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Abstract

The intraplate Cameros Rift Basin in northern Spain, which has sediments some 6500 m thick, developed between the Late Jurassic and Early Albian. Its facies and their distribution in the sedimentary record suggest the basin may contain hydrocarbon systems. The arenite composition of the basin reveals two main petrofacies: (1) a quartzolithic petrofacies, the provenance of which is related to recycling processes that took place in the pre-rift sedimentary cover; and (2) a quartzofeldspathic petrofacies mainly related to the erosion of a plutonic and metamorphic source of arenite. The succession of these petrofacies reflects two main cycles representing the progressive erosion of their sources, one of 10 Ma, the other of 30 Ma. Such succession is typical of a non-volcanic rift basin. The quartzolithic petrofacies shows early carbonate cements that inhibited compaction and later quartz, feldspar and clay mineral diagenetic phases. The quartzofeldspathic petrofacies has a rigid framework that maintained the original pores of the arenite during burial diagenesis. Quartz and K-feldspar overgrowths are common, with secondary porosity occurring as a product of feldspar dissolution. The quartzofeldspathic petrofacies has a greater potential to act as a hydrocarbon reservoir. This study corroborates the close relationship between the provenance of arenite and its reservoir potential in continental rift basins.

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