Advertisement

Crustal structure of an extinct, late Jurassic-to-earliest Cretaceous spreading center and its adjacent oceanic crust in the eastern Gulf of Mexico

  • Pin LinEmail author
  • Dale E. Bird
  • Paul Mann
Original Research Paper
  • 6 Downloads

Abstract

An extinct, late Jurassic-to-earliest Cretaceous ridge-and-fracture zone geometry in the western Gulf of Mexico (GOM), and extinct seafloor ridge segments in the eastern Gulf of Mexico (EGOM), were previously identified using the vertical gradient of satellite-derived free-air gravity data. Circular gravity anomaly lows, and magnetic anomaly highs, over the center of spreading ridge segments are interpreted as large volcanic centers that erupted within a late Jurassic-to-earliest Cretaceous, slow-spreading center. Detailed mapping of oceanic basement using oil industry seismic data indicates that the EGOM oceanic ridge system is characterized by 30-60-km-long spreading ridge segments, that include 15-km-wide, 2-km-high axial volcanoes in their centers, and nodal basins at their ends. Stratigraphic evidence from seismic reflection data tied to a deepwater well indicates that volcanism along the spreading ridge ended around the same time (Berriasian), or slightly after (Valanginian), the cessation of seafloor spreading in the EGOM. Flowlines of late Jurassic-to-earliest Cretaceous seafloor, based on a pole of rotation from the geometry of GOM spreading ridges and fracture zones, show a good match with gravity and magnetic anomalies along the Florida and Yucatan conjugate margins of the EGOM. Mapping of age-dated, stratigraphic downlaps onto the oceanic crust is consistent with an interpreted ridge jump at the beginning of seafloor spreading (Kimmeridgian) to the southwest, and in the same southwestward direction of a previously inferred mantle plume in the central GOM. Our 3-D gravity structural inversion of the Moho requires 6.4 km thick oceanic crust in the northwestern EGOM, and 5.5 km thick oceanic crust in southeastern EGOM. We interpret this along-ridge, thickness variation to reflect faster spreading and thicker oceanic crust farther from the opening pole located in the southeastern GOM.

Keywords

Eastern Gulf of Mexico Extinct spreading ridge Post-spreading magmatism Oceanic crustal structure 3-D gravity modeling 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank Mike Saunders at Spectrum Geo for providing the extensive, 2D grid of seismic reflection data that was critical for this study and for providing us permission to publish these results. We thank Gyorgy Marton and Julia Wellner for valuable discussions and Geosoft for providing the University of Houston with the Oasis Montaj potential field interpretation software. Finally, we thank the industry sponsors of the Conjugate Basins, Tectonics, and Hydrocarbons Consortium at the University of Houston for their continued financial support. We thank Ted Godo (Murphy Oil) and Van Mount (Anadarko) for their constructive reviews for this journal.

