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Combined Effect of Tectonism, Eustasy, and Sediment Supply on the Depositional-Sequence History of the Western Offshore, South Africa

JUNGSLAGER, ERIC H. A., Soekor Ltd., Parow, South Africa

Interpreted seismic profiles and maps of depositional systems tracts highlight variations in basin-fill architecture and their inferred causes along western offshore South Africa.

Sequence-stratigraphic concepts developed by Exxon were used to interpret 10,000 km of seismic data and logs from 31 exploration boreholes within an area of 90,000 sq km. Lower frequency second-order supercycles (5-10 Ma) are attributed to changes in the rate of subsidence and are expressed either by predominantly progradational or aggradational depositional supersequence.

In addition to these long-duration, basin-wide stratigraphic packages, component depositional sequences that formed in response to third order (1-5 Ma) and higher frequency cycles vary with structural setting within the depobasin, namely depocenter, basin flanks, shelf-edge, and slope systems.

Depositional sequences resulting from fourth and fifth order cycles (10(5) - 10(4)y and 10(4) - 10(5)y) are concentrated preferentially in more stable parts of the basin.

High-order sequences are attributed to eustatically driven, high-frequency, base-level changes and/or localized tectonic events (i.e., slope failure, gravity faulting). Variations in the areal distribution of lowstand and shelf-margin systems tracts document lateral shifting sediment supplies and the presence of entrenched feeder-canyons linked to incised valley systems on the shelf. Many canyons, however, terminate updip and may be related to slope failure and headward erosion.

The tentative correlation of regionally developed unconformities of the west coast based on microfaunal dating of a limited number of marine condensed sections points to a remarkable correspondence with the Exxon global sea-level chart.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91004 © 1991 AAPG Annual Convention Dallas, Texas, April 7-10, 1991 (2009)