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Book Chapter

Strain partitioning in gravity-driven shortening of a thick, multilayered evaporite sequence

By
Joe Cartwright
Joe Cartwright
School of Earth, Ocean and Planetary Sciences, Park Place, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF10 3YE, UK
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Martin Jackson
Martin Jackson
Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin, Texas, USA
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Tim Dooley
Tim Dooley
Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin, Texas, USA
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Simon Higgins
Simon Higgins
Statoil A/S, Stavanger, Norway
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Published:
January 01, 2012

Abstract

Three-dimensional seismic data from the Levant Basin, eastern Mediterranean, was used to quantify longitudinal strains in thick, multilayered Messinian evaporites at an early stage of salt tectonics. Gravity-spreading is driven by basin subsidence and tilting of the Levant margin and by progradation of the Nile Cone. Similar styles of shortening in two separate 3D survey areas comprise detachment folds, thrust-ramp folds and conjugate arrays of strike-slip faults. These Pleistocene structures can be explained with a single deformation phase with a tectonic transport direction of NE to ENE, obliquely opposed to the extension updip, which began in the Late Pliocene. Four major detachments within the Messinian are probably halite-rich intervals in the multilayer. Shortening of competent interlayers varies from 1–2% near the base to c. 7% near the top of the Messinian, with a sharp reduction in shortening at the top Messinian and roof to 1–2%. This shortening profile is attributed to asymmetric Poiseuille flow, indicating that salt is flowing downdip faster than the overburden is translating. Physical modelling supports the inferred flow profile, showing that each mobile layer flows faster than adjoining competent layers and that strains in evaporites can be far greater than in the overburden. This is the first published use of seismic data to demonstrate the flow regime within salt on a regional scale.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Salt Tectonics, Sediments and Prospectivity

G. I. Alsop
G. I. Alsop
University of Aberdeen, UK
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S. G. Archer
S. G. Archer
University of Aberdeen, UK
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A. J. Hartley
A. J. Hartley
University of Aberdeen, UK
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N. T. Grant
N. T. Grant
ConocoPhillips UK Ltd, Aberdeen, UK
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R. Hodgkinson
R. Hodgkinson
Bowleven plc, Edinburgh, UK
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Geological Society of London
Volume
363
ISBN electronic:
9781862396111
Publication date:
January 01, 2012

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