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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 69 (1985)

Issue: 2. (February)

First Page: 309

Last Page: 310

Title: Trinity Shoal: a Reworked Deltaic Barrier on Louisiana Continental Shelf: ABSTRACT

Author(s): John R. Suter, Shea Penland, Thomas F. Moslow

Article Type: Meeting abstract


Abandonment and reworking of deltaic complexes of the Holocene Mississippi River have produced a series of sandy shoals on the muddy Louisiana continental shelf. Trinity shoal, one of these transgressive deposits, is located 30 km offshore of Atchafalaya Bay and the Point AuFer-March

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Island shell reefs. Approximately 1,000 km of high-resolution uniboom and 3.5 kHz subbottom-profile seismic data, taken in this area in 1983 and 1984, provide the data base for this study.

Trinity shoal, associated with the abandoned Maringouin delta complex, is a lunate shore-parallel feature approximately 36 km long and 5-10 km wide. Relief on the shoal ranges from 2 to 3 m, and minimum water depths over the shoal vary from -5 to -2 m. The shoal sand body is from 5 to 7 m thick and is composed largely of parallel to low-angle clinoform reflectors. Several levels of buried fluvial channels, ranging in age from early Wisconsinian to Holocene, are associated with the shoal deposit. The occurrence of channel features within the shoal sand itself suggests the presence of tidal inlets, indicating a possible barrier-island origin for the shoal.

The underlying deltaic sediments reach approximately 15 m in thickness and are made up of low-angle clinoform reflectors dipping to the southwest. Distributary, bay-fill, estuarine, and buried oyster-reef deposits can be recognized, making these similar to modern Atchafalaya delta deposits. Continued progradation of the Atchafalaya delta will probably result in burial of the Trinity shoal and Maringouin delta deposits by fine-grained sediments, giving these shoal deposits a high-preservation potential and creating an excellent stratigraphic trap.

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