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Book Chapter

Quaternary Perspectives

Published:
January 01, 1984

Abstract

Our perception of continental margin bathymetry and stratigraphy is strongly influenced by the fact that we are looking at continental margins that underwent extensive, geologically abrupt, eustatic transgresion that ended only a few thousand years ago. Because of this eustatic rise in sea level, totaling more than 400 ft (120 m), depositional basin margins, such as the northern Gulf of Mexico, now have broad, low-relief continental shelves. The modern shelf edge typically lies (or is picked) at the 600 ft (180 m) bathymetric contour.

However, the active growth of modern continental margins occurred during the extensive periods of low sea level throughout the Quaternary. The continental shelves are largely transgressed coastal plains composed of fluvial, deltaic, shore-zone, and narrow shelf deposits (fig. 1). Stripping away the transgressive Holocene veneer reveals a depositional platform consisting of:

  1. Deltaic headlands

  2. Narrow prodelta shelves

  3. Interdeltaic shore-zones and relatively steep shelves morphologically similar to the carbonate ramp

  4. Fronting continental slopes

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Contents

AAPG Continuing Education Course Notes Series

Structural and Depositional Styles of Gulf Coast Tertiary Continental Margins: Application to Hydrocarbon Exploration

Martin P.A. Jackson
Martin P.A. Jackson
Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin
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William E. Galloway
William E. Galloway
Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin
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American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Volume
25
ISBN electronic:
9781629811543
Publication date:
January 01, 1984

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