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Overview of the Structural Styles of the Petroleum Traps in the Pelagian Platform of Northern Africa

Sami Khomsi and Mourad Bedir

The Pelagian domain of Northern Africa situated respectively to North and North-Western Libya and Eastern Tunisia constitutes an important petroleum province and a complex structural domain in the triple junction of the Alpine belt, the Atlas foreland and the Sirt rift basins. This configuration controls the occurrence of a variety of petroleum structural traps varying in styles and tectonic behaviour and situated in the different sub-domains of the Pelagian platform. We outline in this work the main structural styles of a variety of structural traps based on a compilation of a wide range of subsurface and geological data.

From North to South and West to East we can distinguish and visualise:

-The Gulf of Hammamet-Enfidha foreland platforms with the main structural traps represented by Eocene fault propagation folds, Horst and large faulted anticlines and rollovers associated to normal listric Miocene structures. Many prograding Miocene wedges can be distinguished on the crestal parts and in the hanging wall of many faulted structures.

-The Sahel Foreland complex domain with structural traps represented by: Eocene fault propagation folds, Eocene passive roofed duplexes, subsalt traps beneath Triassic salt walls, faulted Miocene folds and Oligo-Miocene rollovers anticlines controlled by major listric faults.

-The Chorbane-Sfax-Kerkenha archipelago with the main structural traps represented by positive horst blocks and faulted large anticlines.

-The Gulf of Gabes with the main structural traps, represented by large anticlines, Eocene inverted anticline structures, tilted structures, Horsts, ramp anticlines, Diapiric salt cored anticlines, and peripheral sinks around Triassic to Liassic salt withdrawal.

A Regional structural cross section will be presented crossing the Domain from the Alpine thrust of Zaghouan to the Ionian basin to east passing through the different sub-basins and outlining the main deformation features and structural styles with particular emphasising on critical moments and main trapping mechanisms and styles.

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