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Oyster patch reefs as indicators of fossil hydrocarbon seeps induced by synsedimentary faults

Abstract : The Late Jurassic deposits of the Boulonnais area (N-France) represent the proximal lateral-equivalent of the Kimmeridge Clay Formation; they accumulated on a clastic-dominated ramp subject to synsedimentary faulting as a result of the Atlantic Ocean rifting. In the Gris-Nez Cape area, i.e., close to the northern border fault zone of the Jurassic basin, the Late Jurassic sequence contains small-dimensioned oyster patch reefs (<1 m) that are specifically observed at the base of an abrupt deepening trend in the depositional sequence induced by well-defined pulses of normal fault activity. Petrographic analysis of these patch reefs shows that they are exclusively composed of Nanogyra nana embedded in a microsparitic calcite matrix. ™13C measurements, carried out within both the matrix and the shells, display significantly lower values in the matrix compared to the oyster shells which suggests that the carbonate matrix precipitation was involving a carbon source different from marine dissolved inorganic carbon, most probably related to sulfate reduction, which is evidenced by light ™34S in pyrites. Similarities but also differences with lucinid-rich bioconstructions, namely, the Late Jurassic pseudo-bioherms of Beauvoisin (SE-France) suggest that the patch reefs developed at hydrocarbon seeps are related to synsedimentary faults. The extensional block-faulting segmentation of the northern margin of the Boulonnais Basin in Late Jurassic times is thus believed to have induced a sort of small-dimension hydrocarbon seepage field, recorded by the patch reef distribution
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E. Hatem, N. Tribovillard, O. Averbuch, D. Vidier, P. Sansjofre, et al.. Oyster patch reefs as indicators of fossil hydrocarbon seeps induced by synsedimentary faults. Marine and Petroleum Geology, Elsevier, 2014, 55, pp.176-185. ⟨10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2013.12.005⟩. ⟨insu-01122481⟩



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