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Title: Structure and tectonics of the salt and shale provinces, Western Gulf of Mexico
Author: Salomón-Mora, Luis Enrique
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2013
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The Western Gulf of Mexico has been researched over an area of about 30,000 km2 based on recently acquired 2D and 3D seismic data tied to onshore and offshore exploratory wells. Accordingly, geology, plate tectonic evolution and petroleum systems have been described. Similarly, a new stratigraphic and structural framework has been proposed for the western passive margin characterised by gravity tectonics and a regional linked system of landward extension, intermediate salt and shale tectonics, and basinward contractional tectonic provinces. The regional extensional-contractional system, specifically the Western Salt province, has been investigated in detail to distinguish between salt and shale-related deformation considering criteria on seismic signature and mechanisms of deformation. Twelve seismic horizons, faults and salt polygons were mapped and depth converted. Moreover, structural styles and geometries of growth strata were analysed and combined with balance and restoration of cross-sections to interpret age of tectonic-structural deformation and timing of formation of potential hydrocarbon traps. As a result of this analysis, it was determined a tectonic evolution where extensional systems prograded basinward from the late Oligocene to the present time synchronously, in part, with contractional folding systems, overprinting deformation in some sectors. Total extension exceeds total contraction by up to 50-100% approximately, in particular out of the influence of salt tectonics. This and other structural parameters were compared with analogous salt and shale passive margins. This research demonstrated that deformation in this salt province was preferably evacuated to shallow allochthonous salt, leaving welded salt feeders and salt-based detachments. It is proposed that the autochthonous salt basin occupied an area less extensive than previously suggested, reaching a maximum thickness of 1500 m. Finally, structural-sedimentary interplay and hydrocarbon prospectivity of dominant salt and shale-related structures have been discussed. Future exploratory activities have been recommended based on findings and conclusions of this research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Pemex Exploración y Producción (PEP) ; Mexico; Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia (CONACyT) ; Mexico ; Secretaria de Energia (SENER)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Geology ; Structural