Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science
Volume 126 Issue 7 October 2017 Article ID 0104
The Gafsa and Chotts intracratonic basins in south-central Tunisia are transitional zones between the Atlasic domain to the north and the Saharan platform to the south. The principal aim of this paper is to unravel the geodynamic evolution of these basins following an integrated approach including seismic, well log and gravity data. These data are used to highlight the tectonic control on the deposition of Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous series and to discuss the role of the main faults that controlled the basin architecture and Cretaceous–Tertiary inversion. The horizontal gravity gradient map of the study area highlights the pattern of discontinuities within the two basins and reveals the presence of deep E–W basement faults. Primary attention is given to the role played by the E–W faults system and that of the NW–SE Gafsa fault which was previously considered active since the Jurassic. Facies and thickness analyses based on new seismic interpretation and well data suggest that the E–W-oriented faults controlled the subsidence distribution especially during the Jurassic. The NW–SE faults seem to be key structures that controlled the basins paleogeography during Late Cretaceous–Cenozoic time. The upper Triassic evaporite bodies, which locally outline the main NW–SE Gafsa fault, are regarded as intrusive salt bodies rather than early diapiric extrusions as previously interpreted since they are rare and occurred only along main strike-slip faults. In addition, seismic lines show that Triassic rocks are deep and do not exhibit true diapiric features.