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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 69 (1985)

Issue: 2. (February)

First Page: 306

Last Page: 306

Title: Glacial Cycles, Hydrocarbon Generation and Salt Tectonics on Louisiana Slope: ABSTRACT

Author(s): Frank R. Shaffer, Allen Lowrie

Article Type: Meeting abstract


In the northern Gulf of Mexico, maximum growth on regional down-to-the-south faults, maximum salt tectonics, and the timing of maximum oil generation are synchronous. Sedimentary pulses triggered by glacial cycles are recognized to correlate well with the maxima. Synchrony of glacial, structural, and sedimentary events suggest a cause and effect relationship.

During major glacial events, up to an 8-fold increase in melt water had an order of magnitude increase in the amount of sediment brought to the northern Gulf of Mexico. Eight discrete upper Pleistocene sediment packages have been identified in seismic profiles. Likewise, approximately 8 major growth fault trends are recognized on the Louisiana slope. The causal effect of increased lithostatic pressure owing to rapid deposition on underlying plastic salt promotes flowage that activates regional faults and accelerates salt tectonics. Higher biological productivity during glacial maximas and contemporaneous regressive sands explain higher concentrations of hydrocarbons during maximum structural and stratigraphic activity.

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Copyright 1997 American Association of Petroleum Geologists