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A variety of tectonic styles and activities throughout the late Mesozoic and younger epochs influenced sediment transport to the Mediterranean basins and, consequently, the approach needed to finding reservoir-type clastics. The style of the present-day basins varies from west to east, with large basinal depressions and continental rises in the western province, more elongate shapes in the central area, and numerous small basins and trenches in the eastern Mediterranean. In general terms, all these basins contain a similar fill: a deep-water sequence older than late Miocene, overlain by upper Miocene evaporites, and topped by Pliocene-Quaternary clastics. The exact type of fill depends on several factors, including proximity to the sediment source, climatic conditions, su sidence and tectonic activity, and tectono-eustatic or glacio-eustatic oscillations.
Investigations on many of the clastic reservoirs in Mediterranean basins should emphasize submarine fans. The modern Mediterranean Sea contains several mid-sized fans (Rhone, Ebro, Valencia, and Nile fans) and many small ones (e.g., Crati Fan). There are several well-studied Tertiary subsurface and outcropping turbidite systems. The concept of deep-water marine sands, and many of the initial studies, began with some of the now classic outcrops in Italy, France, and Spain. A well-integrated study of both modern and ancient turbidite series is needed to construct basic exploration models for the Mediterranean region.
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