About This Item

Share This Item

The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 69 (1985)

Issue: 2. (February)

First Page: 304

Last Page: 305

Title: Crust Type and Structure, Northern Gulf of Mexico: an Ocean Bottom Seismograph-Air Gun Seismic Transect: ABSTRACT

Author(s): D. S. Sawyer, Y. Nakamura, W. O'Brien, J. Ebeniro

Article Type: Meeting abstract


End_Page 304------------------------------

In November to December 1983, the University of Texas and the U.S. Geological Survey conducted a seismic experiment that attempted to measure crustal and upper mantle depths and velocities along a transect of the Gulf of Mexico south of Galveston, Texas. The transect is composed of 5 along-strike lines spaced to span the continental shelf and slope and reaching the deep basin. Two 2,000-in.3, 2,000-psi air guns were fired simultaneously at 30-sec intervals at 5 knots for a shot spacing of 77 m. The signals were recorded by digital ocean-bottom seismographs with vertical geophones. Four seismographs were placed along each 90-km line. The seismic sections obtained are densely sampled and fully reversed, about half showing seismic arrivals at the full range of the line.

We find that the deep Gulf of Mexico is, as expected, underlain by oceanic crust. On the outer slope, we see deeply penetrating arrivals from below thick salt, and we find that this crust is thicker than the oceanic crust. North of the thick salt, we see the crust thinning to nearly the thickness of oceanic crust. Although this crust may be seismically indistinguishable from oceanic crust, we believe it to be highly extended continental crust. We interpret the two northern lines to show northward thickening, extended continental crust.

End_of_Article - Last_Page 305------------

Copyright 1997 American Association of Petroleum Geologists