Abstract

Deaf Smith County in the Texas Panhandle is being considered by the U.S. Department of Energy as a possible high-level nuclear-waste disposal site. Among the geologic issues being considered are the timing and processes of salt dissolution and related subsidence. Movement along northeast-trending Paleozoic faults in the Texas Panhandle appears to have influenced deposition during the late Paleozoic. Salt of the Upper Permian Seven Rivers Formation appears to have been dissolved preferentially along the same northeast trend. Structural features of post-Seven Rivers strata as well as segments of surface stream valleys overlie and are parallel to the zone of preferential salt dissolution. The association of structure, depositional features, dissolution, and physiographic features, ranging in age from Paleozoic to Neogene, suggests a persistent structural influence.

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