Western Mediterranean Reef Complexes
Mateu Esteban, Juan Carlos Braga, José Martín, Carlos de Santisteban, 1996. "Western Mediterranean Reef Complexes", Models for Carbonate Stratigraphy from Miocene Reef Complexes of Mediterranean Regions, Evan K. Franseen, Mateu Esteban, William C. Ward, Jean-Marie Rouchy
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The western Mediterranean region contains abundant examples of the different types of Lower, Middle and Upper Miocene reefs (hermatypic coral reefs, ahermatypic mounds, rhodalgal biostromes and stromatolitic reefs). Those corresponding to the Upper Tortonian-Messinian rock units are the ones that have attracted the most attention because of the extraordinary quality of the outcrops and their relation to the polemic Messinian events in the Mediterranean. This section is a general introduction to the region, with a review of the Lower-Middle Miocene rhodalgal biostromes and coral reefs of the Gulf of Valencia-Provençal Basin and the Middle-Upper Miocene reefs of southeastern Spain and northern Morocco. The emphasis in this paper will be on the complex Miocene stratigraphy and paleogeography of southeastern Spain (Betics) and northern Morocco (Rif). This part of the western Mediterranean is important in understanding the paleogeographic evolution of the entire Mediterranean and its connection with the Atlantic Ocean.
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Miocene carbonates are intensively explored and locally exploited for hydrocarbons in parts of the Mediterranean regions. The outcrop models presented in this publication provide excellent analogs for the highly productive Miocene carbonates from Iran, Iraq and Gulf of Suez and for smaller reservoirs in other localities. Lessons learned in the outcrops of the Mediterranean regions are applicable as well to Miocene carbonate reservoirs. The Miocene outcrops in Mediterranean regions can serve as models for the relationships between carbonate reservoirs, pre-evaporitic basinal sediments, and overlying evaporites. Additionally, the Miocene carbonate rocks exposed in the Mediterranean regions serve as important analogs for ancient carbonate-rimmed basins with or without basinal evaporites.