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Sci Rep. 2015 Mar 20;5:9099. doi: 10.1038/srep09099.

Sedimentary geology of the middle Carboniferous of the Donbas region (Dniepr-Donets Basin, Ukraine).

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Department of Earth Sciences, University of Utrecht, Budapestlaan 4, 3584 CD Utrecht, the Netherlands.
Institut für Geologie und Paläontologie, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Corrensstrasse 24, 48149 Münster.
SE NaukaNaftogaz Res. Inst., NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine, 8 Kyivska St., 08132 Vyshneve, Ukraine.
Nexen Petroleum UK Ltd., Charter Place, Vine Street, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 1JG, United Kingdom.
Shell International Exploration and Production B.V., Kessler Park 1, 2288 GS Rijswijk, the Netherlands.
School of Geosciences, Meston Building, King's College, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 3UE, UK.


The Paleozoic Dniepr-Donets Basin in Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia forms a major hydrocarbon province. Although well- and seismic data have established a 20 km thick stratigraphy, field-studies of its sediments are scarce. The inverted Donbas segment (Ukraine) exposes the middle Carboniferous part of the basin's stratigraphy. Here, we provide detailed sedimentological data from 13 sections that cover 1.5 of the total of 5 km of the Bashkirian and Moscovian stages and assess the paleoenvironment and paleo-current directions. Middle Carboniferous deposition occurred in a shelf environment, with coal deposition, subordinate fluvial facies, and abundant lower and middle shoreface facies, comprising an intercalated package of potential source and reservoir rocks. Sedimentary facies indicate a paleodepth range from below storm wave base to near-coastal swamp environments. Sedimentation and subsidence were hence in pace, with subtle facies changes likely representing relative sea-level changes. Paleocurrent directions are remarkably consistently southeastward in time and space in the different sedimentary facies across the Donbas Fold Belt, illustrating a dominant sedimentary infill along the basin axis, with little basin margin influence. This suggests that the middle Carboniferous stratigraphy of the Dniepr-Donets basin to the northwest probably contains significant amounts of fluvial sandstones, important for assessing hydrocarbon reservoir potential.

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