Seismic stratigraphy of the offshore Indus Basin
Published:January 01, 2002
Tim Daley, Zaheer Alam, 2002. "Seismic stratigraphy of the offshore Indus Basin", The Tectonic and Climatic Evolution of the Arabian Sea Region, P. D. Clift, D. Kroon, C. Gaedicke, J. Craig
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In 1997 Lasmo Oil Pakistan Ltd (Lasmo) gained a significant position in the offshore Indus Basin with the award of the Indus A and B Blocks. The main hydrocarbon play comprises Miocene shelf-delta sands interbedded with intraformational shale seals and sourced by gas-prone offshore equivalents. Approximately 12000 km of seismic data have been interpreted in the detailed evaluation of these blocks. However, only four wells have tested the preferred play type and no core or rock data were available to provide further insights into facies or age dating. Log data from two key wells in the offshore Indus area record the initial infilling of the basin by shale-dominated basinal or outer shelf sediments, followed by stacked thin-bedded sandstone-shale sequences of a shelf-delta nature. A zone of progradational sequences marks the transition between the two, but no other workable stratigraphic divisions were apparent. Regional seismic correlation established the diachronous nature of the prograding shelf package and this was matched by distinct bands of seismic progrades. A series of simple palaeogeographies of the prograding shelf margin were developed showing initial sediment input from the north and rapid progradation towards the south and west. The Oligo-Miocene basin fill of the offshore Indus Basin appears to be a 'one-step' fill process of a significant depocentre created between the Karachi Platform and the Murray Ridge. Canyons are a very distinct feature on seismic profiles and two main phases of development are apparent. The earlier phase is interpreted to be of Early Miocene age. Downcutting at this time rarely exceeded 400 m. The second phase of canyon development occurred during Plio-Pleistocene time, and these younger canyons often dominate the shallow section, with multiple phases of downcutting sometimes exceeding 1000 m. Where drilled, canyons of both ages have been found to be shale prone. These drilled canyons are interpreted to be on the palaeo-slope where erosion and sediment by-pass occurred during the active phase, and were subsequently filled by fine-grained deposits after abandonment. The two phases of canyoning are considered to relate to phases of tectonic activity in the collision zone between the western margin of the Indo-Pakistan plate and the Eurasian plate.
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The Tectonic and Climatic Evolution of the Arabian Sea Region
Over long periods of time the tectonic evolution of the solid Earth has been recognized as the major control on the development of the global climate system. Tectonic activity acts in one of two different ways to influence regional and global climate: (i) through the opening and closing of oceanic gateways and its effect on the circulation patterns in the global ocean; (ii) through the growth and erosion of orogenic belts, resulting in changes in oceanic chemistry and disruption of atmospheric circulation. The Arabian Sea region has several features that make it the best area for studies of climate and palaeoceanographic responses to tectonic activity, most notably in the context of the South Asian monsoon and its relationship to the growth of high topography in the adjacent Himalayas and Tibet.
The Tectonic and Climatic Evolution of the Arabian Sea Region brings together a collection of recent studies on the area from a wide group of international contributors. The paper range from high resolution, Holocene palaeoceanographic studies of the Pakistan margin to regional tectonic reconstructions of the ocean basin and surrounding margins throughout the Cenozoic. Marine geophysics, stratigraphy, isotope chemistry and neotectonics come together in a multidisciplinary approach to the study of interactions of land and sea. while much work remains to be done to understand fully the tectonic and climatic evolution of the Arabian Sea, a great deal has been achieved since the last major review, as detailed in the 26 contributions. This volume is essential reading for palaeoceanographers, sedimentologists and geophysicists. It will also be interest to structural geologists and those working in the petroleum industry.