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Mishrif Formation (Cenomanian–Turonian), Southern Arabian Gulf: Carbonate Platform Growth Along a Cratonic Basin Margin

Trevor P. Burchette
Trevor P. Burchette
BP Exploration Sunbury on Thames, Middlesex, U.K.
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January 01, 1993


Name: Shilaif basin in the Rub al Khali (Arabian) basin

Author: Trevor P. Burchette

Location: From 52° to 55° east longitude and 24° to 26° north latitude, southern Arabian Gulf

Geologic time interval: Late Albian–early Turonian

Tectonic-sedimentary setting: Passive margin of Arabian craton; drowned foreland cratonward of peripheral bulge

Basin type: Tectonic; cratonic interior basin generated by sag or growth of peripheral bulge to Oman mountains; restricted and density stratified

Paleoclimate: Subarid in the Albian-Cenomanian to humid in the Turonian

Platform type: Ramp or low gradient rimmed shelf (shoal with patch reefs); leeward and windward margins recognizable

Platform geometry: Linear length of platform margin >2000 km encircling an elongated basin about 300 km across. Accretion caused a sedimentary wedge that advanced 75 km into basin. Width of shoal margin is several kilometers; thickness is 100–200m.

Facies and fossils: Basin: cyclic organic-rich pelagic foraminiferal packstone. Protoglo-bigerinids, hedbergellids, oligosteginids, Exogyra, and Placunopsis. Slope: bioturbated bioclastic packstone, grain size fining basinward. Diverse infaunal bivalves. Shoal: bioturbated bioclastic packstone and grainstone. Scattered radiolitid rudists and other bivalves. Biostrome: rudstone and floatstone with caprinid and radiolitid rudists. Chaetetids and bivalves. Back shoal: interbedded lagoonal lime mudstone and bioclastic packstone. Chondrodonta, radiolitid rudists, bivalves. Platform interior: bioturbated lime mudstone with benthic foraminiferal fauna.

Systems tracts and stacking patterns: Two third-order sequences. Sequence 1: vertical accretion followed by lateral accretion. Upper sequence boundary well defined. Lower sequence boundary and transgressive stage poorly known. Parasequences poorly defined on platform, well defined in basin by flooding events. Salt withdrawal and diapirism created intra-platform sequences and local unconformities. Sequence 2: Muddy lowstand and transgressive ramp (Tuwayil Member) followed by highstand shallow water carbonates (Ruwaydha Member). Upper sequence boundary type 2(?), but tectonically enhanced unconformity continued in east.

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Figures & Tables


AAPG Memoir

Cretaceous Carbonate Platforms

J. A. Toni Simo
J. A. Toni Simo
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Robert W. Scott
Robert W. Scott
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Jean-Pierre Masse
Jean-Pierre Masse
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American Association of Petroleum Geologists
ISBN electronic:
Publication date:
January 01, 1993




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