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Salt Tectonics
Salt Tectonics

Composition of Salt Domes

Mostly halite Minor traces of gypsum or anhydrite Often the two are interbedded and folded

or anhydrite Often the two are interbedded and folded Gypsum, Ca(SO 4 ).2H 2 0 H

Gypsum, Ca(SO 4 ).2H 2 0

anhydrite Often the two are interbedded and folded Gypsum, Ca(SO 4 ).2H 2 0 H a

Halite, NaCl

Salt moves driven by buoyancy

•Salt density= 2 g/ cm 3 •Salt undergoes no compaction •Mechanically weak - viscous •Shale Density is initially 40% water •Initial Density = 1.8 g/ cm 3 •Water expelled during compaction • Final Density = 2.4 g/ cm 3

Topics

Salt Deposition Salt Movement Diapir Structures Imaging Link to faulting

Salt Deposition

Restricted marine basins

Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah
Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah
Sequential Stages of a Salt Diapir

Sequential Stages of a Salt Diapir

Salt at the Surface

Salt at the Surface Salt Glacier - Iran

Salt Glacier - Iran

Salt at the Surface Salt Glacier - Iran
Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico

Variety of Salt Structures

Variety of Salt Structures

Salt Structures -Iran

Salt Structures -Iran
Gulf of Mexico Salt

Gulf of

Mexico

Salt

Internal flow of salt

Internal flow of salt Jackson et al. 1990

Jackson et al. 1990

Detection of Salt Domes

Gravity surveys

Find gravity lows

Low density Seismic Imaging

Geosoft GmsYs-3D model of a salt body embedded in a 3D density volume (Earth Explorer,

Geosoft GmsYs-3D model of a salt body embedded in a 3D density volume (Earth Explorer, 2009)_

3D Seismic Interpretation of Salt Structures

3D Seismic Interpretation of Salt Structures
Gravity
Gravity

GM-SYS™ Profile model of salt structure integrating seismic reflection, FTG gravity, and magnetic data (EarthExplorer, 2009).

Seismic Image of a Salt Dome

Seismic Image of a Salt Dome

Sandbox Experiment

Relationship between salt dome and normal faulting

http://www.beg.utexas.edu/indassoc/agl/animations/AGL95-MM-001/index.html

GUGLIELMO, G., Jr., , B. C. VENDEVILLE, D. D. SCHULTZ-ELA,

GUGLIELMO, G., Jr., , B. C. VENDEVILLE, D. D. SCHULTZ-ELA, and M. P. A. JACKSON Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin,

Extension Above Salt Diapir

Extension Above Salt Diapir

Salt movement affects sediment thickness

Salt movement affects sediment thickness

Salt Traps

Salt Traps

Salt Structures vs. Tectonic Structures

•Caused by movement of salt, not by plate boundary stresses

•Often linked to sedimentation

•Often localized by tectonic structures

•Both upwards movement of salt and salt withdrawal cause deformation

Salt in the North Sea

Salt in the North Sea

Salt is the best seal

Examples of Petroleum Salt Provinces

Gulf of Mexico

North Sea

Middle East

of Petroleum Salt Provinces • Gulf of Mexico • North Sea • Middle East Zagros Mts.,

Zagros Mts., Iran

of Petroleum Salt Provinces • Gulf of Mexico • North Sea • Middle East Zagros Mts.,

La Popa Basin, Mexico

Ekofisk Field

analog

Ekofisk Field analog Van der Bark & Thomas, 1980

Van der Bark & Thomas, 1980

Ekofisk Field analog Van der Bark & Thomas, 1980
Ekofisk Field analog Van der Bark & Thomas, 1980

Late Cretaceous: Ekofisk Formation Danish North Sea

Time
Time

8km

CI = 30ms

Crestal Deformation

Crestal Deformation Fossen, 2010

Fossen, 2010

Ekofisk Formation

W

E

Ekofisk Formation W E Late Cretaceous Shallow Sea Continued regional subsidence Rising sea level Active
Ekofisk Formation W E Late Cretaceous Shallow Sea Continued regional subsidence Rising sea level Active

Late Cretaceous

Shallow Sea Continued regional subsidence Rising sea level Active phytoplankton growth

W E Late Cretaceous Shallow Sea Continued regional subsidence Rising sea level Active phytoplankton growth

Salt Domes Pierce the Strata

Salt Domes Pierce the Strata

Fractures around Salt Domes

Ant-Tracking displaying radial fracture pattern around salt domes 8km
Ant-Tracking
displaying radial
fracture pattern
around salt domes
8km
Fractures around Salt Domes Ant-Tracking displaying radial fracture pattern around salt domes 8km

Salt in Compressional Province

Salt in Compressional Province Salt is an excellent detachment surface

Salt is an excellent detachment surface

Salt in Extensional province

Salt in Extensional province Gulf of Mexico

Gulf of Mexico