AAPG Geoscience Technology Workshop

Datapages, Inc.Print this page

Miocene Shallow Water Carbonates and Buildups in Eastern Mediterranean: A Summary


Eastern Mediterranean area was characterized by the occurrence of several carbonate platforms with variable geometry during the Lower-Middle Miocene, especially developed in the Southern Turkey basins, Cyprus and Crete Islands and along the Israel/Lebanon coast. These platforms ceased their development during Upper Miocene, where the shallow water deposition consisted mainly in small patch reefs and mixed ramps in predominant siliciclastic environment. The Eratosthenes Seamount probably was the only example of a wide and persistent isolated carbonate platform of the area. In Lower Miocene (especially Late Burdigalian), the widespread carbonate sedimentation in the Eastern Mediterranean comprised a wide range of geometries, varying from ramps to rimmed platforms, to patch reefs developed in mixed carbonate-siliciclastic settings. In SE Cyprus, the patch reefs developed within the Terra Member of Pakhna Fm can reach 80 meters of thickness and 500 meters of length. Southern Turkey was characterized by the most differentiation in the depositional profiles of the Lower Miocene shallow water carbonates, going from patch reefs in Kasaba Basin, to open shelf with patch reefs and some isolated buildups in Mut-Ermenek and Adana Basins, to rimmed platform in the Antalya basins. Ermenek-Mut basin (Southern Turkey) was characterized by the occurrence of several small isolated platforms and reef systems usually of Late Burdigalian to Langhian age. The Dağpazarı reef system is a big isolated buildup developed within the mixed carbonates of Mut Basin, but characterized by very low to none terrigenous component. It crops out for about 1 km of length, about 400 m of width and a total thickness of about 72 m. Zincir Kaya is one of the numerous small isolated buildups of Late Burdigalian-?Langhian age, localized close to the NE margin of the Mut Basin. These ellipsoidal buildups are approximately 1-4 km long and 100-120 m thick. They are mostly flat-topped with no shallow-water rim developed at the margin, and showed either prograding or retreating geometries. Where retreating, the bedding patterns are typically planar parallel and horizontal with a truncated termination at the margin. Reef systems of Burdigalian to Langhian age occur also at the northern flank of the Adana Basin, where the Karaisali reef complex develops for approximately 125 km in length, about 9 km in width, and ranges in thickness from 10 to 500 meters. Lower Miocene shallow water settings in several cases persisted also during Middle Miocene. In Southern Turkey they comprised the Ermenek and Adana wide platforms and several patch reefs in a predominant siliciclastic setting. Patch reefs are reported in the Koprukay conglomerate (Antalya region) and in Horu and Kepez formations of Karasu-Hatay-Iskenderun area of Turkey. The reefal units of Horu Fm show a lateral and vertical stacking pattern and are about 75–200 m thick. In Gavdos Island of Crete, a mixed ramp with patch and fringing reefs developed from Middle Serravallian to early Tortonian. The carbonate deposition in Turkey, dominated by wide carbonate platforms during Lower-Middle Miocene, in the Upper Miocene was limited to scattered patch reefs in the Aksu Basin. Patch and fringing reefs also characterized Cyprus Island (Koronia member of Pakhna Formation) and several areas of Crete (especially the central portion of Iraklion-Messara Basin, but also the Eastern part of the Island). Patch and fringing reefs formed in predominant siliciclastic environments (delta fan, coastal belts, pre-existent topographic highs or horst flanks) were very common in the Upper Miocene, especially during Messinian.