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Quantitative basin analysis techniques were used to study the structural history of Jurassic, Cretaceous, and Tertiary sediments in northern Louisiana, based on geological and geophysical data from 140 petroleum wells and 8 seismic lines. The uniformly distributed wells provide good control, on the regional scale, of the present day geometries of Cretaceous and Tertiary sediments. Seismic lines were used to identify deep Jurassic sediments, especially the Louann salt.

The structural history in northern Louisiana can be separated into five major stages: (1) Jurassic rifting and extension; (2) Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous subsidence; (3) mid-Cretaceous upwarping and westward tilting; (4) Late Cretaceous and Early Tertiary subsidence; and (5) Tertiary flexural downwarping. The regional tectonics and structures impact both the regional sediment deposition and lithology distribution. The hydrocarbon generation, migration and accumulation can be tied to the structural and depositional features. The dynamic salt movement associated with structural evolution could enhance the likelihood of hydrocarbon accumulations in sediments around salt diapirs.

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