Late Cryogenian (Neoproterozoic) glacial and post-glacial successions at the southern margin of the Congo Craton, northern Namibia: facies, palaeogeography and hydrocarbon perspective
Published:January 01, 2009
Thilo Bechstädt, Hartmut Jäger, Guy Spence, Georg Werner, 2009. "Late Cryogenian (Neoproterozoic) glacial and post-glacial successions at the southern margin of the Congo Craton, northern Namibia: facies, palaeogeography and hydrocarbon perspective", Global Neoproterozoic Petroleum Systems: The Emerging Potential in North Africa, J. Craig, J. Thurow, B. Thusu, A. Whitham, Y. Abutarruma
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The geological paradox of at least two Neoproterozoic glacial intervals at tropical latitudes intercalated within carbonates remains an unsolved puzzle. Several conceptual models have been proposed to explain these apparent rapid swings between climatic extremes and the associated isotopic changes in sea-water chemistry. In Oman, post-glacial transgressive sedimentary successions represent important hydrocarbon source rocks. Source rock characteristics of Neoproterozoic post-glacial successions in other parts of the world (even if not directly correlatable) are, therefore, of special economic interest.
This paper concentrates on the Ghaub Formation diamictite interval in northern Namibia and the major environmental change in the aftermath of the assumed glaciation. The relationship of the post-glacial sediments with the underlying different types of cap carbonate and diamictite successions is discussed, and a model of the succession of events is presented. The palaeotopography, caused mostly by ongoing tectonic activity including uplift on the scale of thousands of metres, strongly influenced the petroleum system created and played an important role for the hydrocarbon prospectivity of this post-glacial succession. Tectonic activity on the shelf of the southern margin of the Congo Craton was repeated, and different sub-basins were created before, during and after the Ghaub glaciation. The newly formed relief was flooded, and the different sub-basins were affected by restricted circulation for quite some time. This general scenario bears many similarities to the late Ordovician–early Silurian petroleum system, also formed during post-glacial sea-level rise.
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Global Neoproterozoic Petroleum Systems: The Emerging Potential in North Africa
Neoproterozoic successions are major hydrocarbon producers around the world. In North Africa, large basins with significant surface outcrops and thick sedimentary fills are widespread. These basins are now emerging as potential sources of hydrocarbons and are attracting interest from geological researchers in academia and the oil and gas industry.
This volume focuses on recent developments in the understanding and correlation of North African basin fills and explores novel approaches to prospecting for source and reservoir rocks. The papers cover aspects of petroleum prospectivity and age-equivalent global petroleum systems, Neoproterozoic tectonics and palaeogeography, sequence stratigraphy, glacial events and global climatic models, faunal and floral evolution and the deposition of source rocks.
The broader aim of this volume is to compare major environmental change, the emergence of life, the global carbon cycle and the implications for hydrocarbon exploration of well-studied Neoproterozoic successions worldwide.