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Architecture, Geodynamic Evolution and Sedimentary Filling of the Levant Basin A 3D Quantitative Approach Based on Seismic Data

Nicolas Hawie, Fadi Nader, Francois Baudin, Christian Gorini, Didier Granjeon, Lucien Montadert, Remy Deschamps, Carla Muller, Delphine Desmares, and Ahmed Hoteit

The availability of recent seismic data and the major gas discoveries in offshore Israel and Cyprus led to a renewed interest in the Levant region and to a review of old geologic concepts. What was thought to be a basin formed by transform faulting is currently viewed as a passive margin developed by NW-SE and NNW-SSE Late Paleozoic/Early Mesozoic extension pulsating over 120 Ma.

This study aims at proposing an onshore-offshore correlation of the northern Levant through a review of the regional paleogeographic framework, allowing to better constrain the sedimentary facies extent from the Lebanese margin into the basin.

Detailed 2D seismic analysis led to the generation of isopach maps of major seismic packages for the Lebanese offshore permitting to assess the structural control on the basin architecture. The initiation of the Latakia Ridge as a consequence of the Upper Cretaceous collision of Afro-Arabia with Eurasia, led to the formation of a depocenter facing Tripoli allowing the deposition of deepwater Upper Cretaceous to Oligocene? rock units. A major shift of depocenter towards southern Lebanon is noted around the Early Miocene and is yet to be fully understood.

A comprehensive catalogue of seismic facies proposed reflects the duality of the Levant basin infill (deep water carbonates and potential silicilastics) linked with large plate-scale drainage systems (i.e Nile Delta, Nahr el Kebir). This investigation highlights the importance of in depth seismic facies analysis and the “source to sink” modeling perspective; leading to the quantification of regional structural deformation, geomorphologic and sedimentologic processes and thus allowing to draw integrated views on the Levant margin and basin prospectivity.

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