A Case Study of Three-dimensional Fold and Growth Sequence Development and the Link to Submarine Channel-structure Interactions in Deep-water Fold Belts
Ian R. Clark, Joseph A. Cartwright, 2013. "A Case Study of Three-dimensional Fold and Growth Sequence Development and the Link to Submarine Channel-structure Interactions in Deep-water Fold Belts", Tectonics and Sedimentation: Implications for Petroleum Systems, Dengliang Gao
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Growth sequences in deep-water fold and thrust belts can preserve a record of the interactions between coeval sedimentation and deformation. These sedimentary sequences can also form hydrocarbon exploration targets as they provide sites where sands can be incorporated into a fold during uplift. This chapter uses three-dimensional (3-D) seismic data to take a combined structural and stratigraphic approach to the analysis of several folds and their adjacent growth sequences from the eastern Nile submarine fan, Eastern Mediterranean Sea. We use along-strike measurements of fold uplift and growth sequence expansion factor to illustrate the irregular spatial and temporal development of sea-floor relief during fold growth. Irregular 3-D fold growth controls growth sequence deposition and affects submarine channel morphology within a specific type of growth sequence (onlapping or overlapping). Submarine channels within these growth sequences can overflow a developing fold or become diverted, depending on the relative rate of uplift and sedimentation. In detail, however, these channel systems show strong variations in sinuosity, which can have important implications for the development of laterally accreted sand packages. This study indicates that variations in folding along strike is a key factor that affects the development of submarine channel systems and provides a case study of how conceptual models of these settings can be improved by fully linking structural and stratigraphic observations.
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The influence of tectonics on sedimentation and hydrocarbon accumulation is different among extensional, strike-slip, and contractional structural styles. Addressing the role of different structural styles and syntectonic sedimentation in petroleum systems is essential to assess the hydrocarbon potential of sedimentary basins. This 18-chapter volume is small enough to focus on the interplay among tectonics, sedimentation, and petroleum systems. Yet it is big enough to cover the diversity of structural styles in important petroliferous sedimentary basins around the globe, including those in west Africa, east Africa, east Brazil, east United States of America, Gulf of Mexico, South China Sea, the Russian Arctic, and the Mediterranean Sea.