Abstract

Correlative sequences of sandstones, silt-stones, claystones, and thin argillaceous carbonate beds of late Carboniferous-Early Permian age occupy a distinct stratigraphic position over the entire greater Arabian basin. These rocks are bracketed by a regional unconformity below and a conformable succession of Permian carbonates above them. The basal contact is marked by a pronounced angular unconformity which separates this Carboniferous-Permian succession from underlying, much older rocks.

The Carboniferous-Permian rocks crop out in thin bands and scattered small exposures in the basin, but they are commonly encountered in the subsurface. The age assignment for these rocks is based on both fossil plants and palynomorphs as well as on stratigraphie position.

These rocks are represented by the Unayzah formation of Arabia and the Gulf region, the Amanus formation of Syria, the Hazro formation of southeast Turkey, the Ga'ara formation of Iraq, the Faraghan formation of southwest Iran, the Asfar formation of north Oman, the Gharif and Khlata formations (Haushi group) of south Oman, and the Akbarah formation of North Yemen. Sandstones of these Carboniferous-Permian sequences are important hydrocarbon exploration targets, as significant quantities of hydrocarbons are currently produced from reservoirs of these rocks in several oilfields in the basin.

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