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Late Quaternary Stratigraphic Evolution of the Northern Gulf of Mexico Margin: A Synthesis

By
John B. Anderson
John B. Anderson
Earth Sciences Department, Rice University, Houston, Texas 77251-1892, U.S.A.
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Antonio Rodriguez
Antonio Rodriguez
Department of Geological Sciences, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35487-0338, U.S.A.
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Kenneth C. Abdulah
Kenneth C. Abdulah
Pioneer Natural Resources, 5205 N. O’Connor Blvd., Irving, Texas 75039-3746, U.S.A.
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Richard H. Fillon
Richard H. Fillon
Earth Studies Associates, New Orleans, Louisiana 70131, U.S.A.
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Laura A. Banfield
Laura A. Banfield
BP, 501 Westlake Park Blvd., Houston, Texas 77210, U.S.A.
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Heather A. McKeown
Heather A. McKeown
Department of Geology and Geophysics, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803, U.S.A.
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Julia S. Wellner
Julia S. Wellner
Earth Sciences Department, Rice University, Houston, Texas 77251-1892, U.S.A.
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Published:
January 01, 2004

Abstract

This volume presents results from several high-resolution stratigraphic investigations of late Quaternary strata of the northern Gulf of Mexico, from the Apalachicola River to the Rio Grande. The studies characterize deposition and strata formation associated with different fluvial and deltaic systems during the most recent glacioeustatic cycle (approximately 120 ka to present).

The Gulf margin region encompasses a variety of depositional settings characterized by different drainage-basin size, physiography, fluvial morphology, and structural and diapiric activity. The papers presented in this volume focus on fluvial response to climate and base-level change, variations in delta growth and evolution across the shelf, lowstand delta and fan evolution, the evolution of transgressive deposits on the shelf, the preservation of these deposits, and the resulting differences in stratigraphic architecture. In this paper we summarize the key observations made in those studies and compare the paleogeography and deposystem evolution of the various study areas.

The integration of the chronologies developed with key regional seismic surfaces allows comparison of stratal geometries produced by contemporaneous depositional systems operating under identical eustatic conditions. This synoptic comparison permits differentiation between eustatic and other controls on sedimentation and testing of many of the assumptions made in sequence stratigraphy. A set of paleogeographic maps and sequence and systems-tract models depict the major depositional systems of the Gulf margin during different stages of the eustatic cycle. These summary diagrams highlight considerable variability in stratigraphic architecture along the margin. For example, the relative proportion of highstand, lowstand, and transgressive strata differs between study areas. Thus, deposition and stratal packaging are more complex than most sequence stratigraphic models predict. However, for any given fluvial, deltaic, and fan system, the general style of deposition appears to repeat itself from one glacioeustatic cycle to the next. Thus, the results of this study can be used to test and calibrate quantitative stratigraphic models and to predict reservoir occurrence within a sequence stratigraphic framework.

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SEPM Special Publication

Late Quaternary Stratigraphic Evolution of the Northern Gulf of Mexico Margin

John B. Anderson
John B. Anderson
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Richard H. Fillon
Richard H. Fillon
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SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology
Volume
79
ISBN electronic:
9781565762152
Publication date:
January 01, 2004

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