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An analysis of approximately 18,074 km (11,231 mi) of high-resolution geophysical records (3.5 kHz and 1,000-joule sparker) in the western Gulf of Mexico has delineated relationships between sedimentation patterns, diapiric activity, tensional tectonic features, and sediment instability. The continental slope of the Gulf of Mexico is the most promising petroleum frontier on the conterminous United States continental margin. However, adequate regional geologic information with which to conduct lease sales and manage lease operations does not exist. Mapping was done at 1:250,000 and selected features were synthesized on a regional scale of 1:1,000,000 as part of the U.S. Geological Survey Continental Margin Mapping Project. Because the reconnaissance spacing of the tracklin s makes topical investigations difficult, in a few areas the U.S. Geological Survey has gathered more closely spaced lines to examine particular features. Analysis of one of these areas near the large slide reported by Lehner in 1969 indicates a possible relationship between rapid sediment loading and diapiric rise.
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