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Paleontologic Constraints on Depositional Modeling: Examples of Integration of Biostratigraphy and Seismic Stratigraphy, Pliocene-Pleistocene, Gulf of Mexico

  • John M. Armentrout
Part of the Frontiers in Sedimentary Geology book series (SEDIMENTARY)

Abstract

Integration of biostratigraphic data with seismic-stratigraphically defined depositional framework permits correlation of biofacies and seismic facies within successive depositional cycles. Each step in the interpretational process requires critical evaluation and cross-correlation of the data. Two examples of this procedure are presented, both from the Pliocene-Pleistocene Galveston-High Island-West Cameron-East Breaks area of the continental shelf, offshore eastern Texas. The first example is characterized by multiple cycles of sediment progradation across a shelf-slope system of growth-fault and salt-withdrawal basins. The second example consists of multiple progradations within a single third-order eustatic cycle and is relatively uncomplicated by structural movement.

Condensed sections are used as the primary correlation and mapping datums. The condensed section is recognized by high fossil abundance, maximum gamma-ray electric log values, and moderate-to high-amplitude, laterally-continuous seismic reflections. Chronostratigraphic bioevents are used to calibrate these datums and resolve cross-fault correlation problems. The condensed section and associated maximum flooding surface provide a means of identifying depositional cycles as they represent the maximum transgressive facies.

The resulting analysis of biofacies, lithofacies, and seismic-facies in the study area provides a data base for construction of facies cross sections and yields map patterns useful in reconstructing the geologic history. Integration of the tested data sets defines a tentative model for fourth-order (approximately 200,000 year) depositional cycles within the Pliocene-Pleistocene depocenter of the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Keywords

Seismic Profile Foraminiferal Assemblage Depositional Cycle Highstand System Tract Transgressive System Tract 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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  • John M. Armentrout

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