Crustal structure and tectono-stratigraphy
The Mid Black Sea High comprises two en echelon basement ridges, the Archangelsky and Andrusov ridges, that separate the western and eastern Black Sea basins. The sediment cover above these ridges has been characterized by extensive seismic reflection data, but the crustal structure beneath is poorly known. We present results from a densely sampled wide-angle seismic profile, coincident with a pre-existing seismic reflection profile, which elucidates the crustal structure. We show that the basement ridges are covered by approximately 1–2 km of pre-rift sedimentary rocks. The Archangelsky Ridge has higher pre-rift sedimentary velocities and higher velocities at the top of basement (c. 6 km s−1). The Andrusov Ridge has lower pre-rift sedimentary velocities and velocities less than 5 km s−1 at the top of the basement. Both ridges are underlain by approximately 20-km-thick crust with velocities reaching around 7.2 km s−1 at their base, interpreted as thinned continental crust. These high velocities are consistent with the geology of the Pontides, which is formed of accreted island arcs, oceanic plateaux and accretionary complexes. The crustal thickness implies crustal thinning factors of approximately 1.5–2. The differences between the ridges reflect different sedimentary and tectonic histories.
Figures & Tables
The Black Sea remains one of the largest underexplored rift basins in the world. Future success is dependent on a better understanding of a number of geological uncertainties. These include reservoir and source rock presence and quality, and the timing of migration of hydrocarbons relative to trap formation. An appreciation of the geological history of the Black Sea basins and the surrounding orogens is therefore key. The timing of basin formation, uplift of the margins, and of facies distribution remain issues for robust debate. This Special Publication presents the results of 15 studies that relate to the tectono-stratigraphy and petroleum geology of the Black Sea. The methodologies of these studies encompass crustal structure, geodynamic evolution, stratigraphy and its regional correlation, petroleum systems, source to sink, hydrocarbon habitat and play concepts, and reviews of past exploration. They provide insight into the many ongoing controversies concerning Black Sea regional geology and provide a better understanding of the geological risks that must be considered for future hydrocarbon exploration.