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September 2015 LGS Luncheon


Mesozoic Carbonate Rafts Above and Keel Structures at the Base of Shallow Salt Canopies: Exotic Processes at work in the Deep-water Northern Gulf of Mexico

Seismic correlations and well data confirm that deep-water carbonate beds of Mesozoic age have been found above the shallow allochthonous salt canopy in the northern Gulf of Mexico. These rafts of carbonate strata often overlie equivalent age Mesozoic carbonates in their correct stratigraphic position below the salt canopy. The presence of displaced Mesozoic carbonate rafts above the canopy raises two important questions: 1) how did Mesozoic strata get to such a shallow level in the basin statigraphy? and 2) what effect do high velocity carbonates have on seismic imaging below shallow salt?

The origin of keel structures is presently not well understood. Empirical observations suggest that keels form in response to at least two types of subsalt deformation. The first of these two types links keels to a detachment within Oligocene-to-Eocene strata. The second type of keel-related deformation links keel formation to faults associated with extension over deep salt structures. As deformation occurs after shallow canopy emplacement, the keels are fairly recent developments geologically. Volumetrically few but intriguing observations suggest possible basement involvement in keel formation.


Joseph Carl FidukCarl head shot

I have a B.S. and M.S. degree in Geology from the University of Florida. I have an M.B.A degree from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin and a Ph.D. in Geology and Geophysics from the University of Texas at Austin. I have worked for the USGS, Gulf Oil, Discovery Logging, the Texas Bureau of Economic Geology, British Petroleum, Texas A&M University, the University of Texas, the University of Colorado, CGG and CGGVeritas, and WesternGeco/Schlumberger. I am currently a consulting geologist working in Houston, TX.

My research interests cover marine sedimentology, coastal and shelfal clastic deposition, salt structural deformation and evolution, basin analysis, shelf margin to deep marine depositional processes, petroleum systems analysis, and the use of three-dimensional seismic data in petroleum exploration. Most recently I am involved in salt-sediment interaction research in the Flinders Ranges, South Australia and fluvial deltaic deposition in the Cretaceous Seaway of NW Colorado. I teach training classes on seismic interpretation and salt tectonics for Nautilus U.S.A. and local geologic societies. I am currently Past-President of the Gulf Coast Section SEPM. In my 30+ years as a working geologist I have published 80+ peer-reviewed abstracts and papers.


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