Halokinetic effects on submarine channel equilibrium profiles and implications for facies architecture: conceptual model illustrated with a case study from Magnolia Field, Gulf of Mexico
Ian A. Kane, David T. Mcgee, Zane R. Jobe, 2012. "Halokinetic effects on submarine channel equilibrium profiles and implications for facies architecture: conceptual model illustrated with a case study from Magnolia Field, Gulf of Mexico", Salt Tectonics, Sediments and Prospectivity, G. I. Alsop, S. G. Archer, A. J. Hartley, N. T. Grant, R. Hodgkinson
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In Magnolia Field, deepwater sediments were affected during deposition by allochthonous salt. Pleistocene channel systems developed on a salt flank and were initially deeply incised close to the salt but progressively avulsed down the lateral slope, each time with decreasing depth of incision. Following this degradational stage, a lobe developed on top of the channel fills and a large-scale aggradational system developed. A conceptual model of submarine channel development adjacent to active topography has been developed from this dataset. Channels may become deeply entrenched during stages of salt growth, but only where flow frequency and magnitude are sufficient to outpace topographic growth. Where flows are less frequent topographic growth may present a barrier to successive flows, causing avulsion. The large-scale cycles of salt growth and withdrawal commonly recognized in subsurface systems, combined with eustatic sea-level changes, may result in a cyclic style of evolution whereby channels initially become entrenched and/or step away from the growing topography, switching to backfilling as salt growth slows or pauses, followed by a distributive-style as the entire system backsteps. During salt withdrawal the equilibrium profile may become relatively raised and channels may develop an aggradational style. In these settings, significant cross-channel facies asymmetry may result.