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Abstract: Wrench Tectonics in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Marzouk Ibrahim, Mohamed Abdel Sattar

Recent studies of the geodynamics and tectonic history of the Arabian plate through geologic time have revealed that Wrench forces played an important role in the structural generation and deformation of Petroleum basins and reservoirs of the United Arab Emirates.

The tectonic analysis of Abu Dhabi revealed that basin facies evolution were controlled wrench tectonics, examples are the Pre-Cambrian salt basin, the Permo-Triassic and Jurassic basins. In addition, several sedimentary patterns were strongly influenced by wrench tectonics, the Lower Cretaceous Shuaiba platform margin and associated reservoirs is a good example.

Wrench faults, difficult to identify by conventional methods, were examined from a region perspective and through careful observation and assessment of many factors. Subsurface structural mapping and geoseismic cross-sections supported by outcrop studies and geomorphological features revealed a network of strike slip faults in Abu Dhabi.

Structural modelling of these wrench forces including the use of strain ellipses was applied both on regional and local scales. This effort has helped in re-interpreting some structural settings, some oil fields were interpreted as En Echelon buckle folds associated with NE/SW dextral wrench faults. Several flower structures were interpreted along NW/SE sinistral wrench faults which have significant hydrocarbon potential.

Synthetic and Antithetic strike slip faults and associated fracture systems have played a significant role in field development and reservoir management studies. Four field examples were discussed.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90956©1995 AAPG International Convention and Exposition Meeting, Nice, France