Skip to main content

Chasing strong seismic reflections in the basement of a giant gas accumulation – the Norwegian Troll mystery

The crystalline basement below the giant Norwegian Troll field has been subject to research and publication for many decades. Still no well bore has penetrated the deep crystalline basement. An ever-increasing amount of geophysical information, documents pronounced basement heterogeneity. The seismic reflection patterns suggest the presence of mappable fluid reservoirs within metamorphic basement rocks.

High-reflection-low-density geobodies appear to be connected to major detachment zones with varying seismicity, but avoiding younger transform lineaments. The features are considered to have formed during the collapse of the Caledonian mountains, opening the precursor basins of the North Sea and the Northern Atlantic Ocean. The structures are partly inherited from contractional features, formed during the Caledonian continental collision between Baltic and North American plates. Former and present-day fluid migration, using this inherited deformation pattern, is significant for understanding the development of one of the most important energy sources for Europe.

While earlier speculations about origin and significance of the strong seismic reflections had to be based on presumed analogues on the Norwegian mainland, we will present evidence from new, high quality seismic, gravity, magnetic and magneto-telluric data and propose new working hypotheses for their geologic origin. Pointing to low density, low magnetism and low resistivity, our mapped „geo-bodies“, could form fluid reservoirs that have influenced the regional development of the Greater Troll area.


Nicola Kerstin Möller1, Christian Gram1, Hartmut Hubertus Schütt1
1Equinor, Norway
GeoBerlin 2023
Norwegian Continental Shelf