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Abstract

The sediments of the Oligocene Vicksburg Formation of the McAllen Ranch Field have been attributed to various depositional settings in the past, generally within some sort of deltaic through turbidite setting. Previous interpretations include deltaic deposits (Ritch and Kozik, 1971; Loucks, 1978; Han, 1981) whereas Berg, Marshall, and Shoemaker (1979) favor turbidite channel sandstones associated with overbank deposits. These authors have all described sedimentary features and processes that can be attributed to the depositional setting to which they ascribe, but still the final interpretation is somewhat unsatisfactory to encompass all the sedimentary structures and features comprising these depositional settings. Wach et al. (2002) in their discussion of casing failure in many of the wells in the area of McAllen Ranch have described the succession as a shelf margin delta and argue that it is this depositional setting that contributes to the failure of many of the well bores. This paper will take an in-depth look at the lithological and sedimentological evidence within the sandstone and shale units to support the interpretation of the succession as a shelf margin delta. This interpretation allows past interpretations of deltaic and turbidite features to be melded seamlessly into the interpretation.

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