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Late Quaternary Evolution of the Wave–Storm-Dominated Central Texas Shelf

By
Brenda J. Eckles
Brenda J. Eckles
BP Oil International, 1 Broadgate, London EC2M 2AP, U.K.
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Michelle L. Fassell
Michelle L. Fassell
BP Exploration, Fairburn Industrial Estate, Dyce, Aberdeen AB21 7BN, Scotland, U.K.
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John B. Anderson
John B. Anderson
Department of Earth Sciences, Rice University, Houston, Texas 77251-1892, U.S.A.
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Published:
January 01, 2004

Abstract

The central Texas shelf is mainly an interdeltaic region with little fluvial influence and a ramp-like profile. Prograding shoreline and shoreface deposits and offshore marine muds are the dominant highstand strata. These deposits prograded across the inner shelf during the early phases of falling sea level (during Stage 5 and Stage 3). Lowstand deposits are virtually absent, by comparison to shelf areas to the north and south, where large fluvial deltas exist. Lowstand fluvial valleys of smaller rivers are confined mainly to the inner shelf, owing to steeper outer-shelf gradients. The offshore parts of these valleys were removed by transgressive ravinement. In the northern part of the study area, where shelf gradients are relatively low, lowstand fluvial valleys extend farther seaward. Transgressive muds blanket the shelf. Sandy deposits occur only in early highstand strata and within incised fluvial valleys and are confined to the inner shelf. There is considerable facies variability within the highstand shoreline and shoreface deposits. This facies variability is attributed to irregular topography on which these deposits prograded, fifth-order sea-level fluctuations, and changes in sediment supply.

Strong correlation of stratigraphic units to the late Quaternary glacio-eustatic sea-level curve indicates that fourth-order (100,000 yr) cycles are the primary mechanism controlling deposition on the central Texas shelf. This is in contrast to shelf areas north and south, where autocyclic influences on stratal architecture are far more pronounced.

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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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