References

  1. Ángeles-Aquino FJ, Cantú-Chapa A (2001) Chap. 14: Subsurface Upper Jurassic stratigraphy in the Campeche Shelf, Gulf of Mexico. In: Bartolini C, Buffler RT, Cantú-Chapa A (eds), The western Gulf of Mexico Basin. Tectonics, sedimentary basins, and petroleum systems. AAPG Memoir 75, Tulsa, 343–352Google Scholar
  2. Barckhausen U, Engels M, Franke D, Ladage S, Pubellier M (2014) Evolution of the South China Sea: revised ages for breakup and seafloor spreading. Mar Pet Geol 58:599–611CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bécel A, Shillington DJ, Nedimović MR, Webb SC, Kuehn H (2015) Origin of dipping structures in fast-spreading oceanic lower crust offshore Alaska imaged by multichannel seismic data. Earth Planet Sci Lett 424:26–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Besse J, Courtillot V (2002) Apparent and true polar wander and the geometry of the geomagnetic field over the last 200 Myr. J Geophys Res 107(B11):2300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bird D, Burke K, Hall S, Casey J (2005) Gulf of Mexico tectonic history: hotspot tracks, crustal boundaries, and early salt distribution. AAPG Bull 89(3):311–328CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Blakely R (1995) Potential theory in gravity and magnetic applications. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Byerly GR (1991) Igneous activity, the Gulf of Mexico Basin. In: Salvador A (ed), The Geology of North America J. GSA, Boulder, 91–108Google Scholar
  8. Christeson G, Van Avendonk H, Norton I, Snedden J, Eddy D, Karner G, Johnson C (2014) Deep crustal structure in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. J Geophys Res 119(9):6782–6801CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cordell L (1973) Gravity analysis using an exponential density-depth function: San Jacinto graben, California. Geophysics 38(4):684–690CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cregg AK, Ahr WM (1984) Paleoenvironment of an upper Cotton Valley (Knowles Limestone) patch reef, Milam County, Texas. In: Ventress WPS, Bebout DG, Perkins BF, and Moore CH (eds) The Jurassic of the Gulf rim: Gulf Coast Section, SEPM, proceedings of the third annual research conference, pp 41–56Google Scholar
  11. Deighton IC, Winter F, Chisari D (2017) Recent high-resolution seismic, magnetic and gravity data throws new light on the early development of the Gulf of Mexico. In AAPG Annual Meeting Abstracts, HoustonGoogle Scholar
  12. Dobson LM, Buffler RT (1997) Seismic stratigraphy and geological history of Jurassic rocks, northeastern Gulf of Mexico. AAPG Bull 81(1):100–120Google Scholar
  13. Ebeniro JO, O’Brien WP, Shaub FJ (1986) Crustal structure of the South Florida platform, eastern Gulf of Mexico: an ocean-bottom seismograph refraction study. Mar Geophys Res 8(4):363–382CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Eddy D, Van Avendonk H, Christeson G, Norton I, Karner G, Johnson C, Snedden J (2014) Deep crustal structure of the northeastern Gulf of Mexico: implications for rift evolution and seafloor spreading. J Geophys Res 119(9):6802–6822CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Eddy D, Van Avendonk H, Christeson G, Norton I (2018) Structure and origin of the rifted margin of the northern Gulf of Mexico. Geosphere 14(4):1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Escalona A, Yang W (2013) Subsidence controls on foreland basin development of northwestern offshore Cuba, southeastern Gulf of Mexico subsidence controls, northwestern Offshore Cuba. AAPG Bull 97(1):1–25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Finn C, Pilkington M, Cuevas A, Hernandez I, Urrutia J (2001) New digital magnetic anomaly database for North America. Lead Edge 20(8):870–872CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Fox PJ, Gallo DG (1984) A tectonic model for ridge-transform-ridge plate boundaries: Implications for the structure of oceanic lithosphere. Tectonophysics 104(3–4):205–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Galloway WE (2008) Depositional evolution of the Gulf of Mexico sedimentary basin. In: Miall AD (ed), Sedimentary basins of the world 5, pp 505–549Google Scholar
  20. Galloway W, Ganey-Curry P, Li X, Buffler RT (2000) Cenozoic depositional history of the Gulf of Mexico basin. AAPG Bull 84(11):1743–1774Google Scholar
  21. Goldhammer RK, Johnson CA (2001) Middle Jurassic-Upper Cretaceous paleogeographic evolution and sequence-stratigraphic framework of the northwest Gulf of Mexico rim. In: Bartolini C, Buffler RT, Cantú-Chapa A (eds), The western Gulf of Mexico Basin: tectonics, sedimentary basins, and petroleum systems. AAPG Memoir 75, pp 45–81Google Scholar
  22. Haase K, Regelous M, Duncan R, Brandl P, Stroncik N, Grevemeyer I (2011) Insights into mantle composition and mantle melting beneath midocean ridges from post-spreading volcanism on the fossil Galapagos Rise. Geochem Geophys Geosyst 12(5):1–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hall S, Najmuddin IJ (1994) Constraints on the tectonic development of the eastern Gulf of Mexico provided by magnetic anomaly data. J Geophys Res 99(B4):7161–7175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hall S, Casey J, Elthon D (1986) A possible explanation of gravity anomalies over mid-ocean ridges. J Geophys Res 91(B3):3724–3738CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hey RN (1977) A new class of pseudofaults and their bearing on plate tectonics: a propagating rift model. Earth Planet Sci Letters 37:321–325CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hudec M, Norton I, Jackson M, Peel F (2013) Jurassic evolution of the Gulf of Mexico salt basin. AAPG Bull 97(10):1683–1710CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ibrahim A, Carye J, Latham G, Buffler R (1981) Crustal structure in Gulf of Mexico from OBS refraction and multichannel reflection data. AAPG Bull 65(7):1207–1229Google Scholar
