Abstract

The interplay between sedimentation and erosion during the late Pleistocene in the Mars-Ursa region, northern Gulf of Mexico, resulted in a complex compartmentalized reservoir. Rapid deposition, directly downdip of the Mississippi River beginning about 70 k.y., quickly filled antecedent topography in the Mars-Ursa region with a thick accumulation of sand and mud called the “blue unit.” This permeable reservoir was rapidly and asymmetrically buried by thick, mud-rich levees of two channel-levee systems. Both systems plunged from north to south with a steeper gradient than the underlying blue unit. Rotated channel-margin slides present in both channel-levee systems rotated low-permeability, mud-rich levee deposits beneath the sand-rich channel fill. As a result of the channel-levee systems, the east-west hydraulic connectivity of the blue unit decreases progressively from north to south until its eastern and western halves become completely separated.

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