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AAPG GEO 2010 Middle East
Geoscience Conference & Exhibition
Innovative Geoscience Solutions – Meeting Hydrocarbon Demand in Changing Times
March 7-10, 2010 – Manama, Bahrain

Arabian Plate Sequence Stratigraphy: 10 Years On

Michael Simmons1; Stephen Cain1; David Casey1; Roger Davies1; Alexis Godet1; Peter Sharland1; Owen Sutcliffe1

(1) Neftex Petroleum Consultants Ltd, Abingdon, United Kingdom.

Almost 10 years have passed since Sharland et al. (2001) published Arabian Plate Sequence Stratigraphy. This work correlated 63 maximum flooding surfaces across Arabia and, for the first time, placed the complex lithostratigraphy of the Middle East into a sequence stratigraphic framework. We will illustrate that:

- Since its publication we have developed the sequence stratigraphic model by further investigations in the Middle East coupled with an analysis of the validity of the sequence stratigraphic model worldwide. We now know that with some minor modifications, the Arabian Plate Sequences can be seen globally and are thus eustatically driven. We have also been able to further develop the model with additional surfaces.

- It is interesting to speculate on the causes this eustasy throughout the Phanerozoic. The pace and amplitude of the changes points strongly to a glacio-eustatic origin for our sequences this is supported by a growing body of direct and proxy evidence that points to a coincidence of climatic fluctuation and eustasy, suggesting that melting and creation of ephemeral polar ice may be a causal mechanism, even in what is commonly regarded as a “greenhouse” times.

- A robust 3rd order sequence stratigraphic model for the Arabian Plate is a valuable tool for region correlation and mapping, and the recognition of exploration analogues, as well as placing existing reservoirs and source rocks in regional context.