TEMPESTITE DEPOSITS ON A STORM-INFLUENCED CARBONATE RAMP: AN EXAMPLE FROM THE PABDEH FORMATION (PALEOGENE), ZAGROS BASIN, SW IRAN
H. Mohseni* and I. S. Al-Aasm**
*Dept of Geology, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan 65174, Iran. email@example.com
**Dept of Earth Sciences, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada, N9B 3P4. corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Pabdeh Formation is part of a thick carbonate-siliciclastic succession in the Zagros Basin of SW Iran which includes carbonate reservoirs of Cretaceous and Cenozoic ages. From field observations and petrographic and facies analysis of exposures in the type section of the Pabdeh Formation, four lithofacies were recognized. These are from oldest to youngest: (i) a mottled, bioturbated bioclastic wackestone/mudstone facies; (ii) a wackestone/packstone facies with horizontal burrows on bedding planes; (iii) a thin-bedded bioclastic wackestone/mudstone facies alternating with thin bioclastic-oolitic-intraclastic intervals; and (iv) a bioclastic foraminiferal / algal / peloidal packstone facies. These observations indicate that facies evolved upwards from deep outer-ramp deposits to inner-ramp deposits within a shoal complex, suggesting progradation of the ramp depositional system.
Storm events significantly influenced the ramp system. Storm-generated surges transported sediments from nearshore to the deeper outer-ramp environment where they were deposited as shell-lags, composed mostly of bioclastic packstones, rich in pelagic microfauna with sharp, undulatory erosional basal contacts. The packstones rest on outer ramp mudstones deposited below storm base level. Sedimentary structures in the Pabdeh Formation are those typical of storm deposits, such as hummocky cross-stratification, ripple cross-lamination, ripple marks, escape burrows on the tops of the beds, couplets of fine- and coarse-grained laminae and mixed fauna, as well as intraclasts derived from underlying facies. These distinctive sequences are interpreted to have been generated by waning storm-generated currents. The dominance of fine-grained sediments (medium to fine sand); the lack of large- scale hummocky cross-stratification; the minor amounts of intraclasts derived from underlying facies; the paucity of amalgamated tempestite beds; and the finely-laminated (mm to cm scale) couplets of coarse and fine lamina all suggest a distal tempestite facies. Palaeogeographic reconstruction of the Zagros Basin during the Eocene indicates that the study area was situated in tropical, storm-dominated palaeolatitudes.