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Abstract: The Paleocene and Eocene Chicontepec Formation crops out along the western margin of the Tampico-Misantla basin, located in northeastern Mexico in the states of Veracruz, Hidalgo, and San Luis Potosi. This succession records deposition in a deep-marine, foreland basin between the Cretaceous Golden Lane Atoll and the Tertiary Sierra Madre Oriental. In the northern part of this outcrop belt, slope deposition is recorded primarily by deformed and undeformed thin-bedded turbidites with occasional sand-rich lobes, channel fills, and debrites. Sediment transport and slumping direction in this area was to the east and southeast. The slumped, thin-bedded turbidites show the complete spectrum of deformation, including coherent slumps, semi-coherent, faulted, boudinaged, and chaotic slumps. More than one of these types of slumps can occur in a single outcrop. All the slumps have extremely flat upper surfaces, indicating that the tops of the slumps were probably eroded during subsequent bypass sedimentation. An unusual, flat-topped toe thrust is also preserved at one of the outcrops. A large, spectacular 26-m-thick debrite has faulting at its erosional margin, pressure ridges on its top, and strong evidence that the debris flow did not create the void that it occupies.

These spectacular outcrops provide a unique opportunity to study the detailed internal characteristics and allow evaluation of the reservoir quality in terms of continuity and connectivity. Evidence from these outcrops indicates that sub-seismic-scale coherent, semi-coherent, and faulted slumps can be extremely complex, and hence, difficult to identify with typical oil-industry technology, such as 3D seismic, core, and image logs.

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