Sequence stratigraphy of the late Pleistocene - Holocene deposits on the northwestern margin of the South Caspian Basin
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Interpretation of 900 km of a closely spaced grid of high-resolution seismic profiles over the northwestern margin of South Caspian Basin (SCB) allows recognition and study of six late Pleistocene - Holocene depositional sequences. Sequence stratigraphy analysis of sedimentary strata from 117,000 years B.P. to present led to the identification of a highstand systems tract, two transgressive systems tracts and six lowstand systems tracts. Each systems tract is characterized by specific seismic facies. Diverse depositional processes on the northwestern margin of the SCB are suggested by the thirteen seismic facies patterns recognized in the study area. Two distinct progradational complexes were interpreted within Sequence III and Sequences IV and V in the northeastern and northwestern parts of the study area, respectively. Stratigraphic interpretation of the sequences provided important information on parameters that control depositional architectures, such as lake level fluctuations, tectonic dynamics, and sediment supply. High sedimentation rates combined with a series of high-frequency and high-amplitude lake-level fluctuations, abrupt changes at the shelf edge, abnormally high formation pressure, and high tectonic activity during Quaternary time resulted in the development of a variety of complex geologic drilling hazards. I distinguished three types of hazards as a result of this study: mud volcanoes, sediment instability, and shallow gas. The 2D high-resolution seismic dataset from the northwestern margin of the SCB allowed more detailed seismic sequence stratigraphic analysis in the study area than has previously been attempted. In particular, it has a clear application in deciphering sediment supply and relative lake level changes as well as tectonic relationship of the northwestern shelf margin of the SCB. Results of this work led us towards better understanding of recent depositional history, improved our knowledge of the nature of the basin tectonics, climate history and styles of and controls on sedimentation processes within a sequence stratigraphic framework during the late Pleistocene-Holocene time.
SubjectSouth Caspian Basin
Rahmanov, Ogtay Rasim (2003). Sequence stratigraphy of the late Pleistocene - Holocene deposits on the northwestern margin of the South Caspian Basin. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from