An ocean-facing Aptian–Albian carbonate margin, Oman

Authors

  • A. Immenhauser,

    1. *Vrije Universiteit, Faculty of Earth Sciences, De Boelelaan 1085, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands (E-mail: imma@geo.vu.nl), †Precision Stratigraphy Associates, RR 3 Box 103–3, Cleveland, OK 74020, USA
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  • B. Van Der Kooij,

    1. *Vrije Universiteit, Faculty of Earth Sciences, De Boelelaan 1085, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands (E-mail: imma@geo.vu.nl), †Precision Stratigraphy Associates, RR 3 Box 103–3, Cleveland, OK 74020, USA
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  • A. Van Vliet,

    1. *Vrije Universiteit, Faculty of Earth Sciences, De Boelelaan 1085, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands (E-mail: imma@geo.vu.nl), †Precision Stratigraphy Associates, RR 3 Box 103–3, Cleveland, OK 74020, USA
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  • W. Schlager,

    1. *Vrije Universiteit, Faculty of Earth Sciences, De Boelelaan 1085, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands (E-mail: imma@geo.vu.nl), †Precision Stratigraphy Associates, RR 3 Box 103–3, Cleveland, OK 74020, USA
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  • R. W. Scott

    1. *Vrije Universiteit, Faculty of Earth Sciences, De Boelelaan 1085, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands (E-mail: imma@geo.vu.nl), †Precision Stratigraphy Associates, RR 3 Box 103–3, Cleveland, OK 74020, USA
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Abstract

A high-energy Aptian–Albian platform margin in northern Oman fronted onto an open oceanic basin, making the area a valuable analogue for coeval guyot margins. Most similar aged carbonate margins described in the literature faced either intracratonic or minor oceanic basins. The studied margin is characterized by a stabilized outer rim, which, although it did not rise discernibly above the adjacent lagoonal deposits, flanked a steep upper slope (32–40°) basinwards with a relief of at least 30 m. Two main facies provided the rigidity of the outer margin: Lithocodium boundstones that constituted up to 50% of the rock volume; and marine fibrous cements that occluded up to 35% of primary pore space. In contrast, coral–rudist patches and other shelly sessile benthos were distributed irregularly, and the rudist bioherms of the outer margin were often disrupted, with shells being transported and redeposited. The inner margin is characterized by wedge-shaped storm layers that radiate from the platform top lagoonwards, where they interdigitate with carbonate sands and small rudist bioherms. Polygenetic discontinuity surfaces that bear evidence of both marine hardground and subaerial exposure stages are prominent features of the margin. Throughout the latest Aptian to Middle Albian, the platform succession recorded some 30 relative sea-level falls, of which seven reached amplitudes of many tens of metres. These seven high-amplitude falls in sea level are recorded across the entire south-eastern portion of the Arabian craton and are probably of eustatic origin.

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