EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The salt-bearing rifted margins in West Africa – regional structural variability and salt tectonics between Gabon and Namibia

Jean-Paul Callot1, Leonardo Pichel2, Etienne Legeay1,3, and Jean-Claude Ringenbach3
Jean-Paul Callot et al.
  • 1Laboratoire des Fluides Complexes et leurs Réservoirs, IPRA-Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour, Pau, France
  • 2Department of Earth Science, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
  • 3Total Energies SA, Centre Scientifique et Technique Jean-Féger, Pau, France

Salt-bearing rifted margins comprise some of the most structurally complex and economically important sedimentary basin settings such as the South Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico salt basins. They are also involved with some of the largest uncertainties regarding the crustal and syn-rift basin architecture and supra-salt tectonic evolution, as well as the link between rifted margin architecture with salt deposition and post-rift gravity-driven salt tectonics. We thus conduct a margin-scale study along nearly the entire West Africa salt basin, from south Gabon to Namibe, combining a vast dataset of 2D and 3D seismic and well data with gravimetric and magnetic data to analyse its along-strike rift and salt tectonics structural variability. We construct regional structural and thickness maps of key salt and post-salt intervals to depict the history of individual margin segments and to investigate: 1) how rifting and rifted margin architecture influences post-rift salt tectonics evolution, 2) how these vary through time and space, and 3) what are the controls between their different salt tectonics structural styles. We show that rifting and rift structures controlled the salt basin geometry, thickness, and base-salt relief in different ways for the different margin segments, and drastically influenced their post-rift salt tectonic evolution. Differences in post-salt sediment supply and continental uplift also had a role on their evolution. The results also have implications to understand the interplay between rifted margin architecture with post-rift salt tectonics for worldwide salt-bearing margins.

How to cite: Callot, J.-P., Pichel, L., Legeay, E., and Ringenbach, J.-C.: The salt-bearing rifted margins in West Africa – regional structural variability and salt tectonics between Gabon and Namibia, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-13289,, 2023.