skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Depositional sequences and correlation of middle to Upper Miocene reef complexes, Nijar and Las Negras Areas, Southeastern Spain

Abstract

During the Serravallian through Messinian, reefs fringed topographic highs that rimmed Neogene basins in the western Mediterranean. Detailed studies of middle to upper Miocene carbonate strata in the Nijar and Las Negras areas (southeastern Spain) document the effects of relative sea level change on sedimentation, biotic composition, reef development, and diagenesis. The authors have identified several previously unrecognized, regionally correlatable depositional sequences and erosional breaks that the authors interpret resulted from sea level fluctuations. Limited microfossil dating and correlation of depositional successions with third-order eustatic sea level curves suggest that most carbonate deposition occurred during the Serravallian and Tortonian, not Messinian as formerly thought. Uppermost strata (upper Tortonian> predominately comprise pack-stones and grainstones of distal to proximal reef-foreslope and reef-talus facies that dip 10/sup 0/-30/sup 0/. Reef core, mostly Porites framework, is locally preserved. Field geometries indicate minimum self-to-basin relief of 100 m. The authors' results of studies suggest that detailed field studies coupled with the use of published eustatic sea level curves may provide a powerful tool for correlation of middle to upper Miocene strata not only in Spain, but in the entire western Mediterranean.

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
6469178
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 6469178
Report Number(s):
CONF-880301-
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Annual meeting of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Houston, TX, USA, 20 Mar 1988
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
02 PETROLEUM; 03 NATURAL GAS; NATURAL GAS DEPOSITS; MINERALOGY; PETROLEUM DEPOSITS; REEFS; PETROGENESIS; SPAIN; PETROLEUM GEOLOGY; BIOGEOCHEMISTRY; CARBONATE ROCKS; CATAGENESIS; CORRELATIONS; DEPOSITION; EXPLORATION; GEOPHYSICS; MIOCENE EPOCH; SANDSTONES; SEDIMENTARY BASINS; SEDIMENTATION; CENOZOIC ERA; CHEMISTRY; DEVELOPING COUNTRIES; EUROPE; GEOCHEMISTRY; GEOLOGIC AGES; GEOLOGIC DEPOSITS; GEOLOGIC STRUCTURES; GEOLOGY; MINERAL RESOURCES; RESOURCES; ROCKS; SEDIMENTARY ROCKS; TERTIARY PERIOD; WESTERN EUROPE 020200* -- Petroleum-- Reserves, Geology, & Exploration; 030200 -- Natural Gas-- Reserves, Geology, & Exploration

Citation Formats

Franseen, E.K., Mankiewicz, C., and Pray, L.C. Depositional sequences and correlation of middle to Upper Miocene reef complexes, Nijar and Las Negras Areas, Southeastern Spain. United States: N. p., 1988. Web.
Franseen, E.K., Mankiewicz, C., & Pray, L.C. Depositional sequences and correlation of middle to Upper Miocene reef complexes, Nijar and Las Negras Areas, Southeastern Spain. United States.
Franseen, E.K., Mankiewicz, C., and Pray, L.C. Fri . "Depositional sequences and correlation of middle to Upper Miocene reef complexes, Nijar and Las Negras Areas, Southeastern Spain". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_6469178,
title = {Depositional sequences and correlation of middle to Upper Miocene reef complexes, Nijar and Las Negras Areas, Southeastern Spain},
author = {Franseen, E.K. and Mankiewicz, C. and Pray, L.C.},
abstractNote = {During the Serravallian through Messinian, reefs fringed topographic highs that rimmed Neogene basins in the western Mediterranean. Detailed studies of middle to upper Miocene carbonate strata in the Nijar and Las Negras areas (southeastern Spain) document the effects of relative sea level change on sedimentation, biotic composition, reef development, and diagenesis. The authors have identified several previously unrecognized, regionally correlatable depositional sequences and erosional breaks that the authors interpret resulted from sea level fluctuations. Limited microfossil dating and correlation of depositional successions with third-order eustatic sea level curves suggest that most carbonate deposition occurred during the Serravallian and Tortonian, not Messinian as formerly thought. Uppermost strata (upper Tortonian> predominately comprise pack-stones and grainstones of distal to proximal reef-foreslope and reef-talus facies that dip 10/sup 0/-30/sup 0/. Reef core, mostly Porites framework, is locally preserved. Field geometries indicate minimum self-to-basin relief of 100 m. The authors' results of studies suggest that detailed field studies coupled with the use of published eustatic sea level curves may provide a powerful tool for correlation of middle to upper Miocene strata not only in Spain, but in the entire western Mediterranean.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 1988},
month = {Fri Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 1988}
}

Conference:
Other availability
Please see Document Availability for additional information on obtaining the full-text document. Library patrons may search WorldCat to identify libraries that hold this conference proceeding.

