Salt tectonics in and around the Nile deep-sea fan: Insights from the PRISMED II cruise
Virginie Gaullier, Yossi Mart, Gilbert Bellaiche, Jean Mascle, Bruno C. Vendeville, Tiphaine Zitter, Second Leg Prismed II Scientific Party, 1999. "Salt tectonics in and around the Nile deep-sea fan: Insights from the PRISMED II cruise", Salt, Shale and Igneous Diapirs in and around Europe, Bruno C. Vendeville, Yossi Mart, Jean-Louis Vigneresse
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The recent PRISMED II geophysical survey has documented various styles of salt tectonics in and around the Nile deep-sea fan (Eastern Mediterranean Sea). The first main type of salt-related structures comprises listric normal growth faults and grabens, trending roughly perpendicular to the slope line of the Nile Cone. These faults and associated salt structures result from thin-skinned extension, driven by gravity gliding and spreading as a result of sediment loading of the Plio-Quaternary overburden above the Messinian evaporites, which acted as a décollement layer. The second major type of salt structures consists of lineaments that obliquely intersect the continental slope of the Nile deep-sea fan. These structures may have had some strike-slip movement, and salt diapirs grew reactively or were deformed by fault-block movement. In the western distal part of the Nile deep-sea fan, compressional tectonics of the adjacent Mediterranean Ridge caused the formation of a series of salt-cored folds and reverse faults above the Messinian evaporites. In the eastern distal part of the Nile Cone, sediment progradation progressively expelled salt northward, first forming small folds and tight diapirs, then a scarp of 400 m height around the Eratosthenes Seamount, corresponding to the basinward limit of salt deformation.
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The ten articles in this book describe the mode of emplacement of various types of intrusions (salt diapirs, mud volcanoes and magmatic bodies) by means of theoretical reasoning, analogue and analytical modelling, interpretation of seismic and field data, and geodetic surveying. All the articles emphasize the role of regional tectonics in driving or controlling the emplacement of the intrusions. The selection of articles includes examples from Spain, Romania, onshore and offshore Italy, the Eastern Mediterranean, Israel and iran.
Better understanding of the mode of emplacement of these intrusions has applications in hydrocarbon exploration (e.g., where salt structures or mud diapirs are present) and in the mining industry (where mineralization is related to the emplacement of batholiths).