Cretaceous sedimentation along the Romanian margin of the Black Sea: inferences from onshore to offshore correlations
C. Krezsek, R.-I. Bercea, G. Tari, G. Ionescu, 2018. "Cretaceous sedimentation along the Romanian margin of the Black Sea: inferences from onshore to offshore correlations", Petroleum Geology of the Black Sea, M. D. Simmons, G. C. Tari, A. I. Okay
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It is generally believed that the western part of the Black Sea opened during the Early Cretaceous. However, recent data and interpretation from the Turkish margin suggest rifting continued into the Coniacian or Santonian. In this review, the evidence related to the Black Sea rifting on the conjugate Romanian margin is reassessed. Our integrated interpretation of this region, supported by outcrop observations, core and detrital zircon data, suggests that rifting started during the Aptian and continued intermittently until the mid-Turonian in two distinct stages. These stages are bounded by significant unconformities and reflect the progressive widening of the rift system. The first synrift stage started in the Aptian with the deposition of fluvial and lacustrine clastic successions, and locally marine carbonates in semi-isolated depocentres. These sinks began to coalesce during the latest Aptian–Albian with shallow-marine transgression from the east, and deposition of coastal swamp, deltaic and littoral facies. The second phase of rifting during the Cenomanian was marked by transgressive shallow-marine deposits overstepping the earlier Albian depocentres. Continental break-up followed in the mid-Turonian associated with regional uplift and erosion of the basin margin and the local deposition of fluvial conglomerates.
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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.