Date of Award
Master of Science - Geology
Dr. Wesley Brown
Mr. Jim Ferry
Dr. R. Larell Nielson
Dr. Joseph Musser
The Mississippi Canyon is in the northeastern part of the Gulf of Mexico, south of the state of Mississippi. In this area, there are many different salt structures present including salt canopies, diapirs, and salt pillows. The Callovian aged Louann Salt covers this area and is the cause of many of the salt structures and structures of the overlying formations seen in Gulf of Mexico today. Salt is mobile when subjected to stress from overlying sediment and gravity. Stress will force the salt to not only move upward, but to also move down slope deeper into adjacent basins through the process of halokenesis. Salt movement may commence as early as when deposition has been completed and may trigger the formation of structural features such as faults, rafts, and displacement of the overlying formations.
By careful analysis of 3-D seismic data in combination with available sea floor imaging, these subsurface structures were mapped and interpreted. This study involves the mapping of salt structures and surrounding features affected by salt movement to detail the tops of the Louann Salt using structure maps created within the study area. These maps were used along with other structural data to reconstruct the salt canopy through time. A detailed reconstruction of the study area has produced a model that demonstrated salt migration over time and showed how gravity and the overlying formations were affected by it over time. As the salt moved downslope into adjacent basins, the formations on top of the salt faulted and moved due to the additional stress. The salt movement also caused nearby formations to separate and attach to the salt moving down dip into the basin, thus separating it from the rest of the formation. These faults also caused some rotation of the layers along the fault.
Jaska, Ryan, "Detailed Structural and Stratigraphic Analysis of the Salt-Sediment Interactions on Top of the Wheeler Dome Salt Tongue, Mississippi Canyon Area, Gulf of Mexico" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 429.
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