Journal of Earth Sciences and Geotechnical Engineering

New Tectonic Finding and its Implications on Locating Oilfields in parts of the Gulf Region

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  • Abstract

    Oilfield in southern part of Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia represent subsurface anticlines within the folded zone. Iraq forms the extreme northeastern parts of the Arabian Plate. It is divided into two main tectonic units which are Inner and the Outer Platforms. The former covers the southern and western parts of Iraq and is less affected by tectonic forces than the Outer Platform, which has, and still is, affected by tectonic compressional forces. The contact between the Inner Platform and outer Platform is delineated by the Abu Jir - Euphrates Active Fault Zone. Its northwestern extension is clearly visible while the southeastern extension is less clear since it is hidden under Quaternary sediments. The delineation of the contact in this part of the fault zone is the main scope of this study. Geophysical and different types of Digital Elevation Models, Landsat images, Quick Bird images, GIS and remote sensing techniques were used to delineate the contact, besides other relevant geological data such as the location of subsurface oil fields, structural contour maps on top of Cretaceous rocks and the drop in surface gradients represented by Al-Batin Alluvial Fan. Therefore, the contact is likely to be more precisely located. The concerned contact has regional interest, since it forms the contact between the folded and unfolded areas within the Arabian Plate. The folded area represents the existing subsurface anticlines that form oil fields in the southern part of Iraq, and Kuwait and more southwards to Saudi Arabia.

    Keywords: Oilfields; Abu Jir Active Zone; Tectonic boundaries; Arabian Plate; Iraq.