Tectonic Sequence Stratigraphy of the Western Margin of the Gulf of Mexico in the Late Mesozoic and Cenozoic: Less Passive than Previously Imagined
Published:January 01, 2003
Andrew D. Horbury, Stephen Hall, González-P. Francisco, Rodríguez-F. Dioniso, Reyes-F. Armando, Ortiz-G. Patricia, Martínez-M. Martín, Quintanilla-R. Guillermo, 2003. "Tectonic Sequence Stratigraphy of the Western Margin of the Gulf of Mexico in the Late Mesozoic and Cenozoic: Less Passive than Previously Imagined", 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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Middle Eocene compression resulted in formation of the Sierra Madre Oriental fold and thrust belt and end-early Miocene compression resulted in formation of the Chiapas-Campeche fold and thrust belt. These events mask the importance of other periods of deformation, principally in the Middle–Late Jurassic, Late Cretaceous, and Paleogene. Deformation is represented by folding, thick-skinned thrusting, basin inversion, and development of major angular unconformities. Associated features include development of karstification, production of breccias, onlap, lowstand wedges, seeding of carbonate platforms, entry of siliciclastic sediments into carbonate basins, significant switches in input directions of clastic sedimentary systems, initiation of extensional tectonism basinward of the compressive deformation front and igneous activity.
We propose that, during the late Mesozoic and the Cenozoic, Pacific plate-margin compressive deformation often extended eastward into the Gulf of Mexico. Two main belts of deformation are identified, which are linked back to Pacific plate-margin processes by postulated deep-seated faults. The first and outer (easternmost) belt is seen on regional seismic lines as a long-wavelength, easterly facing, monoclonal fold that developed close to the transition of thick into thinned continental crust. The Sierra Madre Oriental is the second belt of which the structural history already has been well described in the literature. Where salt is present at depth, compressional events are expressed only as laterally propagated thin-skinned folds and thrusts.
These events are of critical importance in that they contribute many unique geologic features that cumulatively give Mexico a world-class petroleum system.
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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.