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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 74 (1990)

Issue: 4. (April)

First Page: 407

Last Page: 424

Title: Sequence Stratigraphy of Mississippi Fan Related to Oxygen Isotope Sea Level Index (1)

Author(s): M. H. FEELEY (2), T. C. MOORE, JR. (2), T. S. LOUTIT (2), and W. R. BRYANT (3)


The techniques of sequence stratigraphy were applied to the analysis of stratal patterns on seismic data from the Mississippi Fan to outline a method for (1) understanding the processes and growth patterns of modern submarine fans and (2) predicting reservoir and seal for exploration in deep-water settings. We developed a sea level index from the oxygen isotope record for the last 3.5 m.y. tied to limited biostratigraphic control to provide a time framework within which the depositional patterns were analyzed.

Analysis of the seismic data reveals that at least thirteen depositional sequences comprise the bulk of the Mississippi Fan section. The base of each sequence is defined by an erosional unconformity in a proximal position that can be traced regionally across the fan complex with its correlative conformity.

Seismic facies analysis of individual sequences suggests that the Mississippi Fan is characterized by the cyclic stacking of individual lowstand systems tract deposits consisting dominantly of the lowstand basin-floor and lowstand slope fans. Lowstand slope fans consisting of leveed-channel complexes are volumetrically the greatest component of the Mississippi Fan. Lowstand basin-floor fans commonly are sandy and thin and are associated with the base of each depositional sequence. These fans are characterized by a mounded stratal geometry.

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