As a salt structure evolves, it passes through three stages of growth, known as the pillow stage, the diapir stage, and the postdiapir stage. The model shown in figures 1 and 2 assumes that all thickness variations in strata are primary and caused by syndepositional rise or fall of the sedimentation surface because of salt flow beneath. Evidence suggests that once initiated, the crest of a salt diapir stays more or less at a constant shallow depth while its base and the surrounding strata sink as the basin floor subsides, a process known as downbuilding.
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Structural and Depositional Styles of Gulf Coast Tertiary Continental Margins: Application to Hydrocarbon Exploration
The structure and genetic stratigraphy of the Gulf of Mexico continental margin are inextricably intertwined. As hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation advance into the deeply buried Tertiary basin fill, interpretation of the complex depositional and structural styles of the outer shelf and upper slope setting will increasingly challenge the interpreter. This publication provides a coherent summary of the key concepts, models, and tools that are needed to meet this exploration challenge, and includes chapters on: basic principles, submarine slope systems, models of growth faults, mechanics of diapir growth, petroleum traps, and techniques on analyzing normal faults and balancing cross sections with extended strata.