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Controls on overpressure evolution during the gravitational collapse of the Amazon deep-sea fan

Abstract : The Amazon Fan provides a natural laboratory to study the generation of overpressure, due to rapid late Cenozoic burial that has resulted in gravitational collapse above shale detachments. Here we examine collapse systems for the first time using the techniques of petroleum systems analysis. We propose an integrated methodology based on numerical modeling constrained by the structural restoration of a seismic profile across the southwestern fan. The results provide information on the evolution of pore pressure and temperature and their implications for the operation of the detachment and overlying extensional and compressional faults during the deposition of up to 6 km of sediment over the last 8 Ma. The modelled thermal history implies that fluid release by smectite-to-illite transformation has taken place within the thickening sedimentary succession, but has not significantly contributed to pore pressures along the detachment. Modeling of hydrocarbon generation and migration from source rocks beneath the fan indicates gas accumulated in successions at depths of 102–103 m beneath the detachment without influencing pore pressures along it. In contrast, model results indicate that overpressures have varied in response to disequilibrium compaction. Fault activity within the collapse system took place during phases of higher sedimentation rates, and ceased from 5.5 to 3.7 Ma when sediment supply to the SE fan decreased. From 2 Ma, renewed sediment flux and shelf-slope progradation led to a basinward migration both of overpressure along the detachment and of fault activity above it. We conclude that gravity tectonics in the Amazon Fan over the last 8 Ma have been mainly controlled by overpressures due to disequilibrium compaction, with secondary contributions from clay mineral transformation. Present-day pressure conditions show that the southeastern Amazon Fan is not at equilibrium and gravity driven deformation could occur at any time.
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Submitted on : Friday, January 22, 2021 - 3:18:08 PM
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Juliana Maria Gonçalves Souza, Nadaya Cubas, Claudio Rabe, Jean Letouzey, Renaud Divies, et al.. Controls on overpressure evolution during the gravitational collapse of the Amazon deep-sea fan. Marine and Petroleum Geology, Elsevier, 2020, 121, pp.104576. ⟨10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2020.104576⟩. ⟨hal-03117839⟩



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