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Salt Diapirism and Slope Failure in the Carolina Trough, Eastern North American Margin

Abstract

New 2-dimensional seismic data acquired offshore North Carolina in autumn 2014 provide high-resolution images of salt diapirs and landslides in the Carolina Trough to explore the interaction between slope sediments in response to salt intrusion from below. Prior studies in the area have discovered and described these structures with vintage data. Here we present newly acquired 2-D multi-channel seismic images that were collected in September-October, 2014 for the Eastern North American Margin Community Seismic Experiment. Survey parameters include a 2-string Previous HitairNext Hit Previous HitgunTop array with 3300 in3 volume, 8-kilometer streamer, 6-meter tow depth, and 12.5m bin size. Jurassic-aged salt was deposited in the Carolina trough during the opening of the Atlantic Ocean. A group of salt diapirs are located at the eastern (seaward) side of the margin in approximately 3km water depth. Some diapirs have influenced the seafloor morphology by triggering submarine landslides. The best example of this is the Cape Fear Slide Complex in which at least two salt diapirs are surrounded by the lower headwall of the slide. We describe the detailed morphology of the slide and diapirs and infer rates of salt intrusion. This research provides valuable insight into the interplay of salt and slope failure mechanics in a rift basin.