Orientation and distribution of fractures in the Oligocene–Early Miocene Asmari Formation (a major reservoir rock of the Zagros petroleum system) were investigated in two anticlines of the Zagros fold-and-thrust belt. The Sim and Kuh-e-Asmari anticlines developed in the areas of the Zagros characterized by the occurrence and absence of Cambrian evaporites at the bottom of the stratigraphic pile, respectively. The aim was to outline major differences in terms of fracture spacing and saturation. Organic matter maturity and clay minerals-based geothermometers suggest that the depth of deformation for the top of the Asmari Formation in the Kuh-e-Asmari anticline was in the range of 1.5–2.7 km assuming a geothermal gradient of 22.5°C/km. The Asmari Formation in the Sim anticline probably experienced a slightly deeper sedimentary burial (maximum 3 km) with a geothermal gradient of 20°C/km. The spacing of fractures is generally 2–3 times larger (i.e., strain accommodated by fracturing is smaller) in the Sim anticline than in the Kuh-e-Asmari anticline. This is consistent with regional geological studies, analogue, and numerical models that suggest that thrust faults geometry and related folds are markedly different in the absence or presence of a weak decollement(evaporites). The larger spacing in the Sim anticline is also consistent with higher temperature predicted for the Asmari Formation in this area. By contrast, the orientation of fractures with respect to the fold axes is the same in both anticlines. The fracture systems are rather immature in both anticlines. The amount and density of fractures in the twofolds are controlled by regional (occurrence/absence of salt and probably different burial), rather than local features(fold geometry).
Carminati, E., Aldega, L., Bigi, S., Corrado, S., D’Ambrogi, C., Mohammadi, P., et al. (2013). Control of Cambrian evaporites on fracturing in fault-related anticlines in the Zagros fold-and-thrust belt. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF EARTH SCIENCES, 102(5), 1237-1255 [10.1007/s00531-012-0858-0].