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VAN DEN BEUKEL, JILLES and FRED DIEGEL, Shell E&P Technology, Houston,TX, JIM HANDSCHY and HONGXING GE, currrently at Phillips Petroleum Co.

Abstract: Salt Dome Geometries, Gulf Of Mexico Shelf

Detailed, 3D seismic based structural studies of approximately 20 salt domes in the Gulf of Mexico illustrate the complexities of the salt-sediment interface and the geometric and kinematic relationships between the salt and adjacent faults. For each of the 20 domes studied, we have made a complete interpretation of the salt-sediment interface and all nearby faults. In order to obtain a good representation of the salt dome geometries, the multi-valued surfaces that separate the salt from the sediments have been tessellated using proprietary Shell software. Map and timeslice displays plus 3D displays are used to illustrate the geometric features of the domes.

Most salt domes on the Gulf of Mexico shelf occur in four structural settings:

(1) Counter-regional domes: domes along north dipping counter-regional fault systems.

(2) Edge domes: domes along the north-south trending edges of minibasins.

(3) Hinge domes: domes within basins, usually associated with rollover anticlines.

(4) Regional domes: domes along south dipping regional fault systems. Fault patterns adjacent to salt domes are primary controlled by sub-regional salt evacuation and/or flexing of the sediments above the dome. Faults that intersect salt dome flanks typically curve and intersect the salt tangential to the salt-sediment interface. Salt domes have a cuspate shape where they are intersected by faults.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #[email protected] International Conference and Exhibition, Birmingham, England