Structural and paleostress analyses carried out on a kilometre-sized outcrop of allochthonous shallow-water carbonate units of the southern Apennines allowed us to unravel a superposed deformation pattern associated with plate convergence. The reconstructed tectonic evolution involves: (i) early extensional faulting and fracturing associated with bending of the foreland lithosphere during forebulge and foredeep stages (including the development of both 'tangential' and 'radial' normal fault and tensile fractures; Early-Middle Miocene); (ii) large-scale thrusting and folding (Late Miocene); (iii) transcurrent faulting (including two distinct sub-stages characterized by different remote stress fields; Pliocene-Early Pleistocene), and (iv) extensional faulting (late Quaternary). Stage (i) normal faults - generally occurring as conjugate sets - and related fractures and veins are variably deformed and overprinted by later horizontal shortening. Despite having experienced such a long and complex structural history, the studied carbonates are characterized by a 'background' fracture network - including two joint/vein sets orthogonal to each other and to bedding - that appears to be associated with the early fault sets that formed during the first (foredeep/forebulge-related) deformation stage. Therefore, away from younger (Late Miocene to Quaternary) fault zones, the permeability structure of the studied carbonates appears to be essentially controlled by the early, inherited fracture network. As a similar fracture network is likely to characterize also the buried Apulian Platform carbonates, representing the reservoir units for major oil fields in southern Italy, our results also bear possible implications for a better understanding of fluid flow in the subsurface and related hydrocarbon production. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Modes and timing of fracture network development in poly-deformed carbonate reservoir analogues, Mt. Chianello, southern Italy

Guerriero V.;
2012-01-01

Abstract

Structural and paleostress analyses carried out on a kilometre-sized outcrop of allochthonous shallow-water carbonate units of the southern Apennines allowed us to unravel a superposed deformation pattern associated with plate convergence. The reconstructed tectonic evolution involves: (i) early extensional faulting and fracturing associated with bending of the foreland lithosphere during forebulge and foredeep stages (including the development of both 'tangential' and 'radial' normal fault and tensile fractures; Early-Middle Miocene); (ii) large-scale thrusting and folding (Late Miocene); (iii) transcurrent faulting (including two distinct sub-stages characterized by different remote stress fields; Pliocene-Early Pleistocene), and (iv) extensional faulting (late Quaternary). Stage (i) normal faults - generally occurring as conjugate sets - and related fractures and veins are variably deformed and overprinted by later horizontal shortening. Despite having experienced such a long and complex structural history, the studied carbonates are characterized by a 'background' fracture network - including two joint/vein sets orthogonal to each other and to bedding - that appears to be associated with the early fault sets that formed during the first (foredeep/forebulge-related) deformation stage. Therefore, away from younger (Late Miocene to Quaternary) fault zones, the permeability structure of the studied carbonates appears to be essentially controlled by the early, inherited fracture network. As a similar fracture network is likely to characterize also the buried Apulian Platform carbonates, representing the reservoir units for major oil fields in southern Italy, our results also bear possible implications for a better understanding of fluid flow in the subsurface and related hydrocarbon production. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11697/221799
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