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Kinematics of Regional Salt Flow in the Northern Gulf of Mexico

Xavier Fort¹ and Jean-Pierre Brun¹,²
¹g.o. logical consulting, Cesson-Sévigné, France
²University of Rennes 1, Rennes, France

For a long time now, the Gulf of Mexico has been a natural laboratory where many concepts of salt tectonics have been elaborated upon. The northern Gulf of Mexico displays a rather complicated situation with a massive extrusion of allochthonous salt bodies (as much as 8 km thick in some places) during the Cenozoic on top of which Neogene minibasins, some very deep, are deposited. The presence of minibasins and stepped counter-regional systems, among other structures, have strengthened the impression that salt tectonics was mainly driven by differential sedimentary loading. For more than 30 years, salt tectonics in the Gulf of Mexico has therefore been considered to be different from what is observed and/or described in other margins. Interestingly, Diegel et al. (1995, p. 145) concluded their review of the tectonostratigraphic framework by asking the following question: “Are Gulf Coast style allochthonous salt structures more common, but unrecognized, or are the scale and complexity of salt-related structures in the Gulf Coast unique?”

 

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90158©2012 GCAGS and GC-SEPM 6nd Annual Convention, Austin, Texas, 21-24 October 2012