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Book Chapter

Application of Gulf Coast Tertiary

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Published:
January 01, 1984

Abstract

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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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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