Isolated Submarine Canyons–Yoakum and Hardin Channels of the Wilcox Margin
1984. "Isolated Submarine Canyons–Yoakum and Hardin Channels of the Wilcox Margin", 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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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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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.