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Interaction between Thrust Faults and Strike Slip Faults in Deep Water Fold and Thrust Belts: Examples from the Levant Basin Eastern Mediterranean Sea

Nwosu, Oluchukwu *1; Cartwright, Joseph 1; Briggs, Sepribo 2
(1) Earth Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom.
(2) Exploration, Statoil, Stavenger, Norway.

Deep water fold and thrust belts are commonly found in association with major gravity deformational systems in passive continental margins. Within these continental margin gravity driven systems, an up dip extensional domain is invariably paired with a down dip contractional domain in which there are assemblages of thrust faults, strike slip faults, normal faults and variety of fault related structures, collectively referred to colloquially as deep water fold and thrust belts.

The interactions of thrust faults with strike slip faults, normal faults and other kinds of faults greatly influence the evolution and geometry of the thrust related folds in these deep water fold belts. Understanding the precise nature of the fault interactions is useful in a more fundamental appreciation of the propagation of thrust faults which, in turn is vital for successful hydrocarbon exploration.

This presentation is based on kinematic observations of fault and fold relationships from a high resolution 3D seismic survey located in the deep water thrust and fold belt of the Levant Basin. The focus of this study is the influence of strike slip faults on displacement and shortening distribution of thrust related folds along strike. The kinematic data suggests that important variations in thrustfault and fold style relate specifically to positions of thrust fault - strike slip fault branch zone.

We divided the styles of thrust faults into 3 end members (class A, B and C) based on their pattern of strike slip fault bounding. Class A folded thrust is bounded by only one side by a strike slip fault, Class B is bounded on both sides by strike slip faults of different sense of shear and Class C is bounded by strike slip faults of same sense of shear.

We compared summed displacement and total shortening of the thrusts faults along strike in order to have a mathematical relationship of both parameters along isolated segments and branched zones. We conclude by proposing models to explain timing relationship between the thrust faults and their strike slip counterparts within the study area in a chronological order.


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