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ABSTRACT: The tale of an inverted basin: Eastern Mediterranean - offshore Israel

Flexer, Akiva1, Michael Gardosh2, Ilan Bruner2, and Annat Yellin Dror1
(1) Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel 
(2) The Geophysical Institute, N/A, Israel

Early Mesozoic fragmentation of the northern margins of the would be African and Arabian plates (then part of the Gondwananian continent) generated rifting and volcanism. As a result, a large basin, some 300 km long, 100 km wide containing up to 13-14 km sedimentary succession, occupying the greater part of the Sinai-Israel offshore area, was formed. The basin is a link in the chain of prolific basins that make up the periphery of the Arabo-Nubian Craton. Association of a deep hydrocarbon generative depression, potentially reservoir rocks together with inverted structural traps encourages focusing on accelerated oil exploration. Five major tectonic stages occurred in the Eastern Mediterranean Basin:

a) Neothethyan Triassic rifting caused by stretching and thinning of lower and upper parts of the lithosphere (Stretching factors approximately 2.5-3.0 and 1.5-2.0 respectively).

b) Reactivation of the Neothethyan rifting occurred in Early-Mid Jurassic.

c) Post-rift subsidence and the development of a pronounced basin-margin profile in Mid-Late Jurassic to Late Cretaceous.

d) Closure of the Neotetheyan ocean (during late Cretaceous-Palaeogene times) converting long-lived passive margins into active margins.

e) Reoccurrence of subsidence and the accumulation of siliciclastics and evaporites in Mid-Late Tertiary times.

Activities gave birth to the occurrence of source, reservoir and sealing rocks. The tectonic inversion controls the structural traps. Favorite structures are now under deep water (exceeding 500 m). Oil shows (partially commercial) concentrated mainly along the eastern rim of the basin and indicate the presence of several active petroleum systems.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90913©2000 AAPG International Conference and Exhibition, Bali, Indonesia