The tectonic history of the Gulf of Mexico Basin in northwestern Mississippi is poorly understood due to a lack of publicly available data and overlying Mesozoic sediments. Using an extensive set of geophysical data including: well data, potential field data, and 2-D seismic data, we define distinct zones of varying structural styles across the region and provide new insight into the tectonic evolution of the northern margin of the Gulf of Mexico.
The cratonal region is defined by the extent of Precambrian basement across the region and is characterized by an orthogonal set of normal faults related to Precambrian – Cambrian rifting and subsidence along the southern Paleozoic shelf margin. The, now, foreland basin is composed primarily of Cambrian-Devonian shelf carbonates and Carboniferous clastics deposited along the southern continental margin, coinciding with the southern limit of Precambrian cratonal material.
Divisible into two structural domains, the Frontal and Allochthonous Domain, the sub-cropping Ouachita orogenic belt is defined by geophysical data in northwestern Mississippi. The Frontal Domain of the Ouachita zone is restricted to the western study area and is characterized by small, imbricate thrusts branching from a lower detachment within autochthonous sediments and an upper detachment along the base of back thrusted Carboniferous sediments. Large thrust sheets of the Allochthonous Domain are correlatable across the study area and are truncated to the north by large intrusions or basement blocks.
The seismically defined limit of the basinal zone corresponds to a linear gravity minima separating Mesozoic rift-related basins to the south from Precambrian and intrusive bodies to the north. Geophysical data of the basinal zone characterize multiple igneous bodies of varying ages. Syn-rift Triassic graben clastics confined to grabens paralleling the basinal zone limit are interpreted to be related to a Mesozoic rift-related transform across Mississippi separating rift basins of the larger region.
|Commitee:||Gottardi, Raphael, Richter, Carl|
|School:||University of Louisiana at Lafayette|
|School Location:||United States -- Louisiana|
|Source:||MAI 58/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Geology, Geophysical, Gulf of mexico, Ouachita, Structure, Tectonic|
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