The Messinian Reef Complex of Melilla, Northeastern Rif, Morocco
Jean-Paul Saint Martin, Jean-Jacques Cornée, 1996. "The Messinian Reef Complex of Melilla, Northeastern Rif, Morocco", 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 Messinian Melilla carbonate platform is composed of five main sedimentary units, from bottom to top: 1) a retrograding marly and conglomeratic unit, 2) a complex conglomeratic then prograding/aggrading carbonate unit, 3) a prograding/aggrading reef-complex unit, 4) an aggrading siliciclastic unit and 5) an aggrading/retrograding siliciclastic and carbonate unit. The platform developed throughout high-frequency relative sea-level rises and Stillstands, and relative sea-level drops are of minor importance. The reef complex mainly contains Porites buildups that exhibit southward progradational geometries. At the base, the reef complex developed on a marine planation surface. The youngest reefs show aggradational geometries and are associated with oolitic deposits. Cross sections constructed by removing late Messinian tectonics and compaction suggest that there was no significant relative fall in sea level during both platform and coral reef development, except at the end of the platform development.
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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.