Casciello E, Casini G, Fernández N, et al. (2018) Fracture characterization in sigmoidal folds: Insights from the Siah Kuh anticline, Zagros, Iran. AAPG Bulletin.


Fieldwork and remote-sensing data from the Siah Kuh anticline, simply folded belt, Zagros, Iran indicate that specific structures and fracture systems formed during the development of its sigmoidal shape, and that conceptual fracture models developed for cylindrical folds are inadequate for the correct evaluation and development of hydrocarbon accumulations in this type of anticline. The sigmoidal shape of the Siah Kuh anticline was achieved in the Pliocene due to vertical axis rotations of an already existing anticline. These rotations promoted the development of (1) two systems of normal faults in the outer arcs of the sigmoidal shape, (2) a low-angle thrust, and (3) the north–south Danan anticline in the inner arc of its easternmost bend. The passive margin to syn-folding structures, typically observed in nearby cylindrical and periclinal anticlines, predated the development of the sigmoidal shape and were passively rotated into the segments of the anticline. The sigmoid-related structures are spatially, geometrically, and kinematically related to the bends of the anticline trend, hence they can be predicted and modeled in the subsurface. The sigmoid-related normal faults have a great potential to preserve porosity and promote localized high flow rates or early water breakthrough. However, if they cut through thin reservoir and seal units, sigmoid-related thrusts and normal faults might compromise lateral reservoir continuity and seal integrity. The results of this study can help in reducing risks and uncertainty in the evaluation and development of business opportunities in secondary sigmoidal anticlines within the Zagros or any other fold-thrust belt.

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