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AAPG Bulletin

Abstract



Volume: 67 (1983)

Issue: 2. (February)

First Page: 280

Last Page: 312

Title: Eolian Dune, Interdune, Sand Sheet, and Siliciclastic Sabkha Sediments of an Offshore Prograding Sand Sea, Dhahran Area, Saudi Arabia

Author(s): Steven G. Fryberger (2), Abdulkader M. Al-Sari (3), Thomas J. Clisham (3)

Abstract:

An offshore prograding sand sea exists along portions of the Arabian Gulf coastline near Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. In this region, sediments of eolian dune, interdune, sand sheet, and siliciclastic sabkha intercalate with marine deposits. This depositional setting is characterized by strong offshore winds which supply abundant sand to the coastline, and cause at present time the outbuilding of the dune system. This quartz-detrital dominant setting contrasts markedly with the carbonate dominant setting resulting from onshore winds in the Trucial Coast area to the south. The broad intercalation of eolian and marine deposits which results creates ideal potential for subregional stratigraphic petroleum traps, due to pinch-out of porous and permeable dune sands into impermeable m rine mudstones. Within the eolian system itself are potential reservoir rocks (dunes), sources (organic-rich sabkha and interdune deposits), and seals (zones of early cementation in all deposits). Early cementation is very common in all facies of the eolian sand sea. The early cementation occurs owing to (1) soil formation, (2) deposition of pore-filling gypsiferous cements from saturated solutions near water table, and (3) addition of sand-size windblown evaporitic material to sands downwind of sabkhas.

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