Mass-Transport Deposits in the Upper Paleocene Chicontepec Formation, Mexico
Published:January 01, 2011
Stephen P.J. Cossey, 2011. "Mass-Transport Deposits in the Upper Paleocene Chicontepec Formation, Mexico", Mass-Transport Deposits in Deepwater Settings, R. Craig Shipp, Paul Weimer, Henry W. Posamentier
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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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Mass-Transport Deposits in Deepwater Settings
Historically, submarine-mass failures or mass-transport deposits have been a focus of increasingly intense investigation by academic institutions particularly during the last decade, though they received much less attention by geoscientists in the energy industry. With recent interest in expanding petroleum exploration and production into deeper water depths globally and more widespread availability of high-quality data sets, mass-transport deposits are now recognized as a major component of most deep-water settings. This recognition has lead to the realization that many aspects of these deposits are still unknown or poorly understood. This volume contains twenty-three papers that address a number of topics critical to further understanding mass-transport deposits. These topics include general overviews of these deposits, depositional settings on the seafloor and in the near-subsurface interval, geohazard concerns, descriptive outcrops, integrated outcrop and seismic data/seismic forward modeling, petroleum reservoirs, and case studies on several associated topics. This volume will appeal to a broad cross section of geoscientists and geotechnical engineers, who are interested in this rapidly expanding field. The selection of papers in this volume reflects a growing trend towards a more diverse blend of disciplines and topics, covered in the study of mass-transport deposits.