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ABSTRACT: The Sequence Stratigraphic Evolution of the Late Mesozoic Southeastern Mediterranean Continental Margin

Gardosh, Michael A.1, Akiva Flexer2, Ilan Bruner3, and Paul Weimer4
(1) The Geophysical Institute of Israel, Lod, Israel 
(2) Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel 
(3) The Geophysical Institute, N/A, Israel 
(4) Univ of Colorado, Boulder, CO

Early Mesozoic rifting initiated the development of a large basin with a pronounced basin margin profile at the southeastern corner of the Mediterranean sea, near the Israel-Sinai coast. The Upper Jurassic and Cretaceous margin comprises a myriad of interbedded carbonate and siliciclastic strata.

Interpretation of 2000 km of 2-D seismic data and 30 wells from both the onshore and offshore area resulted in the recognition of twenty-two third-order sequences in the Middle Jurassic to Upper Cretaceous section. Third-order sequence sets stack into five composite second-order supersequences, separated by regional unconformities.

The second-order sequences are generally asymmetric in cross section and display considerable variation in depositional style. Middle to Upper Jurassic sequences are dominated by backstepping, aggrading carbonate platforms. The Lower Cretaceous sequence is predominately siliciclastic and composed of thick lowstand, turbidite system and thin transgressive carbonate ramps. The middle Cretaceous sequence is characterized by carbonate strata, comprising well developed prograding, lowstand sequences and aggrading, transgressive to highstand rimmed shelves. The Upper Cretaceous sequence is dominated by pelagic carbonates in both low- and highstand positions.

More then 150 wells were drilled at the southeastern Mediterranean area, most of them into Mesozoic transgressive and highstand sequence, however only 20 million barrels of oil and 20 BCF of gas were produced. The new proposed depositional model emphasizes the trapping potential of the lowstand systems tracts and turbidite systems, still largely unexplored. It also constrains the distribution of potential source rocks and provides the basis for an improved definition of the basin's petroleum systems.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90913©2000 AAPG International Conference and Exhibition, Bali, Indonesia