Facies analysis and geochemistry of the Euphrates Formation in Central Iraq

Arab J Geosci


The Euphrates Formation (Lower Miocene) in the Central Iraq consists mainly of shallow marine carbonates. Two hundred ten samples were collected from 21 wells (1E to 21ED) at Bahar Najaf area, and 18 samples were collected at Wadi Asadi in Baghdadi area, from Euphrates Formation. Four microfacies are identified, namely mudstone, wackestone, packstone, and rare grainstone with ten submicrofacies. The allochems in the Euphrates Formation are dominated by bioclasts. Peloids, ooids, and intraclasts are less abundant. The common fossils in the Euphrates Formation are miliolids, algae, ostracods, Miogypsina, and abundant shells of pelecypods and gastropods. Calcite and dolomite are the predominant mineral components of the Euphrates Formation. The carbonates of the Euphrates Formation have been affected by a variety of diagenetic processes such as micritization, dissolution, neomorphism, cementation, stylolitization, dolomitization, dedolomitization, and silicification. The Euphrates Formation was deposited in open to restricted platforms which indicated lagoonal environment with warm and restricted open circulation. In fact, prevalence and abundance of micrite provide an evidence of a shallow marine of low-energy environment and, in some places, may be approaching to be stagnant environment. The average of CaO in Najaf area (51.5 %) is slightly lower than that in Baghdadi area (53.3 %), which was reflected in calcite content found being 91 % in Najaf and 94 % in Baghdadi. Dolomite and gypsum appeared as minor minerals beside calcite, so low concentration of MgO (0.83 % in Najaf; 0.63 in Baghdadi) and SO3 (0.55 % in Najaf; 0.53 % in Baghdadi) was reflected information of small amounts of dolomite (2 % in Najaf; 1.6 % in Baghdadi) and gypsum (0.7 % in Najaf and 0.6 in Baghdadi) in the Euphrates Formation. The insoluble residue in Najaf area (4.37 %) is relatively higher than that in Baghdadi area (1.9 %), indicating that the Euphrates Formation in Najaf Area has deposited in an environment closer to the shoreline. Concentrations of the trace elements Sr, Mn, and Fe which support the conclusion that reminds the Euphrates Formation had been deposited in a shallow marine environment of quiet energy, with the likelihood that the shoreline was the nearest to Najaf rather than to Baghdadi.
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