Application of Gulf Coast Tertiary
1984. "Application of Gulf Coast Tertiary", Structural and Depositional Styles of Gulf Coast Tertiary Continental Margins: Application to Hydrocarbon Exploration, Martin P.A. Jackson, William E. Galloway
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Tectonic development and gross structure are controlled by enormous subsidence of the edge of a diverging continental margin like the Gulf Coast. This subsidence is primarily a response to extending lithosphere.
Rift subsidence operates before continental breakup and possibly persists. It is generally followed by flexural subsidence, or downwarping of the margin of the basin without obvious fault control (fig. 1). In dealing with the Tertiary Gulf Coast we are not concerned with the rift stage but with the flexural phase of regional subsidence.
The mechanics of passive-margin subsidence continues to be intensively studied and we can only scratch the surface of current hypotheses. A major unknown is whether the lithosphere deforms as an elastic substance like rubber or as a viscoelastic substance like putty. The three principal mechanisms driving regional flexural subsidence are loading, cooling, and thinning (fig. 2).
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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.