Abstract

The geometry and distribution of salt structures in the East Texas Basin, shown in an isometric block diagram, reveal that a minimum of ∼1,500 m of mid-Jurassic Louann Salt accumulated in a north-northeast–trending trough floored by thinned continental crust. Above a threshold thickness of ∼600 m, salt was mobilized by (1) loading beneath a carbonate wedge, (2) differential loading by prograding terrigenous clastics, and (3) basin-edge tilting and erosion. Salt structures evolved from salt pillows to active diapirs with maximum gross growth rates of 400 to 530 m/m.y.; each stage lasted 10 to 30 m.y. Three generations of diapirs were successively activated in different areas by different forces.

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