Skip to Main Content
Book Chapter

Salt tectonics, sediments and prospectivity: an introduction

By
Stuart G. Archer
Stuart G. Archer
Geology and Petroleum Geology, School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 3UE, UK
Search for other works by this author on:
G. Ian Alsop
G. Ian Alsop
Geology and Petroleum Geology, School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 3UE, UK
Search for other works by this author on:
Adrian J. Hartley
Adrian J. Hartley
Geology and Petroleum Geology, School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB24 3UE, UK
Search for other works by this author on:
Neil T. Grant
Neil T. Grant
ConocoPhillips UK Ltd, Rubislaw House, North Anderson Drive, Aberdeen AB15 6FZ, UK
Search for other works by this author on:
Richard Hodgkinson
Richard Hodgkinson
Bowleven plc., 1 North St Andrew Lane, Edinburgh, EH2 1HX, UK
Search for other works by this author on:
Published:
January 01, 2012

Abstract

Salt is a crystalline aggregate of the mineral halite, which forms in restricted environments where the hydrodynamic balance is dominated by evaporation. The term is used non-descriptively to incorporate all evaporitic deposits that are mobile in the subsurface. It is the mobility of salt that makes it such an interesting and complex material to study. As a rock, salt is almost unique in that it can deform rapidly under geological conditions, reacting on slopes ≤0.5° dip and behaving much like a viscous fluid. Salt has a negligible yield strength and so is easy to deform, principally by differential sedimentary or tectonic loading. Significant differences in rheology and behavioural characteristics exist between the individual evaporitic deposits. Wet salt deforms largely by diffusion creep, especially under low strain rates and when differential stresses are low. Basins that contain salt therefore evolve and deform more complexly than basins where salt is absent. The addition of halokinetic processes to the geodynamic history of a basin can lead to a plethora of architectures and geometries. The rich variety of resultant morphologies have considerable economic as well as academic interest.

Historically, salt has played an important role in petroleum exploration since the Spindletop Dome discovery in Beaumont, Texas in 1906. Today, much of the prime interest in salt tectonics still derives from the petroleum industry because many of the world's largest hydrocarbon provinces reside in salt-related sedimentary basins (e.g. Gulf of Mexico, North Sea, Campos Basin, Lower Congo Basin, Santos Basin and Zagros). An understanding of

You do not currently have access to this article.

Figures & Tables

Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Salt Tectonics, Sediments and Prospectivity

G. I. Alsop
G. I. Alsop
University of Aberdeen, UK
Search for other works by this author on:
S. G. Archer
S. G. Archer
University of Aberdeen, UK
Search for other works by this author on:
A. J. Hartley
A. J. Hartley
University of Aberdeen, UK
Search for other works by this author on:
N. T. Grant
N. T. Grant
ConocoPhillips UK Ltd, Aberdeen, UK
Search for other works by this author on:
R. Hodgkinson
R. Hodgkinson
Bowleven plc, Edinburgh, UK
Search for other works by this author on:
Geological Society of London
Volume
363
ISBN electronic:
9781862396111
Publication date:
January 01, 2012

GeoRef

References

Related

Citing Books via

Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal