The subsidence curves and subsidence rate curves for the Sirte basin, constructed from the stratigraphic record, show that subsidence was continuous throughout Late Cretaceous and Tertiary times, reaching a maximum during the Paleocene and Eocene, when a major reactivation of faults occurred.

Shales and carbonates were deposited during all of the Late Cretaceous and Tertiary. Abrupt lateral facies changes occur from the platform areas toward the deeper troughs along with steep downdip thickening. These conditions were probably assisted by contemporaneous faulting along structurally weak hinge lines where the dominant structural elements are normal step faults.

The absence of upper Paleozoic and lower Mesozoic sediments suggests that the area was domed, faulted, and eroded during the late Mesozoic. The widespread distribution of the Maastrichtian carbonate facies over much of the platform and basinal areas suggests that tectonics were relatively inactive during the Maastrichtian.

As a result of crustal extension during the Paleocene, a marked lithologic and structural change occurred. The Heira Shale succeeded the Kalash Limestone in the Marada trough. Reactivation of the earlier faults, accompanied by an increase in the sediment supply from the south, caused these lower Paleocene shales to cover the entire area, with the exception of the old highs where carbonate deposition continued. An intercalation of shales and carbonates provides a sensitive indicator of change of depth and sediment type. Commonly this intercalation has been referred to Paleocene transgressive and regressive cycles. The thickness of the Paleocene facies corresponds closely to the structure, with the thickening in the troughs and thinning on the highs.

First Page Preview

First page PDF preview
You do not have access to this content, please speak to your institutional administrator if you feel you should have access.