Influence of Minibasin Obstruction on Canopy Dynamics in the northern Gulf of Mexico

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Naiara Fernandez, Oliver B. Duffy, Frank Peel, Michael Hudec


In salt-detached gravity-gliding/spreading systems the detachment geometry is a key control on the downslope mobility of the supra-salt sequence. Here we used regional 3D seismic data to examine a salt-stock canopy in the northern Gulf of Mexico slope, in an area where supra-canopy minibasins subsided vertically and translated downslope above a complex base-of-salt. If thick enough, minibasins can interact with, and weld to, the base-of-salt and be obstructed from translating downslope. Based on the regional maps of the base of allochthonous salt and the base of the supra-canopy sequence, the key controls on minibasin obstruction, we distinguished two structural domains in the study area: a highly obstructed domain and a highly mobile domain. Large-scale translation of the supra-canopy sequence is recorded in the mobile domain by a far-travelled minibasin and a ramp syncline basin. These two structures suggest downslope translation on the order of 40 km from Plio-Pleistocene to Present. In contrast, translation was impeded in the obstructed domain due to supra-canopy bucket minibasins subsiding into feeders during the Pleistocene. As a result, we infer that differential translation occurred between the two domains and argue that a deformation area between two differentially translating supra-canopy minibasin domains is difficult to recognize. However, characterizing domains according to base-of-salt geometry and supra-canopy minibasin configuration can be helpful in identifying domains that may share similar subsidence and downslope translation histories.



Earth Sciences, Geology, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Tectonics and Structure


salt tectonics, Gulf of Mexico, minibasin, minibasin obstruction, Sigsbee Canopy


Published: 2020-05-17 07:12

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GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) 2.1

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