Basinfill of the Permian Tanqua Karoo, South Africa

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Petroleum sedimentology and stratigraphy

Basin subsidence analysis, employing the backstripping method, indicates that fundamentally two different basin-generating mechanisms controlled Tanqua depocentre development in SW Karoo Basin.

The subsidence curves display initial dominantly decelerating subsidence, suggesting an extensional and thermal control possibly in a strike-slip setting during the depocentre formation; on the other hand, subsequent accelerating subsidence with time suggests that the dominant control on the depocentre formation in SW Karoo was flexure of the lithosphere.

Furthermore, siliciclastic cover in the Tanqua depocentre expanded from minimal values in the early Triassic (Early to Late Anisian) and to a maximum in the middle Permian (Wordian -Roadian); thereby accompanying a global falling trend in eustatic sea-level and favoured by a compressional phase involving a regional shortening due to orogenic thrusting and positive inflections (denoting foreland basin formation).

The estimate of sediment volume obtained in this study for the Permian Period to a maximum in the middle Permian is therefore consistent with published eustatic sea-level and stress regime data.

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