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AAPG Bulletin

Abstract

AAPG Bulletin, V. 91, No. 2 (February 2007), P. 215-234.

Copyright copy2007. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists. All rights reserved.

DOI:10.1306/08290605190

Seismic geomorphology, lithology, and evolution of the late Pleistocene Mars-Ursa turbidite region, Mississippi Canyon area, northern Gulf of Mexico

Derek E. Sawyer,1 Peter B. Flemings,2 R. Craig Shipp,3 Charles D. Winker4

1Department of Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University, 313 Deike Building, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802; [email protected]
2Department of Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University, 307 Deike Building, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802; [email protected]
3Shell International Exploration and Production, Bellaire Technology Center, 3737 Bellaire Blvd., Houston, Texas 77025; [email protected]
4Shell International Exploration and Production, Bellaire Technology Center, 3737 Bellaire Blvd., Houston, Texas 77025; [email protected]

ABSTRACT

The interplay between sedimentation and erosion during the late Pleistocene in the Mars-Ursa region, northern Gulf of Mexico, resulted in a complex compartmentalized reservoir. Rapid deposition, directly downdip of the Mississippi River beginning about 70 k.y., quickly filled antecedent topography in the Mars-Ursa region with a thick accumulation of sand and mud called the ldquoblue unit.rdquo This permeable reservoir was rapidly and asymmetrically buried by thick, mud-rich levees of two channel-levee systems. Both systems plunged from north to south with a steeper gradient than the underlying blue unit. Rotated channel-margin slides present in both channel-levee systems rotated low-permeability, mud-rich levee deposits beneath the sand-rich channel fill. As a result of the channel-levee systems, the east-west hydraulic connectivity of the blue unit decreases progressively from north to south until its eastern and western halves become completely separated.

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