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Facies Characterization of Gulf Coast Basin Delta Systems, with Some Holocene Analogues
W. L. Fisher
Two basic types of delta systems contributed significantly to accumulation of the thick, Mesozoic-Cenozoic, terrigenous fill of the Gulf Coast Basin. High-constructive and high-destructive systems are distinguished on gross facies composition. High-constructive systems consist largely of fluvial and fluvially influenced facies; high-destructive systems are made up predominantly of marine facies. Variants of these two basic types, including high-constructive lobate and elongate systems and high-destructive wave dominated and tide dominated systems, are recognized on basis of specific facies composition, facies geometry, vertical sequence and pattern, lateral facies distribution, facies association, and net sand pattern.
Examples of high-constructive delta systems occur in the Lower Wilcox of Texas, Louisiana, and western Mississippi, the Yegua and Jackson of Texas, the Woodbine of northeastern Texas, and the Cotton Valley of Mississippi and Louisiana; a Holocene analogue of these systems is the Mississippi Delta system of the Gulf of Mexico. High-destructive delta systems, exclusively of the wave-dominated variety, characterize deposition of the Upper Wilcox, the Vicksburg, and Frio of Texas; Holocene analogues include the Rhone, Po, Apalachicola, and Tabasco delta systems.
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