Mineral resources and geopressured-geothermal energy
Published:January 01, 1991
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Stanley R. Riggs, Samuel P. Ellison, Jr., William L. Fisher, William E. Galloway, Mary L. W. Jackson, Robert A. Morton, 1991. "Mineral resources and geopressured-geothermal energy", The Gulf of Mexico Basin, Amos Salvador
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The Gulf of Mexico basin is best known for its vast and widespread oil and gas resources. They have been described in the preceding chapter of this volume. The basin, however, also contains important deposits of phosphate, lignite, and sulfur and small deposits of uranium. In addition, salt from several salt domes is produced by underground and solution mining and is used principally as a chemical feedstock for the manufacture of many industrial products. Large volumes of geopressured-geothermal water are also known from the Tertiary sediments of the Gulf of Mexico basin, particularly around its northern margin. It often contains natural gas in solution. This overpressured, gas-bearing hot water may someday be an important source of thermal and kinetic energy; it is now just a gleam in the eye of imaginative energy tacticians.
The phosphate deposits of Florida and southeastern Georgia, the Florida Phosphogenic Province, represent about 75 percent of the total domestic phosphate production, and ranged between 34 and 28 percent of the total world production between 1983 and 1987.
Important lignite deposits, for the most part of Eocene age, are known from the Gulf of Mexico basin. Two-thirds of the lignite is found in Texas, but it occurs also in parts of northeastern Mexico, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama. Modest resources of Upper Cretaceous bituminous coal are found in northeastern Mexico.
Once an important industry, the production of sulfur from the caprocks of some of the many salt domes in the U.S. Gulf Coastal Plain and shallow
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The Gulf of Mexico Basin
Eighteen chapters deal with the entire Gulf of Mexico basin. Included are significant contributions from Mexican geologists. Nine topical chapters cover regional aspects of physiography and bathymetry, structural framework, the basement crust, salt tectonics and listric faulting, igneous activity, seismic stratigraphy, oil and gas resources, mineral resources and geopressured-geothermal energy, and ground water. Six chapters summarize regional stratigraphy and paleogeography for the pre-Triassic, Triassic-Jurassic, Lower Cretaceous, Upper Cretaceous, Cenozoic, and late Quaternary. Also included is a synthesis of the origin and development of the Gulf of Mexico basin. Six 4-color plates summarize the bathymetry, natural resources, tectonics, and basement structure and subcrop of the region, and provide a stratigraphic correlation chart and geologic cross sections.