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Abstract: Tectonic Evolution, Structural Styles, and Oil Habitat in the Sonda de Campeche, Mexico

Francisco J. Angeles-Aquino, Jorge Reyes-Nunez, Juan M. Quezada-Muneton, Javier J. Meneses-Rocha

The Sonda de Campeche is located in the southern part of the Gulf of Mexico and hosts one half of the oil reserves of Mexico. The stratigraphic section is 7500 m thick, ranging from Middle Jurassic to Holocene. The Mesozoic sequence includes Callovian salt deposits, Upper Jurassic sandstones, anhydrites, limestones, and shales; and Cretaceous limestones, dolomites, and carbonate breccias. In some places, this sequence displays condensed sections related to an early movement of salt. The Cenozoic sequence is formed mostly of benthonitic shales and minor sandstones, and shows two unconformities: the older one between the lower Miocene and the Oligocene, and the younger one between the middle Miocene and the upper Miocene.

In the Sonda de Campeche, three main tectonic regimes are recorded: extensional, compressional, and extensional. The first one extended from Middle Jurassic to Late Jurassic and is related to the opening of the Gulf of Mexico. During this regime, tilted block faults trending northwest-southeast were dominant. The subsequent compressional regime took place at the end of the early Miocene and was related to northeast tangential stresses that added to the flow of Callovian salt, gave rise to huge anticlines, faulted, and often overturned. The last extensional regime extended throughout the middle and late Miocene and is related to salt tectonics and growth faults that have as a detachment surface a middle Miocene shaly horizon.

The main source rocks are Tithonian shales and shaly limestones. Oolite bars, slope and shelfal carbonates, and regressive sandstones form the main reservoirs. Evaporites and shales are the regional seals. Recent information indicates that Oxfordian shaly limestones are also important source rocks.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90983©1994 GCAGS and Gulf Coast SEPM 44th Annual Meeting, Austin, Texas, October 6-7, 1994