Carbonate mounds are reported throughout the stratigraphic scale from the Proterozoic to the Present. They developed on continental margins or intra-platform environments, in water depths ranging 1000 to 10 m and represent targets for hydrocarbon exploration in Kazakhstan, leading to recent discoveries of giant hydrocarbon accumulations (e.g. Karachaganak, Grigor’yeva, 1992; O’Hearn et al, 2003). They generated renewed interest in these distinctive carbonate deposits. An understanding of recent carbonate mounds systems in particular those drilled by leg IODP 307, provides a tool to appraise ancient subsurface mound carbonates and as a complement classic outcrops studies.

The cyclic records observed in recent mounds are keys for understanding the reservoir compartmentalization within mound complexes. The comparative analysis of mound evolution – focusing on early to late diagenetic processes, products and patterns – in the recent and ancient deposits provides new insights into reservoir porosity and permeability.

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