Latest fold and thrust tectonics conceals extensional structures inherited from Cretaceous syn-sedimentary deformation: insights for exploration in fold-and-thrust belts from the Maiella Mountain
Published:April 14, 2020
Davide Casabianca, Antoine Auzemery, Andrea Barrier, Angelo Ricciato, Stefano Borello, Alice Lecardez, Raffaele Di Cuia, 2020. "Latest fold and thrust tectonics conceals extensional structures inherited from Cretaceous syn-sedimentary deformation: insights for exploration in fold-and-thrust belts from the Maiella Mountain", Fold and Thrust Belts: Structural Style, Evolution and Exploration, J. A. Hammerstein, R. Di Cuia, M. A. Cottam, G. Zamora, R. W. H. Butler
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The superposition of structures produced by different tectonic phases is common in sedimentary basins. Yet the earlier structures often remain overlooked with potentially negative exploration consequences. In the Maiella anticline, Pliocene compression has folded carbonate sequences containing Cretaceous extensional structures. The geometry and evolution of the Apulian carbonate platform margin outcropping on the Maiella Mountain are described by two opposing groups of models. One proposes a structurally controlled platform margins cut by syn-sedimentary Cretaceous faults; the other assumes a passive Cretaceous palaeo-escarpments progressively filled by Cretaceous to Tertiary sediments later deformed by the Pliocene compression. Assuming models in line with either one of these two groups has significant implications for exploration plays on both platforms and adjacent basins of analogous subsurface systems. These include: hypothesized margin geometries; sediment transport mechanisms (directions and distribution); size of sequences; type and size of traps and associated exploration targets, risks and uncertainties. We demonstrate that during the Late Cretaceous the platform margin was cut by normal faults which controlled the palaeogeography of the platform and the sediment input into the adjacent basin in which thick, resedimented, carbonate megabreccia and turbidites were deposited. These carbonates represent exploration targets in similar settings worldwide.
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Fold and Thrust Belts: Structural Style, Evolution and Exploration
CONTAINS OPEN ACCESS
The outer parts of collision mountain belts are commonly represented by fold and thrust belts. Major advances in understanding these tectonic settings have arisen from regional studies that integrate diverse geological information in quests to find and produce hydrocarbons. Drilling has provided tests of subsurface forecasts, challenging interpretation strategies and structural models. This volume contains 19 papers that illustrate a diversity of methods and approaches together with case studies from Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region. Collectively they show that appreciating diversity is key for developing better interpretations of complex geological structures in the subsurface – endeavours that span applications beyond the development of hydrocarbons.