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Seismic Definition of Fan Lobe Types of Mississippi Fan, Gulf of Mexico

Paul Weimer, Richard T. Buffler

Detailed seismic stratigraphic studies in the upper and middle Mississippi Fan identified 12 fan lobes. Three different types of fan lobes are present. The type 1 fan lobe consists of two seismic sequences. At the base of the lower sequence are mounded reflectors that change upward to hummocky reflectors. The upper sequence has stacked high-amplitude reflectors flanked on either side by low-amplitude, laterally continuous reflectors. These type 1 fan lobes are interpreted as mass transport deposits overlain by a single channel with extensive overbank deposits. The type 2 fan lobe has seismic and geologic facies similar to the upper sequence of type 1. Both type 1 and type 2 fan lobes have a single channel that is sinuous in the middle fan. The type 3 fan lobe is character zed by several stacked high-amplitude reflectors, flanked by laterally continuous low-amplitude reflectors. These represent a bifurcating channel system showing several episodes of deposition and abandonment.

Most of the sediments in the Mississippi Fan were deposited in type 2 or the upper sequence of type 1 fan lobes. Sediments in the lower sequence of the type 1 lobe are areally and volumetrically limited. Of the 12 fan lobes, 7 are type 1, 4 are type 2, and 1 is type 3. Deep Sea Drilling Project Leg 96 drilling penetrated only the modern lobe, which is a type 2 fan lobe.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91043©1986 AAPG Annual Convention, Atlanta, Georgia, June 15-18, 1986.