Anatomy of an exposed vertical salt weld and flanking strata, La Popa Basin, Mexico
Mark G. Rowan, Timothy F. Lawton, Katherine A. Giles, 2012. "Anatomy of an exposed vertical salt weld and flanking strata, La Popa Basin, Mexico", Salt Tectonics, Sediments and Prospectivity, G. I. Alsop, S. G. Archer, A. J. Hartley, N. T. Grant, R. Hodgkinson
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La Popa Weld in La Popa Basin, Mexico, is a 24 km long near-vertical structure with a prominent bend approximately halfway along its length. Halokinetic folding, local unconformities and diapir-derived detritus in flanking strata document a precursor salt wall. Shortening during the latest Cretaceous to Eocene Hidalgoan Orogeny squeezed the salt wall to form the weld. Deformation varies significantly along the weld. The northwestern third has remnant gypsum (including a diapir at the northwestern end), little large-scale folding of flanking strata and only background fracture intensity. Directly NW of the bend are pods of gypsum linked by complete welds, a large-scale cuspate anticlinal geometry and significant fracturing within 5–10 m of the weld. The southeastern half is completely welded with no remnant gypsum, a prominent cuspate anticlinal geometry and a 50 m wide damage zone. The variable deformation was controlled by the original width of the salt wall and the amount and direction of shortening. Where orthogonal to the wall, shortening locally closed the diapir but little further deformation took place. Where oblique, shortening caused post-weld dextral strike-slip movement and significant fracturing and shearing of the wall rock. The resulting deformation variability likely impacted the sealing capability of the weld.