Spatial association of mud volcano and sandstone intrusions, Boyadag anticline, western Turkmenistan

Davide Oppo, Rossella Capozzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
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The mud volcano and sandstone intrusions complex occurring in the Boyadag anticline, western Turkmenistan, is the only well-documented example of co-existing, but not synchronous, mud volcanism and sand intrusion. Integrated field and laboratory evaluation investigates the spatial and genetic relations between the mud extrusion and the later sand intrusion. A sandstone dike and a pillar pierce mud volcano deposits on the crest of Boyadag anticline. Two more dikes occur near the escarpment caused by a crestal normal fault. The rising of mud and hydrocarbons from the Oligocene Maykop Fm. fed the mud volcano after the exposure of the Lower Pleistocene units at the core of the anticline. The main physical process that later led to sand fluidisation is identified as the progressive increase in pore fluid pressure, during a stage of reduced or null activity of the mud volcano, caused by the up-dip migration of hydrocarbons from the deep basin into the Pliocene sandstone reservoir within the Boyadag anticline. The hydrocarbons generated in the source rock levels of the Maykop Fm., whereas the saline water involved in the sand fluidisation is identified as the connate water of the Pliocene Red Beds Fm. The pressure rise was responsible for the fracturing of the sealing units, already weakened by the crestal normal fault and the mud volcano feeding system. The sand intruded into sealing units and mud breccia deposits, also using the mud volcano conduit and the crestal normal fault as preferential pathways. During the present-day background activity, the outcropping sandstone intrusions provide high permeability pathways for continuous fluid leakage, precluding the re-establishment of high pressures in the reservoir.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)827-839
Number of pages13
JournalBasin Research
Issue number6
Early online date3 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016


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