Miocene of the gulf of Lions (France) : a passive margin ?

The continental shelf of the "Golfe du Lion" (Gulf of Lions) has been considered for a long time as a privileged place for the study of passive margins. However, the model usually adopted to explain the formation of this type of margin does not apparently fit the subsidence history of the Gulf of Lions. Indeed, the evolution of this basin is characterized by a high subsidence rate, comparable to those of Atlantic margins, although it is only 30 MY old. Previous studies show anomalies in subsidence rate in the Gulf of Lions (Bessis and Burrus, 1986; Bessis, 1984). Seismic data from a dense grid of seismic reflection profiles acquired by the petroleum industry (RM96, LIGO and HR Total profiles) and by IFREMER (Marion and Calmar campaigns) provided by the "GDR marges" French research program. Published biostratigraphical and palaeoecological data (Cravatte et al, 1974), were also used to constrain our seismic interpretation. This approach gives us new elements for studying post-rift subsidence and basin formation. A detailed interpretation of seismic lines across the margin show a particular stratigraphic pattern which doesn't fit with the classic evolution of the passive margins. Above the tilted fault blocks coeval to the rifting phase, on the proximal shelf setting, numerous superimposed shelves progradation of lower to middle Miocene occur. Then during middle to upper Miocene parallel reflectors suggest deeper water environment. Finally, Plio-quaternary stratigraphic architecture and stratigraphic forward modelling confirm that subsidence rate is still very high (Rabineau, 2001). This stratigraphic pattern suggests a subsidence increase through time at the opposite of what is known on passive margins. [NOT CONTROLLED OCR]

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Bache François, Gorini C, Olivet Jean-Louis, Rabineau Marina, Rubino J.L., Mauffret A, Lofi J (2004). Miocene of the gulf of Lions (France) : a passive margin ?. Poster Florence, Italie - 2004. https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00000/4683/

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