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This is the first of two chapters in which the data presented in the first four chapters of this Memoir are reviewed and interpreted. A summary cross-section across the basin from the Saudi outcrop to Abu Dhabi and the Tethyan margin is used to summarize the regional setting and sequences as interpreted in this Memoir. The key points illustrated by the summary cross-section are stated and discussed in the first part of this chapter. Two different interpretations for the eastern margin of the intrashelf basin are reviewed. In the first of these interpretations, the margin with the deeper waters of the Tethys Ocean shelf is adjacent to the intrashelf basin rim in Abu Dhabi, whereas in the second, preferred in this Memoir, a broad, shallow Tethyan shelf platform (200–300 km wide) extends from the intrashelf basin rim to the Tethys continental shelf edge. The implications of Late Jurassic exposure and erosion on the adjacent Tethyan shelf are discussed. The development of the Arabian Intrashelf Basin during the Callovian–late Oxfordian (the Tuwaiq Mountain Formation, the source rock and the Hanifa intervals and associated sequences) is interpreted and discussed with illustrations, including step-by-step facies maps. The interpretation integrates depositional, eustatic and tectonic factors in the evolution of the intrashelf basin. The interpretation in this Memoir is that the Arabian Intrashelf Basin began with isostatic and extensional subsidence on top of a broad Dhruma Atash Member platform, which had largely filled the accommodation space up to the wave base and to near sea-level. It developed fully into an intrashelf basin during the deposition of the Callovian Tuwaiq sequence, with rising sea-levels coincident with a productive shallow water carbonate factory resulting in a rim of shallow water carbonate. An end-Callovian to early Oxfordian lowstand terminated the Tuwaiq sequence on the basin rim. During the lowstand, restricted conditions in the basin deposited the rich Lower Hanifa source rock as a lowstand systems tract. As more normal conditions returned in a subsequent sequence, the source rock facies graded upwards into Hanifa reservoir facies, which partially filled the basin. Hanifa progradation was terminated by another lowstand during which a subaqueous gypsum/anhydrite marker bed was deposited in at least part of the remnant basin. Earlier interpretations of these sequences are also discussed.

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