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Abstract: Evolution of Extensive Salt Sheets in the Louisiana Shelf and Coast, Northern Gulf of Mexico

WATKINS, JOEL S. and FANGJIAN XUE, Texas A&M University

Summary

Within the hick Cenozoic sediments of the northern Gulf of Mexico, extensive salt sheets underlie much of the Louisiana shelf and coast. Analysis of the geologic conditions for emplacement and remobilization of these salt sheets suggests that Cenozoic deposition caused salt withdrawal episodically from Jurassic salt deposits. Salt sheets were emplaced in the sediment starved slope within shale-prone transgressive intervals and successively remobilized by overlying sand-rich shelf edge deltaic progradation. The Paleogene depositional episodes of Houston Embayment caused salt withdrawal from underlying-Jurassic salt deposits and resulted in Paleogene salt sheets in three regional transgressive intervals from lower Eocene to top of Oligocene in coast-shelf areas. The Neogene depositional episodes of Mississippi Embayment caused salt withdrawal from both autochthonous Jurassic salt and allochthonous Paleogene salt sheets and resulted in formed Neogene salt sheets of upper Miocene to top Pliocene age in the outer shelf area.

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