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Abstract: The Unexplored Cap Tafelney Fold Belt (Offshore Morocco)

Mohamad Hafid

The offshore extension of the northern front of the High Atlas into the Atlantic Ocean remains as an intriguing question. A review of reflection seismic profiles reveals the existence of an east-west trending decollement folded belt in the continuation of the Tamanar embayment of the southern Essaouira basin. Poorly dated Upper Cretaceous unconformities truncate some of the often diapiric folds suggesting widespread paleostructures. Some of these were reactivated during the Tertiary.

Orthogonally overlying the northern margin of the folded belt are several upper Cretaceous and younger extionsional growth fault systems which downdip merge into salt-cored compressional anticlines and allochthonous salt masses.

Only one well (Cap Sim 1-x) has penetrated an anticline with Albian shales overlying presumably diapiric Jurassic evaporites at a depth of 3088 meters. No reservoirs were encountered in the dominantly shaly section. Extrapolation from the nearby Essaouira basin suggests that Jurassic source beds may underlie the basin but renewed exploration of the basin will need to establish the likelihood of, presumably, deep-water reservoirs. Following extensive reprocessing of the existing data new seismic data will be needed to further advance the exploration of this enigmatic folded belt.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90956©1995 AAPG International Convention and Exposition Meeting, Nice, France