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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 67 (1983)

Issue: 8. (August)

First Page: 1245

Last Page: 1274

Title: Evolution of Salt Structures, East Texas Diapir Province, Part 2: Patterns and Rates of Halokinesis

Author(s): S. J. Seni, M. P. A. Jackson (2)


The effects of salt mobilization on Aptian and younger (post-112 Ma) strata in the East Texas basin can be used to illustrate patterns of dome growth through time, and to estimate rates and amounts of salt movement.

Pre-Aptian domes grew in three areas around the margin of the diapir province, apparently in pre-Aptian depocenters. Maximum dome growth along the basin axis coincided with maximum regional sedimentation there during the middle Cretaceous (Aptian, Albian, and Cenomanian). In the Late Cretaceous the sites of maximum diapirism migrated to the periphery of the diapir province. Diapirism began after pillows were erosionally breached, leading to salt extrusion and formation of peripheral sinks.

The duration of pillow and diapir stages of growth was subequal, ranging from 10 to 30 Ma. Post-diapiric stage of growth continued for more than 112 Ma in some cases. Diapirs grew fastest in the Early Cretaceous, when peak growth rates ranged from 150 to 530 m/Ma (490 to 1,740 ft/Ma), declining in the Early Tertiary to 10 to 60 m/Ma (30 to 200 ft/Ma). Assuming steady-state conditions over periods of 1 to 17 Ma, strain rates for the rise of the East Texas diapirs averaged 6.7 × 10-16/sec; peak gross rate of growth averaged 2.3 × 10-15/sec, similar to slow orogenic rates. The evolution of East Texas salt domes essentially ended in the early Tertiary with uplift rates less than 30 m/Ma (100 ft/Ma).

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