Biostratigraphy and depositional setting of Maastrichtian e Eocene oil shales from Jordan
a b s t r a c t
Large distance correlation of sedimentary organic rich facies units in Jordan has been established by means of calcareous nannofossil biostratigraphy. Based on a biostratigraphic framework, a better understanding of the deposition and distribution of Maastrichtian to Eocene oil shales is obtained. A total of 812 samples representing 29 wells located across Jordan were studied for calcareous nannofossil biostratigraphy.
The results reveal major regional changes in paleogeography leading to a change in oil shales distribution in time. The tectonic settings have been determined for four different oil shale sequences of Maastrichtian, Paleocene, Early Eocene and Middle Eocene age. Large variations in thickness over short distances indicate syndepositional subsidence control in several fault bound sedimentary sub-basins.
During the Early Maastrichtian transgression, a thick oil shale dominated succession was accumulated in the south of Jordan. This transgression continued into the Paleocene as represented by a thick sequence of oil shales in nannofossil Zone NP 3. In the Late Paleocene, the gradual progradation of the oil shale facies from south to north coincided with an uplift of the Sirhan Sub-basin in east Jordan. Accordingly, the oil shale distribution varies locally and shows a scattered geographic distribution in the Late Paleocene. An up to 60 m thick succession of Early Eocene oil shales was found in central Jordan. Localized restricted conditions, which prevailed during the YpresianeLutetian transition (nannofossil Zone NP 14), were caused by the subsidence of the Azraq-Hamza and Sirhan sub-basins. These movements resulted in thick oil shale accumulation in the southeastern and central parts of Jordan. A gradua relative sea level fall during the Bartonian resulted in a prograding and thinning of the oil shale facies from west to east in central Jordan.