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Abstract

The geology of the deep Gulf of Mexico basin can be interpreted only by means of geophysical data, since few direct geologic data are available. The purpose of this chapter, therefore, is to review the seismic stratigraphy and geologic setting of the deep Gulf of Mexico basin and adjacent margins as inferred mainly from the interpretation of seismic reflection data. The deep Gulf of Mexico basin as used in this chapter is bathymetrically the deepest part of the basin (Fig. 1). The area is also part of the structurally deepest part of the basin and is underlain by a thick section (as much as 9 to 10 km) of generally undeformed sedimentary rocks overlying basement (Fig. 2). The term deep, therefore, refers both to the structural configuration of the basin as well as the depth of water. The margins of the deep basin are defined either by areas of deformed sedimentary rocks or steep escarpments that disrupt the seismic record and limit the correlation of strata in the deep basin with the better defined geology of the adjacent shallower parts of the basin (Figs. 1 and 2). The areas of deformation include the Campeche-Sigsbee Knolls to the southwest, the Mexican Ridges to the west, and the Sigsbee Escarpment to the north, which marks the southern limit of the extensively deformed Texas-Louisiana Slope (Fig. 1). The steep escarpments include the Florida Escarpment to the east and the Campeche Escarpment to the south (Figs. 1 and 2). In the southeastern Gulf the

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