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Stratigraphy and sedimentology of the Upper Cretaceous to Paleogene Kilwa Group, southern coastal Tanzania

Nicholas, Christopher J., Pearson, Paul Nicholas, Bown, Paul R., Jones, Tom Dunkley, Huber, Brian T., Karega, Amina, Lees, Jackie A., McMillan, Ian Kenneth, O'Halloran, Aoife, Singano, Joyce M. and Wadef, Bridget S. 2006. Stratigraphy and sedimentology of the Upper Cretaceous to Paleogene Kilwa Group, southern coastal Tanzania. Journal of African Earth Sciences 45 (4-5) , pp. 431-466. 10.1016/j.jafrearsci.2006.04.003

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The geology of southern coastal Tanzania has remained poorly understood since the first comments on its stratigraphy were made over 100 years ago. However, new field surveys combined with shallow drilling along the coast between Kilwa and Lindi are beginning to resolve the depositional history and structural evolution of this region over the past 85 Ma. Here we present the first attempt to synthesize the results of these studies to provide a coherent sedimentological, litho- and sequence stratigraphic framework, including new geological maps, for the Upper Cretaceous and Paleogene of the coastal zone. Santonian to Oligocene sediments crop out along a broad coastal belt south of the Rufiji River from the Kilwa peninsula to Lindi Creek in southern Tanzania. During �55 Ma, over 1 km of a broadly homogeneous, mid to outer shelf clay-dominated succession was deposited across the passive margin, which we define here as the Kilwa Group. This lies disconformably across the shelf on Albian marls and is itself unconformably overlain by shallow water Miocene clays and more recent limestones, sands and gravels. Four formations can be identified within the Kilwa Group on the basis of characteristic secondary lithologies and facies, described here for the first time; the Nangurukuru, Kivinje, Masoko and Pande Formations. These formations include conformable stratigraphic intervals through both the Paleocene–Eocene and Eocene–Oligocene boundaries. Within the Kilwa Group, 12 sequence stratigraphic cycles can be identified at present, demonstrating relatively uniform and continual subsidence across the margin from Santonian to Early Oligocene time. A further major bounding surface is present between the Upper Cretaceous and Paleogene, but this may become partly conformable in the Lindi area. Although the principal lithology in all formations is clay or claystone, there are more permeable intervals containing pervasive coarser siliciclastic sediments and these have yielded traces of crude oil which is likely to have migrated from lower in the succession. The Kilwa Group thus also provides important new evidence for petroleum play development in the southern coastal zone.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cretaceous; Paleogene; Lithostratigraphy; Kilwa; Group; Formation; Facies; Sequence stratigraphy; Petroleum
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0899-5362
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:00

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