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Abstract

The information contained in the preceding chapters of this volume is clear evidence of the significant progress that has been made in understanding the geologic and geophysical composition and geologic history of the Gulf of Mexico basin. Many uncertainties remain, however; many questions are still unanswered, and many fundamental problems are yet to be solved.

Our current advanced knowledge of the basin is the result of the persistent collection during the last 100 years of a great volume of geological and geophysical information, most of it by the petroleum industry in its search for oil and gas accumulations, but also by geologists and geophysicsts from national and state geological surveys and academic institutions.

It is safe to say that, for many years now, the Gulf of Mexico basin region has been the home of the largest concentrations of geologists and geophysicists anywhere in the world. The region probably can claim to have the densest seismic coverage—unfortunately not all of it in the public domain—and close to 700,000 wells have been drilled throughout the basin, many of them to considerable depths. The amount of geological and geophysical information on the basin is, therefore, voluminous, as are the number of publications on its geologic composition and history.

As mentioned in Chapter 1 of this volume, the collection of geological and geophysical information on the Gulf of Mexico basin progressed from the periphery to the center, from the investigation of the rock outcrops around its margins by the geologists of the oil companies

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