A high resolution sequence stratigraphic model has been constructed for the mid-Cretaceous Sarvak Formation in the High Zagros (Iran). The exceptional outcrop quality, displaying the detailed geometrical and facies patterns in the transition zone from carbonate platform to intrashelf basin, offered the rare opportunity to distinguish between the relative control of carbonate sediment supply and accommodation on the depositional geometries of 3rd order and 4th order depositional sequences. A significant distinction has been made in the 3rd order sequences between the early transgression (e-TST) when the system is still flat, and corresponds to a ramp setting, and the late transgression (l-TST) when a carbonate platform to intrashelf basin topography is created. The rate of accommodation creation is identified as the dominant factor controlling the morphology of the depositional profile, and, as such, the driving motor behind the dynamics of this type of carbonate system. The dip angle of the depositional profile has a major influence on: (1) the hydrodynamics of the system, (2) the type of carbonate sediment, and (3) the volume of carbonate sediment produced. This outcrop analogue can be considered as a good reference model for Cenomanian-Turonian carbonate platform margins of the Arabian Plate.


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