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Forward Modelling of Evaporite Kinematics around the Eratosthenes Seamount, Easternmost MediterraneanNormal access

Authors: S.A. Libby and J.R. Underhill
Event name: 77th EAGE Conference and Exhibition 2015
Session: Exploration - Plays and Prospect Evaluation
Publication date: 01 June 2015
DOI: 10.3997/2214-4609.201413146
Organisations: EAGE
Language: English
Info: Extended abstract, PDF ( 4.51Mb )
Price: € 20

The Eratosthenes ‘Sea-Mount’ [ESM] is a bathymetric high located in the SE Mediterranean Sea ~100 km South of Cyprus. Although originally interpreted to represent a volcanic seamount, more recent analysis suggests it is a continental fragment capped by a drowned carbonate platform. The bathymetric high is bordered on three of its sides by a depression that is defined by an external escarpment. This depression [moat] has been interpreted by various workers as a normal, thrust and strike slip fault, the limit of gravity sliding of supra-evaporite sediments and as the limit of dissolution of underlying evaporites. On seismic data it appears the moat escarpment represents the limit of gravity driven translation of Messinian evaporites, indicating supra-evaporite sediment translation acted as a secondary driver to the moat’s formation. To test this hypothesis a numerical model was constructed to forward model evaporite translation. This model shows that formation of a moat around the ESM can be modelled to occur without translation of overlying sediments. However, comparison with bathymetry data indicates the modelled moat reaches only two thirds its actual depth. Further development of the model simulates active sedimentation, as sediment deposition in the protogenic moat restricts intrusion of underlying evaporites.

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