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Stratigraphic trapping potential in the Carboniferous of North Africa; developing new play concepts based on integrated outcrop sedimentology and regional sequence stratigraphy (Morocco, Algeria, Libya)

S. Lubeseder, Jonathan Redfern, L. Petitpierre and S. Froehlich
Stratigraphic trapping potential in the Carboniferous of North Africa; developing new play concepts based on integrated outcrop sedimentology and regional sequence stratigraphy (Morocco, Algeria, Libya) (in Petroleum geology; from mature basins to new frontiers; proceedings of the 7th petroleum geology conference, B. A. Vining (editor) and S. C. Pickering (editor))
Petroleum Geology Conference Series (2010) 7: 725-734

Abstract

The lower Carboniferous (Tournaisian to Visean) of North Africa is characterized by cycle-stacks of predominantly shelfal to marginal marine sandstones and limestones, thick shelfal mudstones and less common but important interbedded fluvio-deltaic sandstones. The cyclic sedimentation pattern continues into the Mid Carboniferous (Serpukhovian to Bashkirian), when mixed siliciclastic-carbonate sequences give way to tropical carbonates, before an abrupt return to continental deposits in the upper Carboniferous (Bashkirian to Gzhelian). The alternation of widespread shallow marine and more discrete fluvial reservoirs with interbedded offshore mud-stone seals is interpreted to result from high-frequency, high-amplitude Carboniferous glacio-eustatic sea-level changes. The large base-level changes during that time, combined with climatic conditions that produced high amounts of terrigenous mud, provided favourable conditions for the development of stratigraphic traps in the clastic-prone lower Carboniferous, while the advent of tropical carbonates produced reefal buildups in the Mid Carboniferous. Four stratigraphic trapping types are recognized: (I) truncation traps in which reservoir units were eroded on subaerially exposed proximal palaeohighs and thick underlying transgressive and highstand systems tract (TST and HST) mudstones form the bottom-seal and the rapid transgression of the offshore facies forms the top-seal: (2) pinchout traps of lowstand wedges on the flanks of distal palaeohighs, which were only affected by subaqueous reworking of previous TST-HST mudstones and were buried during the subsequent transgression; (3) incised valleys of the lowstand systems tract (LST), filled with thick fluvial and tidal sandstones, cutting either into TST-HST mudstones in the lower Carboniferous, or into exposed carbonate platforms in the Mid Carboniferous; (4) Waulsortian-type reefal buildups of the Mid Carboniferous. The four trapping types are discussed using selected outcrop examples, and are placed into regional sequence stratigraphic context of the Carboniferous depositional systems and sequence development of North Africa. These concepts can be readily applied to the subsurface and offer significant potential for new plays across North Africa.


ISSN: 2047-9921
Serial Title: Petroleum Geology Conference Series
Serial Volume: 7
Title: Stratigraphic trapping potential in the Carboniferous of North Africa; developing new play concepts based on integrated outcrop sedimentology and regional sequence stratigraphy (Morocco, Algeria, Libya)
Title: Petroleum geology; from mature basins to new frontiers; proceedings of the 7th petroleum geology conference
Author(s): Lubeseder, S.Redfern, JonathanPetitpierre, L.Froehlich, S.
Author(s): Vining, B. A.editor
Author(s): Pickering, S. C.editor
Affiliation: University of Manchester, School of Earth, Atmosheric and Environmental Sciences, Manchester, United Kingdom
Affiliation: Baker Hughes, London, United Kingdom
Pages: 725-734
Published: 2010
Text Language: English
Publisher: The=Geological Society of London, London, United Kingdom
ISBN: 978-1-86239-298-4
Meeting name: 7th petroleum geology conference; petroleum geology; from mature basins to new frontiers
Meeting location: London, GBR, United Kingdom
Meeting date: 20090330March 30-April 2, 2009
References: 28
Accession Number: 2012-023164
Categories: Economic geology, geology of energy sourcesStratigraphy
Document Type: Serial Conference document
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. strat. cols., sects., geol. sketch maps
N24°00'00" - N36°00'00", W12°00'00" - E18°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Schlumberger, GBR, United Kingdom
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2019, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 201213
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