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Abstract

Recently available seismic and log data indicate that the geologic section on the southern Louisiana shelf can be divided into at least two separate and distinct structural realms, separated by a regional detachment. In some portions of the shelf, extensive deformation along, above, and below this surface is associated with salt movement and shallower listric growth faults that flatten with depth along a primary weld. In other portions deformation is limited and the upper detachment is only the youngest of several stacked detachments. The former area, where the greatest horizontally injected salt creates divergence in dips across the detachment, has been the focus of most of the recent sub-salt drilling. In the deeper Plio-Miocene section there is a combination of salt welds, pillows, stocks and piercements, older detachment surfaces, faulting, apparent unconformities, compressional folds, and remnant salt features. Success in the location of sub-salt reservoir sands is dependent on the recognition and understanding of these structural variations and their influence on sand distribution.

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