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ABSTRACT: Variation in Diapiric Structure Development and Productivity, Northern Gulf Coast Basin

FAILS, THOMAS G., Consultant, Denver, CO

Paleogeologic (palinspastic) reconstructions of salt dome development are used to compare growth patterns and processes characteristic of different salt dome classes, to understand diapiric processes, and for salt structure evaluation prior to drilling.

Coastal Salt basin diapiric structures [salt domes and clay ("shale") domes] can be classified by the diapir top/objective section relationship (continental shelf sands and shales and sandy upper slope strata comprise the objective section): penetrant (or shallow piercement) salt domes where salt pierces the entire objective section and the overlying nonobjective alluvium; semipenetrant (or intermediate piercement) salt domes where salt pierces part of the objective section and arches the overlying beds, and nonpenetrant (or deep-seated) diapiric structures where the diapir (salt, clay) is buried in upper slope shales beneath the arched objective section base.

Cross sections from 44 published salt dome field studies were palinspastically restored to illustrate developmental patterns. They represent 15 penetrants, 8 semipenetrants, and 21 nonpenetrants. All fields are in the Eocene, Oligocene, Miocene, or Pliocene producing trends of southeast Texas and south Louisiana.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91014©1992 AAPG GCAGS and GC-SEPM Meeting, Jackson, Mississippi, October 21-23, 1992 (2009)