Deformation of oceanic crust in the eastern Gulf of Guinea: role in the evolution of the Cameroon Volcanic Line and influence on the petroleum endowment of the Douala-Rio Muni Basin
Steve R. Lawrence, Alastair Beach, Owain Jackson, Andrew Jackson, 2017. "Deformation of oceanic crust in the eastern Gulf of Guinea: role in the evolution of the Cameroon Volcanic Line and influence on the petroleum endowment of the Douala-Rio Muni Basin", Petroleum Geoscience of the West Africa Margin, T. Sabato Ceraldi, R. A. Hodgkinson, G. Backe
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Evidence is presented from the interpretation of seismic data for the compressional deformation of intra-plate oceanic crust in the eastern Gulf of Guinea, a region occupied by the Douala-Rio Muni Basin and the Cameroon Volcanic Line. The deformation has taken the form of the reactivation of syn-kinematic structures in the fabric of the oceanic crust. The origin of the Cameroon Volcanic Line is usually attributed to a mantle hotspot, but interpretation of the seismic data indicates that strike-slip and/or compressional tectonics and reactivation of the fabric of the oceanic crust have all played an important role in its evolution. A regional tectonic model is presented that associates deformation in the eastern Gulf of Guinea with regional alpine-related far-field compressive stress. In this way, a causal link is invoked between deformation of the oceanic crust and strike-slip movement on the Central African Shear Zone, establishing a continent–ocean tectonic link. The evolution of the Cameroon Volcanic Line and the continent–ocean tectonic link has imparted a unique tectonostratigraphic history to the Douala-Rio Muni Basin and has influenced its petroleum endowment. The structural and combination trapping potential has been greatly enhanced in this environment and the structural architecture of the basin has influenced the depositional patterns of the deep water reservoir sands.
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The West Africa margin, formed by the progressive separation of the South American and African continents, has enjoyed a rich and varied exploration history and become a significant hydrocarbon-producing region. The amalgamation of hydrocarbon exploration approaches and imaginative ideas, leveraged with modern technologies, is yielding significant scientific and economic successes within the region.
The main objective of this Special Publication is to provide an overview of the advancement in understanding of the crustal structure, tectonic evolution and Mesozoic to Cenozoic stratigraphy of the West Africa margin both onshore and offshore, with a particular focus on the petroleum geology.