Resolving Carbonate Platform Geometries on the Island of Bonaire, Caribbean Netherlands through Semi-Automatic GPR Facies Classification

The study of exposed carbonate platforms provides observational constraints on regional tectonics and sea-level history. In this work Miocene-aged carbonate platform units of the Seroe Domi Formation are investigated, on the island of Bonaire, located in the Southern Caribbean. Ground penetrating radar (GPR) was used to probe near-surface structural geometries associated with these lithologies. The single cross-island transect described herein allowed for continuous mapping of geologic structures on kilometer length scales. Numerical analysis was applied to the data in the form of k-means clustering of structure-parallel vectors derived from image structure tensors. This methodology enables radar facies along the survey transect to be semi-automatically mapped. The results provide subsurface evidence to support previous surficial and outcrop observations, and reveal complex stratigraphy within the platform. From the GPR data analysis, progradational clinoform geometries were observed on the northeast side of the island which supports the tectonics and depositional trends of the region. Furthermore, several leeward-side radar facies are identified which correlate to environments of deposition conducive to dolomitization via reflux mechanisms.

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