Salt tectonics on passive margins: examples from Santos, Campos and Kwanza basins
Dave G. Quirk, Niels Schødt, Birgitte Lassen, Steven J. Ings, Dan Hsu, Katja K. Hirsch, Christina Von Nicolai, 2012. "Salt tectonics on passive margins: examples from Santos, Campos and Kwanza basins", Salt Tectonics, Sediments and Prospectivity, G. I. Alsop, S. G. Archer, A. J. Hartley, N. T. Grant, R. Hodgkinson
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Salt flows downslope, irrespective of overburden. In salt basins on passive margins, the salt will tilt and flow towards the ocean immediately after continental rifting has ended due to thermal subsidence. Using real examples, as well as physical and numerical models, tilting is shown to be relatively rapid, enhanced by isostatic rebound updip and loading downdip where salt pools and inflates behind an outer high. In the Santos, Campos and Kwanza basins, this outer high is represented by an embryonic mid-Atlantic ridge, amplified in height by the differential weight of the inflating salt. Widespread extension and translation of overburden, utilizing both seaward- and landward-dipping normal faults, characterizes the early evolution of the inboard region. Inflation and contraction occur outboard, the effects of which tend to expand in a landward direction over time. Rapid accumulation of salt implies wholesale dewatering of pre-salt sediments, the water possibly permeating the salt once it has reached a burial depth of c. 3 km. The process of thermal subsidence, salt drainage and isostatic amplification is an efficient mechanism for moving sediment on passive margins tens of kilometres seaward during a relatively short period and helps explain why great thicknesses of salt can accumulate there in the first place.
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In this timely volume, geoscientists from both industry and academia present a contemporary view of salt at a global scale. The studies examine the influence of salt on synkinematic sedimentation, its role in basin evolution and tectonics, and ultimately in hydrocarbon prospectivity. Recent improvements in seismic reflection, acquisition and processing techniques have led to significant advances in the understanding of salt and sediment interactions, both along the flanks of vertical or overturned salt margins, and in subsalt plays such as offshore Brazil. The book is broadly separated into five major themes covering a variety of geographical and process-linked topics. These are: halokinetic sequence stratigraphy, salt in passive margin settings, Central European salt basins, deformation within and adjacent to salt, and salt in contractional settings and salt glaciers.