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Abstract: Salt Sheet Emplacement and Secondary Deformation in the
Northern Gulf of Mexico; A Case Study Using Three
Dimensional Post Stack Depth Migrated Seismic Data
The emplacement and subsequent deformation of laterally extensive salt sheets in the Northern Gulf of Mexico has been studied using three dimensional post-stack depth migrated seismic data. The specific study area is located in the southern portion of the shelf area offshore Louisiana. This study defined a sequence of salt sheet emplacement and deformation which included the original emplacement of salt massifs and their subsequent secondary deformation into laterally extensive salt sheets and remobilized salt domes. Geometric relationships between the top and base of salt, and the surrounding sediments indicate that Jurassic age salt was originally mobilized and emplaced as large, flat topped massifs, and has subsequently evacuated from those areas under the influence of gravity spreading and sediment loading. The remobilized salt from those original massifs has formed laterally extensive salt sheets and secondary salt domes. The coalescence of the salt sheets has formed a regionally extensive salt canopy. These deformation processes have occurred relatively near the sea floor. Physical models of salt deformation simulate many of the gross deformation mechanisms observed in nature.
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