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Book Chapter

Isolated Submarine Canyons–Yoakum and Hardin Channels of the Wilcox Margin

Published:
January 01, 1984

Abstract

Large erosional gorges cut into paralic sediments are prominent features of many depositionally active, deltaic continental margins. These features have variously been interpreted as subaerial or submarine in origin. Evidence is generally considered as favoring submarine origin or at least significant submarine modification. Fill of the gorges consists of marine, commonly deep-water sediment.

Large well-known gorges of the Gulf Coast Eocene section occur within the lower and middle Wilcox Group (fig. 1). They include the Yoakum channel, first described by Hoyt (1959), Lavaca and subsidiary Smothers channels, described in recent papers by Chuber and Begeman (1982), and the Hardin channel. The Yoakum channel is 50 mi (80 km) long, extending from the Wilcox fault zone, which defines the position of the early Eocene paleocontinentai margin, updip nearly to the present outcrop (fig. 1). It is more than 10 mi (16 km) wide and contains as much as 3,000 ft (900 m) of fill. Vormelker (1979) calculated that 7k mi3 (312 km3) of middle and lower Wilcox shelf, deltaic, and shore-zone sand and mudstone were excavated during canyon cutting. The gorge cross section is symmetrical (fig. 2). The gorge trends and deepens basinward across the stable Wilcox shelf platform, which was deposited updip of the buried Cretaceous reef trend. In contrast, the neighboring Lavaca channel is relatively broad and shallow. It lies within the progradational lower Wilcox depositional episode and extends only 12 mi (20 km) landward of the contemporary continental margin. Channel fill is

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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
Search for other works by this author on:
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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