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Structural Slope Fans Resulting from Paleogene Compression in the Veracruz Basin, Mexico


During the Paleogene, the Veracruz Basin was filled by submarine fan complexes deposited on a structural slope and the adjacent basin floor. Sediments in the submarine fans were derived from Cretaceous calcareous units west of the basin. Additionally, siliciclastic sediments derived from the Juarez Terrane, the Mixtequita, and possibly the Chiapas Massif entered the basin from the south. Thick Middle to Upper Cretaceous platform carbonates in the western part of the basin are thrusted towards the east along Upper Jurassic (Kimmeridgian/Tithonian) and Paleocene detachments that represent the Cretaceous and Paleocene phases of Laramide deformation. The center of the basin underwent marked Eocene-Early Oligocene subsidence. A basement high with similar length and orientation as the thrust belt underlies the Los Tuxtlas volcanic zone in the eastern part of the basin. This high has undergone two stages of uplift; one in the Eocene and another in the Lower Miocene. During the Paleocene, submarine fans with well defined wedging to the west derived from the thrust belt flowed freely into the Gulf of Mexico until an easterly-tilted basin formed In the Late Paleocene-Early Eocene between the thrust belt and the Los Tuxtlas basement. Extensive submarine fans were deposited during the Eocene between the thrust belt and Los Tuxtlas until this depression was filled in the Oligocene and sedimentation once again prograded freely toward the Gulf of Mexico. More recent uplift has eroded most of the Paleogene section along the western edge of the basin, and equivalent shelf facies are unknown.