--> --> A Newly Discovered Giant Early Mesozoic Dome in the Prolific Levant Basin, Eastern Mediterranean

2018 AAPG International Conference and Exhibition

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A Newly Discovered Giant Early Mesozoic Dome in the Prolific Levant Basin, Eastern Mediterranean


The prolific Levant basin is a prime exploration objective in the Mediterranean Sea due to recent major gas discoveries in Cretaceous to Pliocene active petroleum systems offshore Egypt, Israel and Cyprus. A previously unreported large deeply buried fold of Triassic-early Jurassic age has been revealed recently from a newly acquired 3D seismic data-set in the Levant basin offshore Israel. It is the first reported early Mesozoic folding phase in the basin, where previous structural interpretations suggested a pattern of early Mesozoic horsts and grabens formed in an extensional tectonic regime, related to rifting and opening of the Neo-Tethys. Dakar fold, which only part of it is covered by the seismic data-set, is a basement involved structure, associated with a distinct magnetic anomaly. It is characterized by its large size, semi-circular shape, lack of significant faulting, lack of distinct trend patterns and solitary occurrence. Accordingly the structural style is classified as a basement involved dome, meaning dominant vertical movements in Triassic-early Jurassic time, in this part of the basin. Dakar dome is buried under 6000 meters of younger sediments. Stratigraphically, the upper sequence in the fold exhibits characteristics of a mobile sediment, such as soft shale or a mixture of shale and salt. It is chaotic to transparent, distorted and typically thickens considerably toward the structural crest, forming a crestal diapir penetration into overlaying Cretaceous to Oligocene sediments. This newly identified dome provides a novel insight into the early Mesozoic tectonic evolution of the southern Levant basin. The large fold topped by excellent sealing sediments highlights new potential objectives for future hydrocarbon exploration in the basin.