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Book Chapter

Cratonization of the Arabian Shield: The Basement Grain is Imprinted

January 01, 1991


The evolution and consolidation of the Arabian eraton has been the subject of considerable investigation and research over the past two decades most of which is outside the scope of this book. However, the early evolution created prominent basement grain directions and shear fracture systems (most notably on north-south and northwest-southeast trends) that later had varied effects on younger structuring and sediment patterns. This in turn controlled major hydrocarbon occurrences. Therefore, a brief summary is essential to understanding hydrocarbon occurrence.

The evolution of the Arabian basement and consolidation of the Arabian shield have been discussed by many authors whose work was reviewed by Beydoun (1988, 1989b). Stoesser and Camp (1985) and Brown et al. (1989) provided excellent recent succinct summaries. Husseini (1988, 1989) also provided recent reviews that addressed some of the contradictions in different basin evolution models and attempted to reconcile them.

The primary crust of the western Arabian shield is composed of a combination of several constructional units, each of which is an intra-oceanic island arc terrane consisting of an andesitic assemblage of metavolcanic rocks and a dioritic suite of plutonic rocks. There are at least three such terranes. The ensimatic island arc development and progressive cratonization by coalescence of arc terranes took place over a long time span that began about 950 Ma with formation of the neocraton by accretion of arcs. Each closure and arc collision led to deformation and ophiolite obduction now preserved as cryptic sutures that segment the shield in approximately north-south units and

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AAPG Studies in Geology

Arabian Plate Hydrocarbon Geology and Potential—A Plate Tectonic Approach

Z. R. Beydoun
Z. R. Beydoun
American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon
Marathon International Petroleum (GB) Ltd., London, U.K.
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American Association of Petroleum Geologists
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January 01, 1991




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