Barrett T. Dixon
The Eastern Mississippi Fan is a mud-dominated Pleistocene submarine fan in the northeastern deep Gulf of Mexico. The fan is more than 2 kilometers thick and lies at the base of slope (2000-3500 meters water depth). The fan is bounded on the east by the Florida Escarpment, and on the west by the Western Mississippi Fan. The fan contains deepwater deposits coeval to producing turbidite reservoirs (Flex Trend) in the continental slope to the northwest. Analysis of 6900 kilometers of multifold seismic data has defined 9 depositional seismic sequences. These sequences are coeval to sequences 7-11 and 13-16 identified by Weimer in the Western Mississippi Fan.
All sequences are characterized by a series of channel/overbank deposits. Channels consist of high-amplitude, subparallel reflections. Levee sediments have subparallel reflections that have higher amplitudes at the base of sequences changing upward to low amplitude. Overbank sediments consist on interbedded subparallel to hummocky and mounded reflections, suggesting both turbidites from the channel as well as slides and debris flows derived both locally and from the slope. Four sequences contain a series of volumetrically and areally large in situ submarine slides.
The Eastern Mississippi Fan serves as an exploration analog for mud-dominated turbidite systems. The fan has four prospective reservoir facies: channel sands with linear trends, potential unchannelized sand bodies beyond the downfan terminus of the channels, potentially sand-prone levees immediately adjacent to channels deposited in some sequences, and limited portions of in situ submarine slides.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90986©1994 AAPG Annual Convention, Denver, Colorado, June 12-15, 1994