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Book Chapter

Salt Rollers—East Texas Salt Basin

A. Thomson
A. Thomson
Shell Oil Company
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January 01, 1983


This seismic line, as interpreted, illustrates salt "rollers" or "anticlines" as they appear on the west flank of the East Texas salt basin. The rollers occur in a belt approximately 32 km (20 mi) wide parallel to structural and depositional contours. Downdip (east) of the zone of salt rollers is a zone of piercement salt domes, which represent the maximum original thickness of salt in the basin. The piercement salt domes are described on a seismic line edited by Engleman and Kemmer (this volume); the line continues eastward from the east end of this line. Updip (northwest) the salt thins to a feather edge within 64 km (40 mi) of the northwestern end of this line. Salt deformation in this zone is restricted to a few low relief pillows. An extensional fault system, the Mexia-Talco Fault Zone, is located approximately 9.5 km (6 mi) northwest of the northwestern end of this line. This fault system is believed to represent a regional pull-apart, from which salt moved downslope (east) following deposition of the Jurassic carbonates. This movement, in addition to overburden loading is thought to have been largely responsible for the anticlinal forms seen here. Timing of salt movement is complex, and appears to be episodic in some areas and continuous in others.

Salt can be observed to have withdrawn almost completely on both flanks of the roller at shot point 425, as well as on the eastern flank of the roller at shot point 625. The up-turn of the Jurassic carbonates at the extreme eastern end of this line may represent the west flank of a "turtle" structure.

Hydrocarbon production is associated with many of the rollers, where it is obtained principally from Jurassic carbonates. The well at shot point 425 produces from a structure in the Smackover Limestone overlying a well-developed roller. Structures over rollers may persist high in the stratigraphic section, as exemplified by the well at shot point 620 which produces from Lower Cretaceous carbonates.

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AAPG Studies in Geology

Seismic Expression of Structural Styles: A Picture and Work Atlas. Volume 1–The Layered Earth, Volume 2–Tectonics Of Extensional Provinces, & Volume 3–Tectonics Of Compressional Provinces

A. W. Bally
A. W. Bally
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American Association of Petroleum Geologists
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Publication date:
January 01, 1983




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