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Deep Geological Structures for Iraq’s Western Desert Using Geophysical Analyses

Mahmoud A. Al-Mufarji
Petroleum Engineering, University of Kirkuk, Kirkuk, Iraq

The growing interest in the hydrocarbon potential of the Paleozoic rocks in the Middle East has accentuated the need for additional information about the morphology of the crestalline basement and the thickness of Mesozoic & Paleozoic sedimentary rocks.
In Iraq, and during the past century, all exploration and developing activities have been concentrated towards Mesozoic & Cenozoic basins especially over the Unstable Shelf. Over the Western desert (the stable shelf ), interest have arisen recently in exploration the possibilities of the Paleozoic rocks as will as the overlying Mesozoic basins. The present study is a contribution towards this latter end.

The research involves analyzing the gravity, seismic and magnetic data available over Iraq’s Western Desert. The study area lies between 39 to 42 easting (Longitude) and 31 to 35 northing (Latitude). All available geophysical means (Seismic, gravity and magnetic data) are used to obtain an accurate picture of the main structures (faults, basins, etc.) that occur within the sidementary cover with emphasis on the rocks of Paleozoic basin of the area.
Stratigraphic correlation of wells within the area with those of adjacent areas is achieved.

The gravity data are interpreted using stripping technique. As such, stripping of the shallow Tertiary & Mesozoic rocks has enhanced anomalies of Paleozoic and basement origin.

1- To assemble all seismic surveys, bring them to a single datum and use the results to control the gravity interpretatios. Where the seismic data is lacking or of poor quality, reliance are put on gravity analysis.
2- To analyze the Bouguer anomaly map and attribute its various features to their origin with minimum of ambiguity using all available seismic and borehole data.
3- To interpret the total field aeromagnetic map and attribute its varios features to their origin that correspond to that obtained from seismic and gravity analysis.
4- To use all the results obtained from above to establish isopach maps of the Mesozoic & Paleozoic rocks, to locate the sedimentary basins of these periods, to establish the main tectonic lines and to arrive at the geological history of the area.

Detailed discussion of the tectonic stratigraphy is given and also detailed correlation of the Paleozoic sediments with adjacent areas have lead to the discussion on the economic and hydrocarbon potentialities of the area.

Presentation GEO India Expo XXI, Noida, New Delhi, India 2008©AAPG Search and Discovery