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Origin of Lower Pliocene Remobilized Deepwater Mounded Deposits, Yafo Formation, Levant Basin, Southeastern Mediterranean

Fuhrman, Andrew 1; Weimer, Paul *1; Bouroullec, Renaud 1; Gardosh, Michael 2; Pettingill, Henry 3; Hurst, Andrew 4
(1) , Boulder, CO.
(2) Gephysical Institue of Israel, Lod, Israel.
(3) Noble Energy, Houston, TX.
(4) University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, United Kingdom.

The lower Pliocene deepwater Andromeda Mound Complex (AMC) is located in the eastern Mediterranean Levant Basin. The AMC comprises a unique series of fifteen individual or small groups of deformed sand mounds that developed shortly after deposition of the Yafo Sand Member, a series of turbidite sheet sands. These true sand mounds are unique deposits, not previously described in the literature.

The Yafo Sand Member overlies the upper surface of the Messinian Evaporite interval. Three groups of mounds are recognized, based on the internal and external seismic facies. The Group 1 mounds (A-H) are the simplest structurally. The thickening of the Yafo Sand Member is typically the result of a single thrust fault or box fold. The mounds of Group 2 (I, J) are larger and more structurally complex than those in Group 1. They contain more numerous thrust faults and distinct growth stratigraphy. The Andromeda well drilled mound J, penetrating a 500 m section with 80% sand. The Group 3 mounds (K-O) have no definitive internal structural or stratigraphic interpretation due to extreme variations in amplitude and continuity.

The confluence of a number of unusual factors contributed to the origin of the AMC: (a) early Pliocene uplift on the underlying Syrian Arc foldbelt, which created conduits for under-saturated, low-salinity fluid migration into the Messinian Evaporites, (b) variable rates of Messinian Evaporite dissolution within the study area, and (c) mass-movement of individual blocks of the Yafo Sand Member along the basal detachment surface into collapse features associated with Messinian Evaporite dissolution  


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90142 © 2012 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, April 22-25, 2012, Long Beach, California