Seismic valve as the main mechanism for sedimentary fluid entrapment within extensional basin: example of the Lodève Permian Basin (Hérault, South of France).

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Dimitri Laurent1, Michel Lopez1, Alain Chauvet1, Patrice Imbert2, Anne Charline Sauvage3, Martine Buatier4 and Michel Thomas5, (1)Géosciences Montpellier, Montpellier Cedex 05, France, (2)Total SA EP France, Pau, France, (3)EGIDE Environnement, Le Horps, France, (4)Laboratoire Chrono-Environnement, Besançon, France, (5)Total company EP Norway, Stavanger, Norway
During syn-sedimentary burial in basin, interstitial fluids initially trapped within the sedimentary pile are easily moving under overpressure gradient. Indeed, they have a significant role on deformation during basin evolution, particularly on fault reactivation. The Lodève Permian Basin (Hérault, France) is an exhumed half graben with exceptional outcrop conditions providing access to barite-sulfides mineralized systems and hydrocarbon trapped into rollover faults of the basin.

Architectural studies shows a cyclic infilling of fault zone and associated S0-parallel veins according to three main fluid events during dextral/normal faulting. Contrasting fluid entrapment conditions are deduced from textural analysis, fluid inclusion microthermometry and sulfide isotope geothermometer: (i) the first stage is characterized by an implosion breccia cemented by silicifications and barite during abrupt pressure drop within fault zone; (ii) the second stage consists in succession of barite ribbons precipitated under overpressure fluctuations, derived from fault-valve action, with reactivation planes formed by sulphide-rich micro-shearing structures showing normal movement; and (iii) the third stage is associated to the formation of dextral strike-slip pull-apart infilling by large barite crystals and contemporary hydrocarbons under suprahydrostatic pressure values.

Microthermometry, sulfide and strontium isotopic compositions of the barite-sulfides veins indicate that all stages were formed by mixing between deep basinal fluids at 230°C, derived from cinerite dewatering, and formation water from overlying sedimentary cover channelized trough fault planes.

We conclude to a polyphase history of fluid trapping during Permian synrift formation of the basin: (i) a first event, associated with the dextral strike-slip motion on faults, leads to a first sealing of the fault zone; (ii) periodic reactivations of fault planes and bedding-controlled shearing form the main mineralized ore bodies by the single action of fluid overpressure fluctuations, undergoing changes in local stress distribution and (iii) a final tectonic activation of fault linked to last basinal fluid and hydrocarbon migration during which shear stress restoration on fault plane is faster than fluid pressure build-up.