Save / Share:
  • Reef complexes in the Las Negras area and the island of Mallorca, over 600 km to the northeast, contain dolomite with remarkably similar stratigraphic distribution and petrographic characteristics. In both reef complexes dolomite occurs as 5-50 {mu}m euhedral cements and microcrystalline replacement of red-algal fragments and muds. In addition, anhedral, moldic-zoned dolomite cements (5-20 {mu}m) are abundant in the youngest reefs of both areas. All inter-reefal erosional surfaces are cross-cut by dolomite cements. Distribution of dolomite within the reefal sequences is controlled by (1) proximity to the youngest reef margin. Dolomite abundances decrease from 100% to 0% over a 10more » km transect into the platform interior in Mallorca. Stratigraphic and petrographic timing support a dolomitization event following exposure of the reefs, during initial deposition of the onlapping Messinian sequence in Mallorca, and before Pliocene deposition in Las Negras. In both areas, dolomitization took place as a Messinian transgression covered the reefs. Evidence for multiple dolomitization events has not been found. Mallorcan dolomites have heavy stable isotopes suggesting saline dolomitizing fluids. One hypothesis for dolomitization invokes brines associated with the deposition of extensive Messinian basinal evaporites. An early Messinian evaporitic lowstand could concentrate marine brines, and with the ensuing transgression bring them in contact with CaCo{sub 3} platforms, dolomitizing them. The similar styles and timing of dolomitization in these two distinct and distant reef settings suggest that dolomitization of late Miocene reefs around the western Mediterranean may have been genetically related to the Messinian salinity crisis.« less
  • The Las Negras and Rodalquilar areas contain excellent exposures of middle to upper Miocene carbonate and volcaniclastic deposits that fringe earlier formed Neogene volcanic substrates in an archipelago setting. The Miocene sedimentary sequence consists of three depositional sequences composed of reworked volcanic rocks and reef crest to distal slope strata that display 100-200 m of relief over 0.5-2.0 km. The entire sequence is truncated by a regional subaerial unconformity. The lower two depositional sequences are composed predominantly of shallow-dipping, normal marine, distal to proximal slope wackestones and packstones. The two sequences are separated by a megabreccia composed of Tarbellastreaea andmore » Porites blocks and volcaniclastic sandstones and conglomerates. The reef blocks likely developed as upslope patch reefs, and, with the volcaniclastics, were eroded and transported via mass movements and tractive currents to a distal slope position. The upper (third) depositional sequence consists predominantly of foreslope strata of a Porites-dominated fringing reef complex. The base of this sequence is characterized by a megabreccia of Porites reef blocks, shallow-marine packstones, or volcaniclastic conglomerates. Five volcaniclastic wedges, interpreted as fan delta deposits, alternate with prograding carbonate foreslope deposits likely as a response to high frequency relative sea level fluctuations during a new sea level fall. The apparent correlatability of similar deposition sequences throughout the region indicates the importance of sequence development from allogenic processes, including glacio-eustatic sea level fluctuations and tectonism associated with the isolation of the Mediterranean Sea during the latest Miocene.« less
  • Miocene reef complexes are well exposed in the Alicante-Almeria region of southeast Spain. Predominant reservoir lithofacies are (1) in the off-reef environments (i.e., fore-reef slope deposits and overlying shallow platform sediments), a porous leached microsucrosic to spherulitic dolomite with mostly moldic and intercrystalline porosity and good to very good matrix permeability, and (2) in the reef-core framework, (A) a tight, karstified (i.e., fissured), coarsely crystalline dolomite with poor matrix reservoir potential but good to very good fissure porosity with darcy permeability and (B) a porous, leached, coarsely crystalline dolomite with vuggy matrix porosity and good matrix permeability. The most significantmore » conclusion in terms of reservoir geology is that these reefs do not have a homogeneous reservoir quality. Each rock lithofacies has different geometries and capillary characteristics. In volumetric terms, the most significant reservoir unit in such reefs would be the fore-reef slope deposits. Assuming typical values for reservoir properties, such fore-reef deposits could contain 75% of the total hydrocarbons in comparable reservoirs. However, the best productivities could be obtained from fissured reservoirs, that is, from the reef-core framework, although low production rates might be required to avoid premature water or gas breakthrough along highly permeable channel conduits of karstic origin.« less
  • The late Tortonian-Messinian coral reef platform of south Mallorca onlaps a folded middle late Miocene carbonate platform on which progradation of up to 20 km occurs. Vertical sea cliffs (up to 100 m high) superbly show the last 5 km of this progradation and complement the numerous water-well cores from the island interior. The Mallorca reef presents the most complete facies zonation of the Miocene reefs of the western Mediterranean. The reef wall framework is up to 20 m thick and shows (1) erosional reef flat with reef breccia and small corals; (2) spur-and-grove zone with large, massive corals; (3)more » deep buttresses and pinnacles with terraces of branching corals; and (4) deep reef wall with flat, laminar coral colonies, branching red algae, and Halimeda sands.« less
  • The late Tortonian-Messinian coral reef platform of south Mallorca onlaps a folded middle late Miocene carbonate platform on which progradation of up to 20 km occurs. Vertical sea cliffs (up to 100 m high) superbly show the last 5 km of this progradation and complement the numerous water-well cores from the island interior. The coral reef platform consists of a series of progradational-accretional sequences and erosion surfaces of different orders of magnitude. The first-order sequence is bounded by significant erosion surfaces with breccias, major facies shifts, and vertical accretion. The second-order sequences show accretional events of up to 100 mmore » thick with 1 to 2 km of progradation, and the third-order sequences occur in packages of tens of meters. Individual reef units are bounded by minor erosional surfaces and define the fourth-order sequences. This composite accretional-progradational architecture implies cyclic variations of relative sea level. Episodes of sea level rise were responsible for the vertical accretion. Sea level falls produced the erosional surfaces; most progradation occurred during lowering sea level episodes. This sedimentological framework of the Mallorca reef suggests late Miocene glacio-eustatic fluctuations of sea level similar to the Quaternary.« less