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Production of oil in the Tertiary formations of the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast is distributed in elongate trends that parallel the present coast. These trends coincide with the distribution of shallow marine and brackish sedimentary facies in the producing zones. There are also three prominent crosstrends along which the majority of the production is concentrated. These coincide with the three transverse embayments that cut perpendicularly across the elongate producing trends. These crosstrends indicate the intersection of another set of sedimentary conditions which are related to the embayments.
Sedimentary facies is defined as the present aspect of the rock, including its fossil content. Fossil assemblages in the Recent characterize environments, such as brackish, continental shelf, and continental slope. These relationships seem to be readily applicable to the Tertiary, but the various methods of applying them, all require a broad empirical base of stratigraphic correlation. The network method of stratal correlation is described and the facies nature of formation and of fossil zones is discussed against the combined background of faunal control in the Recent and network of correlations in the Tertiary.
Sedimentary facies and stratigraphy in the Gulf Coast Upper Tertiary are applied to two general problems. First, the presence and probable character of the Gulf Coast geosyncline are considered; second, the stratigraphic and facies data are applied to the problem of subsidence under load.
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