Sea Floor Morphology and Sediment Paths of the Northern Gulf of Mexico Deepwater1
The recently compiled multibeam and digitized seismic data detail the complex bathymetry of the continental slope of the northern Gulf of Mexico slope and deepwater areas. Detailed bathymetry data, together with a watershed basin analysis model, generate landlike drainage paths in the submarine environment. Four drainage systems were identified and coincide with the major sediment sources in the west (Rio Grande River system), the northwest (Brazos and Colorado river systems), and the north (Mississippi River system). The carbonate-dominated platforms in the eastern and southern Gulf of Mexico show few drainage paths.
On a regional scale, these drainage paths were the primary conduits for density currents during periods of low sea stand, which may help our understanding of the distribution of turbidite-derived sediments in the Gulf of Mexico.
Figures & Tables
This Memoir covers one of the most important and active exploration reservoirs being pursued by geoscientists worldwide: fine-grained turbidite systems. 28 chapters show the results of an intense research effort in the 1990s that resulted from the discovery of large hydrocarbon accumulations in fine-grained turbidite systems in Brazil, the Gulf of Mexico, West Africa, and the North Sea. Industry and academia have joined together in this publication and the result is a unique opportunity to study these turbidite systems from the outcrop to the modeling; through the interpretation with 2-D and 3-D seismic data; to case histories and analog studies from Arkansas and Oklahoma, South and West Africa, Gulf of Mexico, west Texas, and New Zealand.