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Abstract

Ochoan evaporites of the Castile and Salado formations in the Delaware Basin contain information about the final stages of basin evolution, specifically regarding the nature of the connection to the ocean and stability of local sea level. Core from the Gulf PDB-03 research well, Menton area, Loving County, Texas, was examined from near the base of the Castile Formation to the uppermost preserved halite in the Salado Formation (Figs. 1 and 2) to investigate evaporite depositional environments, especially with respect to paleodepth. A list of criteria for interpretation of paleodepth was developed (Table 1). These criteria are based on (1) comparison of observed evaporite fabrics with similar fabrics in modern and other ancient examples, and (2) interpretation of how observed evaporite processes would effect fabrics in different settings. Comparison of depth criteria with sequences of fabrics observed in the Castile and Salado formations shows systematic textural variation from the base to the top of individual depositional cycles as well as the entire sequence (Figs. 1 and 2).

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