Architecture and depositional sequences of tertiary fault-block carbonate platforms; an analysis from outcrop (Miocene, Gulf of Suez) and computer modelling

Daniel Bosence, Nigel Cross, Stuart Hardy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study combines outcrop with seismic data, and tectonostratigraphic modelling to characterise the stratigraphy of Tertiary fault-block carbonate platforms. Seismic sections from the Middle East and Southeast Asia indicate that carbonate platforms commonly develop on fault-blocks in the late syn-rift to post-rift stage of basin evolution, they are characterised by retrogradational or drowning morphologies with deep water clastics/evaporites sealing the platforms. A new tectono-stratigraphic modelling program simulates the development of carbonate platforms on domino-style fault blocks and predicts a distinctive tectonic control on the evolving syn-rift stratigraphy. Detailed field work from a three-dimensionally exposed Miocene syn-rift platform from the Gulf of Suez (Gebel Abu Shaar, Egypt) shows the existence of unconformity-bound depositional sequences which are predicted by the program and are interpreted to have formed in response to fault-block rotation. The sequences are characterised by synchronous hangingwall subsidence and footwall uplift and erosion.

The seismic images, the modelling and the outcrop study provide different levels of information on fault-block platforms and their characteristic stratigraphy. The scale of the modelling is of particular value as it provides a link between the seismic-scale imaging and outcrop data.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-221
Number of pages19
JournalMarine and Petroleum Geology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 1998

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