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O'BYRNE, CIARAN J., JOYDEEP K. HALDAR, BP-Amoco Exploration, Houston, TX; ARTHUR E. BERMAN, Sugarland, TX; RICHARD KLECKEWAND, and JOHN MARTINEZ, BP-Amoco Exploration, Houston, TX

Abstract: Dynamic Response of Deepwater Depositional Systems to Growth of the Mississippi Fan Fold Belt, Gulf of Mexico

Acquisition of high quality 3D data volumes in Atwater Valley, Gulf of Mexico (Fig. 1), coupled with proprietary 3D coherency visualization has allowed for exceptional clarity in imaging map view realizations of Miocene and Pliocene depositional systems in the Mississippi Fan Fold Belt (MFFB). Regional studies and 'loop' level analyses of deepwater seismic facies geometries in this area indicate a near fractal response of depositional systems to sea floor gradient change in time and space.

The structural evolution of the MFFB caused critical slope changes through Mio-Pliocene time that effected both regional and local drainage patterns in pre-, syn-, and post-growth strata. Depositional topography related to variable rates of sediment accumulation also played a key role in influencing slope sediment pathways, drainage capture and compensatory relief. Growth of the MFFB effectively created elevated 'plateau' areas deflecting sediment pathways which bypassed their flanks. This topography was later encroached on and ultimately enveloped by Plio-Pleistocene slope progradation. Pliocene drainage capture within the MFFB is evidenced by eastwest trending erosional valleys and channel meander belts sourced from evolving dip fed canyon systems to the west. Geometric aspects of a wide variety of channel and sheet architectural elements are discussed within the tectono-stratigraphic framework of the MFFB with implications for reservoir and seal distribution in the area. 

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90924©1999 GCAGS Annual Meeting Lafayette, Louisiana