Allochthonous salt, structure and stratigraphy of the northeastern Gulf of Mexico
Bally, Albert W.
Master of Arts
The kinematic evolution of allochthonous salt sheets in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico proceeds in three stages. (1) Since its middle Jurassic deposition the Louann Salt was loaded by sediments causing episodic basinward movement and by the end of Lower Cretaceous concentration of salt masses in a slope environment. (2) A regime of starved sedimentation during Late Cretaceous and early Oligocene is responsible for the stabilization of these early salt accumulations. (3) Finally during Neogene-Pliocene, with renewed rapid accumulation of sediments, salt tongues and allochthonous salt sheets formed by gravity spreading within younger sediments on the slope. Autochthonous salt structures, salt tongues and allochthonous salt sheets represent the typical stages for the evolution of allochthonous salt sheets. The down-to-the-basin major growth faults separate allochthonous salt from its feeder stock.