Late Mesozoic and Cenozoic Kinematic Reconstruction: Assessment of Late Cretaceous Magmatism and Source-To-Sink Configuration in the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico



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It has been demonstrated that emplacement of 92-108 Ma post-breakup alkalic magmatism and attendant structural culminations in Louisiana and Arkansas facilitated mid-Cretaceous surface uplift, development of unconformities in updip areas, and incision of fringinng reefs along the northern Gulf of Mexico thereby promoting the development of depositional fairways that permitted transport of Late Cretaceous course siliclastic sediments into the deep water gulf. To the west, the Balcones Igneous Province, exposed for 397 km from Austin to Carizo Springs, Texas, was emplaced between 83.5 and 72.4 Ma. Should this hypothesis for the mechanism driving incision and siliciclastic transport past the fringing carbonate reef due to the Sabine and Monroe uplifts prove to be valid, it is possible that surface uplift above the Balcones igneous province and Llano uplift could have produced the same effect. Additionally, it has long been acknowledged that sedimentation, such as that from an influx of Paleocene sediments, is a driving factor of deformational extension in the Gulf of Mexico, though there have been no previous attempts to quantify it. This is a process most easily acheived through structural restoration. For this thesis, I fully interpreted fautls, salt bodies, and 16 horizons on two GulfSPAN regional 2D seismic reflection profiles guided by well ties from 48 available wells, seismic attributes, and previous interpretations in proximal areas. I also conducted a full line-length kinematic reconstruction on GulfSPAN line 2450 from the Holocene to the Middle Jurassic using 2D Move restoration software, and calculated extension based on the results. GulfSPAN line 2450 was restored in 12 time steps back to the Middle Jurassic, revealing the paleobathymetric surface at each step and providing insight into paleodepositional settings. Measurements of extension from the Pliocene to the Middle Jurassic revealed rates of extension that show generally low rates in the Cretaceous and Paleocene that increase and peak in the Oligocene with modest rates through the Middle Miocene before tapering off. Finally, 2D seismic interpretation delineated 5 sets of slope canyons fed from Paleocene age delta systems. I interpret this system to have been driven by surface uplift on land 10 to 30 Mya later in the Balcones Igneous province than in the Sabine and Monroe uplifts to the east.



Gulf of Mexico, Reconstruction, Extensions, Source to sink, Cenozoic, Mesozoic, Magmatism, Kinematic, Wilcox