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The Smackover-Haynesville of east Texas has long been modeled as a simple progradational carbonate-evaporite ramp. Recent data indicate that the conventional ramp model for this sequence should be abandoned in favor of an evolving rimmed shelf to platform model, forming in response to changes in rate of relative sea level rise during the Late Jurassic. Evidence for Smackover-Haynesville shelves include: (1) thick high-energy carbonates along the basin margin in the Smackover and throughout the Haynesville, (2) low-energy pellet-dominated lagoonal carbonates, evaporites, and evaporitic siliciclastics occurring landward of, and interfingering with, the Smackover and Haynesville basin-margin carbonate barriers, (3) deeper water, open-marine low-energy limestones with black s ales seaward of the basin-margin barriers (Smackover-Gilmer undifferentiated), and (4) the Gilmer shale forms a siliciclastic wedge seaward of the Haynesville basin margin and its zero isopach defines the Kimmeridgian shelf margin. The Smackover and Haynesville seem to represent 2 distinct sedimentologic cycles, with each cycle reflecting an initial relative sea level rise during which a rimmed shelf and lagoon are developed, and a terminal sea level standstill during which the shelf evolved into a high-energy platform. Although these sedimentologic patterns seem compatible with accepted Jurassic sea level curves, they may also reflect differential basin-margin subsidence combined with variable carbonate production rates. Finally, the shelf-platform model more clearly defines future expl ration strategies for Smackover-Haynesville targets in east Texas and perhaps across the Gulf of Mexico, if eustatic sea level changes were the dominant causative factor for shelf development in the Late Jurassic.
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