Date of Award

1-1-2010

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Department

Earth and Ocean Sciences

Sub-Department

Geology

First Advisor

James H. Knapp

Abstract

Using high resolution 3-D seismic (>2000km2) and well log data penetrating the Pliocene and Pleistocene (2300m) sediments, this study presents the stratigraphic evolution of the petroliferous Douala Basin, West Africa in response to the sediment supply increase triggered by the Pliocene and Pleistocene sea level changes. Our data show that the stratigraphic architecture of the prograding deltaic sediments from the Pliocene to the Pleistocene was controlled by the rapid changes in sediment supply. Using biostratigraphic data, the sedimentation rates were estimated to be 23.1cm/ka for the Pliocene and 29.6cm/ka for the Pleistocene.

The absence of volcanic rocks and uplifted structures in the study area suggests that the active Cameroon Volcanic Line to the west and northwest of the Douala Basin is unlikely a sediment barrier or a tectonic load for the shallow Plio-Pleistocene as proposed by some workers. However, there is sufficient evidence to suggest that the northern and northwestern portions of the basin show depositional patterns similar to those observed in the neighboring Niger Delta to the northwest.

The present-day seafloor of the basin is characterized by two low-amplitude deep water channels of late Pleistocene age that exhibit low sinuosity. The vertical stacking and lateral variations along these channels suggest that the initial seafloor topography was a major factor in the development of their current architectural style.

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