Lithofacies Analysis and Stratigraphic Architecture of a Deep-Water Carbonate Debris Apron: Lower Cretaceous (Latest Aptian to Latest Albian) Tamabra Formation, Poza Rica Field Area, Mexico
Published:January 01, 2011
Robert G. Loucks, Charles Kerans, Xavier Janson, M. Alfredo Marhx Rojano, 2011. "Lithofacies Analysis and Stratigraphic Architecture of a Deep-Water Carbonate Debris Apron: Lower Cretaceous (Latest Aptian to Latest Albian) Tamabra Formation, Poza Rica Field Area, Mexico", Mass-Transport Deposits in Deepwater Settings, R. Craig Shipp, Paul Weimer, Henry W. Posamentier
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Deep-water carbonate debris aprons adjacent to shallow-water platforms are complex depositional features that are produced by density-flow and suspension processes. Sediment is supplied from the platform margin and from biota living in the shallower part of the open sea. The Lower Cretaceous (latest Aptian to latest Albian) Tamabra Formation in the Poza Rica field area of eastern Mexico is a debris apron deposited adjacent to the western side of the Tuxpan Platform in east-central Mexico. Its stratal architecture is well defined by 3-D seismic, cores, and wireline-log data, allowing analysis of depositional processes that created the lithofacies and sequence stratigraphic controls on depositional architecture and patterns. Within the Tamabra debris apron, an orderly pattern of depositional units reflects the control of relative sea-level changes on the availability of source material and types of density flows generated. Thick intervals of debris-flow and mud-flow deposits, composed of platform- and slope-derived carbonate muds, skeletal grains, and clasts, are interpreted as being deposited during sea-level lowstands and transgressions or during early highstands when the platform was rapidly aggrading, whereas thick intervals of hyperconcentrated to concentrated density-flow and turbidite deposits, composed of skeletal sands, are interpreted as having been deposited when the platform was flooded and shedding during highstands of sea level. The Tamabra debris apron is an excellent analog for comparing with other carbonate debris aprons and for use in deciphering other debris aprons having poor data control.
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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.