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Shallow-marine depositional sequences in a transgressive mixed siliciclastic-carbonate system: The Early Jurassic Marrat Formation from central Saudi Arabia

Abstract : A high-resolution sequence-stratigraphic framework is proposed for the Marrat Formation (Early to Middle Toarcian of Saudi Arabia) by presenting new outcrop and shallow core sedimentological data located along a 280 km long N-S transect south of Riyadh and westward subsurface correlations based on gamma-ray wireline logs (200 km Ar Riyadh to Khurais Field). This extended spatial cover allows the identification of a northward thickening of sedimentary successions due to syndepositional differential subsidence. Basically, these successions formed on a low-energy falt-topped platform with limited accommodation space in which mainly retrogradational and aggradational stacking patterns were recorded. Overall, the evolution from continental meandering fluvial deposits at the base of the formation to tidal or wave-dominated siliciclastic and carbonate inner-platform deposits indicate a progressive marine transgression that reached its maximum during the Middle Toarcian bifrons Zone. In details, we identify two 3rd-order sequences that onlap southward onto the Triassic-Jurassic unconformity. Higher-energy siliciclastic shoreline facies were deposited in the upper transgressive systems tract of depositional sequences during periods of high accommodation space. The carbonate units consist of platform mud-dominated facies and are well-developed during the maximum marine transgressions of the two Marrat sequences. Continental red shales and fluvial sandstone deposited in a humid and warm environment during the Toarcian bifrons Zone (sublevisioni Subzone) indicate a higher terrigenous input interrupting the two maximum transgressive sequences. The sequences were likely produced by global sea-level changes but also appear to have been influenced by local climate changes with humid and warm conditions during periods of regression and more arid conditions during transgressions. This study serves as an outcrop analog, provides guidelines for hydrocarbon exploration and improves seismic interpretations. Overall, these new facies analyses, wireline log data, stratigraphic interpretations, and regional correlations contribute to a broader understanding of the Early Jurassic successions of the Arabian Platform.
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-03661441
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Submitted on : Friday, May 6, 2022 - 6:10:29 PM
Last modification on : Monday, May 16, 2022 - 8:20:27 AM

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Abdullah Al-Mojel, Philippe Razin, Yves-Michel Le Nindre, Guillaume Dera. Shallow-marine depositional sequences in a transgressive mixed siliciclastic-carbonate system: The Early Jurassic Marrat Formation from central Saudi Arabia. Journal of African Earth Sciences, 2020, 167, ⟨10.1016/j.jafrearsci.2019.02.011⟩. ⟨insu-03661441⟩

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