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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 14 (1930)

Issue: 9. (September)

First Page: 1129

Last Page: 1143

Title: Torsion-Balance Survey of Esperson Salt Dome, Liberty County, Texas

Author(s): Donald C. Barton (2)


The Esperson salt dome was discovered in a torsion-balance survey made by the Union Exploration Company late in 1928. The discovery well of the oil field on the dome was completed in the summer of 1929. The torsion-balance survey showed the presence of (1) a large minimum indicating the Esperson dome, (2) a similar minimum due to the South Liberty-Dayton salt dome, and (3) two maxima, one of them due to the interference effect of the Esperson and South Liberty-Dayton minima, and the other to the interference effect of the Esperson minimum and the minima of the Moss Bluff, Lost Lake, and Barbers Hill salt domes. The approximate form and position of the Esperson dome on a northeast-southwest profile were calculated by the writer's chart method. The calculations seem to indi ate that the respective salt cores of the Esperson and South Liberty-Dayton domes must extend to a depth of 15,000± feet and be broader at the base than at the top. The center of the Esperson minimum is shifted about ½ mile south-southeastward from the center of uplift as approximately defined by drilling. Shifts of the center of the minimum away from the center of uplift may be due to (1) asymmetry of the dome, (2) regional gradient, (3) a spine of salt rising into the neutral zone, (4) local anomalies. A certain degree of indefiniteness is inherent in the torsion-balance indication of the exact position and depth of a deep salt dome, but additional uncertainty is produced by some methods of interpretation. The torsion-balance data offer no criteria for determination of the pr sence or absence of deformation of the super-salt beds. Four types of gravity maxima may be present in the Gulf Coast region: (1) salt-dome maxima produced by shallow salt domes, (2) inter-dome maxima produced by the interference effects of the salt-dome minima, (3) structural maxima, and (4) sedimentary maxima.

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