Tectonostratigraphic Evidence for the Origin of the Gulf of Mexico
Published:January 01, 2003
Emile A. Pessagno, Jr., Christopher Martin, 2003. "Tectonostratigraphic Evidence for the Origin of the Gulf of Mexico", The Circum-Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean: Hydrocarbon Habitats, Basin Formation and Plate Tectonics, Claudio Bartolini, Richard T. Buffler, Jon F. Blickwede
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Tectonostratigraphic data derived from ongoing biostratigraphic, chronostratigraphic, paleobathymetric, paleobiogeographic, and lithostratigraphic investigations in west-central and east-central Mexico suggest that the Gulf of Mexico formed in two phases:
Phase 1: Rifting and subsequent sea-floor spreading during the Late Jurassic (middle Oxfordian). All but the southwestern portion of the Gulf of Mexico formed during Phase 1.
Phase 2: Northwest-to-southeast tectonic transport of allochthonous San Pedro del Gallo terrane remnants along the west side of Walper Megashear during the Middle Jurassic to Early Cretaceous.
Where the stratigraphic successions are complete, megafossil data indicates that the San Pedro del Gallo terrane was situated at Southern Boreal paleolatitudes (>30° N) in the Nevadan back arc domain during the Middle Jurassic (late Bathonian to early Callovian) and was subsequently carried to lower paleolatitudes during the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous. For example, in the Huayacocotla remnant, the Boreal ammonite Kepplerites was recovered in the subsurface from the Palo Blanco Formation by Cantú-Chapa. In North America, Kepplerites is known from the Izee terrane (east-central Oregon), Western Interior (Montana and Saskatchewan), and northward to southern Alaska. Radiolarian, calpionellid, ammonite, and bivalve faunal data indicate that the Huayacocotla remnant had been transported to Northern Tethyan paleolatitudes (23° N to 29° N) during the Kimmeridgian and Tithonian and to Central Tethyan paleolatitudes (<23° N) by the beginning of the Early Cretaceous.
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The Circum-Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean: Hydrocarbon Habitats, Basin Formation and Plate Tectonics
The Circum-Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean has long been one of the world's most important petroleum provinces, as well as one of the world's most geologically complex regions. These two characteristics have resulted in an extensive amount of ongoing research by both industry and academia. AAPG Memoir 79, The Circum-Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, is the first volume in more than a decade to document such a wide range of research on the geology of this vast area. Of the total 44 papers, roughly two-thirds pertain to the Gulf of Mexico, with an emphasis on the Mexican portion of the basin, and to the petroliferous areas of the southern Caribbean, including Colombia, Venezuela, Cuba, and Trinidad and Tobago. The remaining papers relate to the Antilles and Central America, as well as a series of papers that address region-wide topics such as plate tectonic evolution. A significant number of papers were contributed by authors from national oil companies and universities from within the region.