Seismic sequence stratigraphy of the Lower Congo, Kwanza, and Benguela Basins, offshore Angola, Africa
Schollnberger, Elle Marie
Vail, Peter R.
Doctor of Philosophy thesis
Sequences are recognized throughout the geologic record. The Angolan margin provides an excellent opportunity to examine the factors that control the deposition and preservation of sediments in sequences, as well as the factors that create the erosion or non-deposition along sequence boundaries. The Angolan sequences can be compared to global sequence charts and used to investigate the effects of local events versus global events on the area's sequences. Using seismic sequence stratigraphic principles, a 2D regional seismic data set covering three basins offshore Angola, the Lower Congo, Kwanza, and Benguela Basins, was interpreted. Sequences and their unconformities were correlated within each basin as well as between basins. Major sequences could be interpreted throughout and between the three basins with a high degree of confidence. Additional sequences within these major sequences were interpreted within a basin, but could not be correlated to the adjacent basin with a high degree of confidence. Detailed interpretation of the sequence stratigraphic significance of each reflector was performed on three profiles, one for each basin. Chronostratigraphic charts were constructed using the detailed interpretation of the profiles. Within the interpreted sequence stratigraphic framework, the timing and mechanics of the formation of salt structures was examined. The Angolan basins contain a variety of salt tectonic features. The reflectors of strata adjacent to the salt features were used to determine the timing and mechanics of the salt structure formation. This study accomplished several objectives. The tectonic evolution of the Angolan margin was reviewed. This study established a sequence stratigraphic framework for Angola. The process of deposition and preservation of sediments as depositional sequences was examined. The sequences were compared with the global sequence charts as well as with eustatic, tectonic, and oceanic circulation events. The formation of the sequence bounding unconformities was examined. Within the sequences, the interaction of sedimentation and salt movement was described.