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Abstract: Salt Geometry in the South Vermilion Area of the Gulf of Mexico



Depth imaging and visualization techniques are critical in the accurate determination of the complex salt body geometries in the Gulf of Mexico. The geometry of an allochtonous salt body in a 3D post-stack depth-migrated seismic dataset from the South Vermilion area, Gulf of Mexico, has been interpreted and visualized in a state-of-the-art three-dimensional workspace.

The process of salt evacuation, leading to a welled surface between the sub-and supra-salt sequences, has been reconstructed in three dimensions. Late stage deformation of the allochtonous salt took place near to the sea floor, and gave rise to small, localized intra-saltsheet depocenters. These depocenters are bounded by listric extensional faults and show onlapping and downlapping reflection configurations onto the original upper salt surface. As a result of complete salt evacuation these basins may overlie directly on the subsalt sequence.

The combination of modeling using three-dimensional visualization techniques and depth-migrated seismic data greatly enhances the understanding of the dynamics of salt and sediment interaction. This increased understanding leads to a more precise evaluation of the supra- and subsalt prospectivity and its associated risks.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90937©1998 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, Salt Lake City, Utah