  28. Imbert P (2005a) The Mesozoic opening of the Gulf of Mexico: part 1, Evidence for oceanic accretion during and after salt deposition. In: Post PJ et al. (ed), Transactions of the 25th annual GCSSEPM research conference: petroleum systems of divergent continental margins, SEMP, Tulsa, pp 1119–1150Google Scholar
  29. Imbert P, Philippe Y (2005b) The Mesozoic opening of the Gulf of Mexico: part 2, Integrating seismic and magnetic data into a general opening model. In: Post PJ et al. (ed) Transactions of the 25th annual GCSSEPM research conference: petroleum systems of divergent continental margins, SEPM, Tulsa, pp 1151–1189Google Scholar
  30. Jakobsson M, Mayer LA, Coakley B, Dowdeswell JA, Forbes S, Fridman B, Hodnesdal H, Noormets R, Pedersen R, Rebesco M, Schenke H-W, Zarayskaya Y, Accettella AD, Armstrong A, Anderson RM, Bienhoff P, Camerlenghi A, Church I, Edwards M, Gardner JV, Hall JK, Hell B, Hestvik OB, Kristoffersen Y, Marcussen C, Mohammad R, Mosher D, Nghiem SV, Pedrosa MT, Travaglini PG, Weatherall P (2012) The international bathymetric chart of the Arctic Ocean (IBCAO) version 3.0. Geophys Res Lett 39(12):1–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Jonas J, Hall S, Casey J (1991) Gravity anomalies over extinct spreading centers: a test of gravity models of active centers. J Geophys Res 96(B7):11759–11777CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kegel J, Chaikin D, Torry B (2016) New insights from 3D data over an extinct spreading ridge and its implications to deepwater offshore exploration. GCAGS Trans 66:307–312Google Scholar
  33. Kleinrock Martin C, Tucholke BE, Lin J, Tivey MA (1997) Fast rift propagation at a slow-spreading ridge. Geology 25(7), 639–642CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lin P (2018) Crustal structure and tectonostratigraphic evolution of the eastern Gulf of Mexico basin. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Houston, pp 141Google Scholar
  35. Liu B, Li SZ, Jiang SH, Suo YH, Guo LL, Wang YM, Zhang HX (2017) Origin and model of transform faults in the Okinawa Trough. Mar Geophys Res 38(1–2):137–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Macdonald K, Scheirer D, Carbotte S, Fox P (1993) It’s only topography: part 2. GSA Today 3(1):29–35Google Scholar
  37. Mammerickx J, Sandwell D (1986) Rifting of old oceanic lithosphere. J Geophys Res: Solid Earth 91(B2):1975–1988CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Mammerickx J, Naar DF, Tyce RL (1988) The Mathematician paleoplate. J Geophys Res: Solid Earth 93(B4):3025–3040CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Marton G (1995) Jurassic evolution of the southeastern Gulf of Mexico. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, pp 276Google Scholar
  40. Marton G, Buffler R (1994) Comment on Jurassic reconstruction of the Gulf of Mexico Basin. Int Geol Rev 36(6):545–586CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Marton G, Buffler R (1999) Jurassic-early Cretaceous tectono-paleogeographic evolution of the southeastern Gulf of Mexico basin. Sedimentary Basins of the World 4, Elsevier, pp 63–91Google Scholar
  42. May PR (1971) Pattern of Triassic-Jurassic diabase dikes around the North Atlantic in the context of predrift position of the continents. Geol Soc Am Bull (82): 1285–1292Google Scholar
  43. McBride JH, Nelson KD (1988) Integration of COCORP deep reflection and magnetic anomaly analysis in the southeastern United States: implications for origin of the Brunswick and East Coast magnetic anomalies. Geol Soc Am Bull 100(3):436–445CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Morris E, Detrick R, Minshull T, Mutter J, White R, Su W, Buhl P (1992) Seismic structure of oceanic crust in the western North Atlantic. J Geophys Res 98(B8):13879–13903CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Müller RD, Sdrolias M, Gaina C and, and Roest WR (2008) Age, spreading rates, and spreading asymmetry of the world’s ocean crust. Geochem Geophys Geosyst 9(4)Google Scholar
  46. Mutter J, Karson J (1992) Structural processes at slow-spreading ridges. Science 257(5070):627–634CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Nance RD, Gutiérrez-Alonso G, Keppie JD, Linnemann U, Murphy JB, Quesada C, Strachan RA, Woodcock NH (2012) A brief history of the Rheic Ocean. Geosci Front 3(2):125–135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Nguyen L, Mann P (2016) Gravity and magnetic constraints on the Jurassic opening of the oceanic Gulf of Mexico and the location and tectonic history of the Western Main transform fault along the eastern continental margin of Mexico. Interpretation 4(1):SC23–SC33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Osler J, Louden K (1995) Extinct spreading center in the Labrador Sea: Crustal structure from a two-dimensional seismic refraction velocity model. J Geophys Res 100(B2):2261–2278CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Parker R (1973) The rapid calculation of potential anomalies. Geophys J Int 31(4):447–455CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Pindell J, Kennan L (2009) Tectonic evolution of the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean and northern South America in the mantle reference frame: an update. In James KH, Lorente MA, Pindell JL (eds), The origin and evolution of the caribbean plate. Geo Soc London Spec Publ, Geological Society, London 328(1): pp 1–55Google Scholar
  52. Pindell J, Miranda CE, Cerón A, Hernandez L (2016) Aeromagnetic map constrains Jurassic–Early Cretaceous synrift, break up, and rotational seafloor spreading history in the Gulf of Mexico, Mesozoic of the Gulf Rim and Beyond: New Progress in Science and Exploration of the Gulf of Mexico Basin. In: Lowery CM, Snedden JW, Rosen NC (eds), 35th Annual Gulf Coast section SEPM foundation Perkins-Rosen research conference, GCSSEPM Foundation, Houston, TX, USA: 123–153Google Scholar
  53. Ranero C, Banda E, Buhl P (1997a) The crustal structure of the Canary Basin: Accretion processes at slow spreading centers. J Geophys Res 102(B5):10185–10201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Ranero CR, Reston TJ, Belykh I, Gribidenko H (1997b) Reflective crust formed at a fast-spreading center in the Pacific. Geology 25(6):499–502CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Reid I, Jackson H (1981) Oceanic spreading rate and crustal thickness. Mar Geophys Res 5(2):165–172Google Scholar
  56. Row L, Dunbar P, Hastings D (1995) TerrainBase: Worldwide digital terrain data. National Geophysical Data Center, available online at http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov
  57. Salvador A (1991) Triassic-Jurassic, the Gulf of Mexico Basin. In: Salvador A (ed) The Geology of North America J. Geological Society of America, Boulder, Colorado, pp 131–18Google Scholar
  58. Sandwell DT, Smith WHF (2009) Global marine gravity from retracked Geosat and ERS-1 altimetry: Ridge segmentation versus spreading rate. J Geophys Res 114 B01411CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Sandwell D, Müller R, Smith W, Garcia E, Francis R (2014) New global marine gravity model from CryoSat-2 and Jason-1 reveals buried tectonic structure. Science 346(6205):65–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Sawyer DS, Buffler RT, Pilger RH Jr (1991) The crust under the Gulf of Mexico Basin. In: Salvador A (ed), Gulf of Mexico Basin. Geol Soc of America, The Geology of North America, Boulder, pp 53–72Google Scholar
  61. Schultz R, Okubo C, Wilkins S (2006) Displacement-length scaling relations for faults on the terrestrial planets. J Struct Geol 28(12):2182–2193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Snedden J, Eddy D, Christeson G, Van Avendonk H, Olson H, Ganey-Curry P, Norton I (2013) A new temporal model for eastern Gulf of Mexico Mesozoic deposition. GCAGS Trans 63:609–612Google Scholar
  63. Snedden J, Norton I, Christeson G, Sanford J (2014) Interaction of deepwater deposition and a mid-ocean spreading center, eastern Gulf of Mexico Basin, USA. GCAGS Trans 64:371–383Google Scholar
  64. Steinberger B (2000) Plumes in a convecting mantle: models and observations for individual hotspots. J Geophys Res 105(B5):11127–11152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Stephens B (2001) Basement controls on hydrocarbon systems, depositional pathways, and exploration plays beyond the Sigsbee Escarpment in the central Gulf of Mexico. In: Proceedings 21st annual GCSSEPM foundation Bob F. Perkins research conference, petroleum systems of deep-water basins: Global and Gulf of Mexico Experience, pp 129–157Google Scholar
  66. Taylor B, Goodliffe AM, Martinez F (1999) How continents break up: Insights from Papua New Guinea. J Geophys Res 104(B4):7497–7512CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Van Avendonk HJ, Davis JK, Harding JL, Lawver LA (2017) Decrease in oceanic crustal thickness since the breakup of Pangaea. Nat Geosci 10(1):58–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. White RS (2012) Wide-angle refraction and reflection. Regional Geology & Tectonics Principles of Geologic Analysis, 310–328Google Scholar
  69. White R, Detrick R, Mutter J, Buhl P, Minshull T, Morris E (1990) New seismic images of oceanic crustal structure. Geology 18(5):462–465CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. White R, McKenzie D, O’Nions R (1992) Oceanic crustal thickness from seismic measurements and rare earth element inversions. J Geophys Res 97(B13):19683–19715CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Whittaker J, Goncharov A, Williams S, Müller R, Leitchenkov G (2013) Global sediment thickness dataset updated for the Australian-Antarctic Southern Ocean. Geochem Geophys Geosyst 14(8):3297–3305CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Zhao M, Sibuet J, He E, Tan P, Wang J, Qiu X (2016) The formation of post-spreading volcanic ridges in the South China Sea. In: EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts 18:3239Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth and Atmospheric SciencesUniversity of HoustonHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Bird GeophysicalHoustonUSA
  3. 3.Research InstituteCNOOC China Ltd-BeijingBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations