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Within the territory of the Soviet Union and its offshore economic zone are about 70 sedimentary basins containing oil and gas. The basins include almost all basin types described in present-day plate-tectonic classifications, namely (1) intracontinental and pericontinental rifts, suprarift syneclises, and zones of pericratonic downwarps; (2) ancient passive margins of continents with adjacent overthrust fold system; (3) modern passive margins of continents; (4) zones of convergence of lithospheric plates (i.e., zones of subduction of oceanic plates below continental plates); and (5) zones of collision of continental lithospheric plates.
Basins of the first type include the Pripyat'-Dnieper-Donets aulacogen, the Viluy aulacogen of Siberia, the huge West Siberian supra-aulacogen basin, the analogous Yenisei-Khatanga basin, and others. The second type includes the Volga-Urals basin with the Ural foredeep, Azov-Kuban' basin and Terek-Caspian basin with the Greater Caucasus foredeeps, and others. The difference between these two types is rather arbitrary, because the passive margins of continents also undergo the rift stage of development, though their main stage of oil and gas accumulation corresponds to the post-rift stage. The third type is represented by the poorly studied prospective basins of the Arctic margin of the Soviet Union. The fourth includes numerous but relatively small basins of the far eastern and northe stern Soviet Union, of which the East Sakhalin, West Kamchatka, and Anadyr basins have proved to contain oil and gas. Rifting also played a role in the formation of the back-arc group of these basins. Basins in central Asia (Fergana, South Tadjik) and the Transcaucasia region (South Caspian) belong to the fifth basin type. The central Asian basins lie within the area of secondary, epiplatform orogenesis, whereas the Transcaucasian basins are with the area of primary, epigeosynclinal orogenesis. So, far, the only type of basin not identified within the territory of the Soviet Union is the pull-apart basin. The location and distribution of oil and gas deposits in the section of a basin, prevailing types of traps, and scale of potential resources are all features influenced by the geodynami type of the basin.
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