Abstract

Two-dimensional (2D) seismic reflection data reveal two silica diagenetic boundaries located in the North Sakhalin Basin, offshore Sakhalin Island. These boundaries form distinctive high-amplitude seismic reflections that predominantly cross-cut Miocene stratigraphy. The boundaries represent the opal-A to opal-CT (cristobalite and tridymite) transition and the subsequent deeper opal-CT to quartz transition and cover an area of c. 107 000 km2. The reflections represent diagenetic reaction fronts that advance through silica-rich host sediments during burial. The oldest strata within which the diagenetic fronts have been identified are of Miocene age and the fronts commonly show a parallel relationship to a Late Miocene unconformity. These diagenetic fronts develop a variety of morphological forms. In the North Sakhalin Basin these front geometries are probably the result of the interference of the diagenetic fronts with inclined and folded stratigraphy together with lateral changes in the composition and, therefore, depth of transformation of the sediment. We define criteria for the recognition of these 2D cross-sectional morphological elements and by so doing provide the basis for the objective description and categorization of diagenetic front geometry.

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