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How to use the Mesozoic-Cenozoic fossil record in 1000+ wells, offshore Norway, in the 21th century; stamp collecting or dynamic interactive WWW-based stratigraphy



How to use the Mesozoic-Cenozoic fossil record in 1000+ wells, offshore Norway, in the 21th century; stamp collecting or dynamic interactive WWW-based stratigraphy



Abstracts with Programs - Geological Society of America 33(6): 121



A joint initiative of the Natural History Museums of the University of Oslo, nine leading petroleum companies, and the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate is leading to the creation of a relational database of all fossil records in exploration wells from offshore Norway. The new Millennium project is called NORGES-Network of Offshore Records of Geology and Stratigraphy. This economically powerful and scientifically valuable project is the result of over 40 years of highly successful drilling in the Mesozoic and Cenozoic sedimentary wedges in the North Sea, offshore Norway and the Barents Sea. It involves more than 1000 wells spanning over 20 degrees of latitude in the boreal realm. A preliminary master dictionary of foraminiferal, dinoflagellate, radiolarian, nannoplankton, diatom, spore and miscellaneous taxa is adding up to over 11000 taxonomic entities, and involves over 1000 stratigraphic events. The main advantage of storing such exploration record in a relational database system using Oracle (super TM) and a WWW interface is that it can be probed in an intelligent manner. It must be remembered that different operators and a variety of European consultants generated the fossil distribution charts and events. The resulting record is non-standardized and can be idiosyncratic and noisy. Its digitization is a slow and tedious manual job, executed as soon as the well records are released to the public after two years. In-house binary consultant taxonomy must be standardized with the help of exploration stratigraphy manuals, and suspected caving records must be tagged. With the help of modern tools like age vs. depth diagrams, burial graphs that also cumulate paleo-water depth, regional chronograms and correlation charts with events of higher stratigraphic fidelity, the relational record is made useful to both exploration stratigraphy and to scientific studies of basin dynamics. Intelligent database access and expertise to translate the fossil record stratigraphically is one of the key issues with such WWW-based records that the NORGES project is capable of offering to exploration biostratigraphers.

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