Two major fault systems influenced Jurassic structure and deposition on the Conecuh Ridge, southwest Alabama. Identification and dating of these fault systems are based on seismic-stratigraphic interpretation of a 7-township grid in Monroe and Conecuh Counties. Relative time of faulting is determined by fault geometry and by formation isopachs and isochrons. Smackover and Norphlet Formations, both Late Jurassic in age, are mappable seismic reflectors and are thus reliable for seismic-stratigraphic dating.
The earlier of the 2 fault systems is a series of horsts and grabens that trends northeast-southwest and is Late Triassic to Early Jurassic in age. The system formed in response to tensional stress associated with the opening of the Atlantic Ocean. The resulting topography was a series of northeast-southwest-trending ridges. Upper Triassic Eagle Mills and Jurassic Werner Formations were deposited in the grabens.
The later fault system is also a series of horsts and grabens trending perpendicular to the first. This system was caused by tensional stress related to a pulse in the opening of the Gulf of Mexico. Faulting began in Early Jurassic and continued into Late Jurassic, becoming progressively younger basinward. At the basin margin, faulting produced a very irregular shoreline. Submerged horst blocks became centers for shoaling or carbonate buildups. Today, these blocks are exploration targets in southwest Alabama.