The Durban-Zululand Basin provides an exceptional example of a transform margin that developed during the break-up of Gondwana and the subsequent evolution of the continuation of the Falklands-Aghulas Fracture Zone. The area remains an untested frontier basin with substantial potential for hydrocarbon exploration in particular following the recent discoveries along the East African Margin.

Recent acquisition of high fidelity 2D reflection data from offshore Durban and Zululand Basin, in the southeast coast of South Africa, has provided unparalleled new insights into the evolution of the basin, its crustal architecture and structural development. The structural framework mapping of the newly acquired reflection data, coupled with potential field data modelling, illustrates the highly variable nature of the crust in the Durban basin that incorporates a range of crustal types from highly extended crust, allochthonous basement highs to magmatic crust. Understanding the spatial distribution of crustal type provides a fundamentally new insight into both the heat flow prediction for source maturation but also the controls on sediment supply and transport that will influence reservoir distribution. Furthermore, the study highlights the importance of applying an integrated approach to basin analysis and petroleum system modelling in complex, frontier basins.


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