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Seismic Geomorphology of Cenozoic Mass Transport Complexes in Deepwater Offshore Canary Islands, Spain

Héctor Gonzalez Venegas, Nourdine Ibrihen, Laura L. García, Vera Hernández, Clara Correa Malmcrona, and Luis Pérez Pérez

The Canaries Repsol permit is located east of the Canary Islands Lanzarote and Fuerteventura in Spanish waters, between the Canary Islands and Morocco. The study territory is considered as frontier exploration area as no deepwater industry well had been drilled. Taking the opportunity of a good 3D seismic data characterizing the Tertiary section over the Repsol permit, in this paper are presented the results of mapping four relatively regional Mass Transport Complexes (MTCs) identified in the Tertiary interval, although there are more in the area. In fact, the seismic revealed that Jurassic to Holocene salt mobilization, manifested in form of diapirs, tongues, sheets, canopies, in addition to regional tectonics, greatly influenced on the morphology of the modern sea floor, forming a severely rugose expression with ongoing minibasin development and episodic submarine failure. These episodes continually affected the distribution of sediments causing a range of depositional flow styles, from slumps to sheet slides and mass-transport complexes (MTCs). Hence, it has been recognized different seismic expressions characterized the MTCs as chaotic, mounded seismic facies, internal syndepositional thrusts and transported megablocks.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90161©2013 AAPG European Regional Conference, Barcelona, Spain, 8-10 April 2013