here, refraction seismic data constrain a 7.5km long P-wave velocity model of the Chalk Group below the Stevns peninsula, eastern part of the Danish Basin. The model contains four layers in the ~860m thick Chalk Group with mean velocities of 2.2km/s, 2.4km/s, 3.1km/s, and 3.9–4.3km/s. Sonic and gamma wireline log data from two cored boreholes represent the upper ~450m of the Chalk Group. The sonic velocities are consistent with the overall seismic layering, although they show additional fine-scale layering. Integration of gamma and sonic log with porosity data shows that seismic velocity is sensitive to clay content. In intervals near boundaries of the refraction model, moderate increases in clay content correlate with reduction of porosity and increase in velocity. Higher clay contents do not further increase velocity. The reduction of porosity and increase in velocity are interpreted as clay causing increased pressure dissolution and cementation. The interpreted velocities are systematically higher than values of a chalk velocity curve determined in previous studies, and it is estimated that a significant part of the velocity anomaly may be explained by the presence of clay. The remaining velocity anomaly can be explained by 450–500m palaeo-burial of the Chalk Group. The burial anomaly will be over-estimated by ~150–200m if the analysis is based on the average Chalk Group velocity and clay content is disregarded. Burial anomaly values of ~450–600m result if the strongest velocity contrast at ~600–650m depth is interpreted to be a result of diagenetic effects, consistent with the clay-corrected estimates within uncertainty.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number1-2
Pages (from-to)14-26
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Seismic velocity
  • Wireline log data
  • Seismic reflection
  • Seismic refraction
  • Chalk Group
  • Palaeo-burial


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