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Bureau Seminar, October 3, 2008

Three Dimensional Configuration of Clinoform Architectures in Eastern Offshore Mexico (GOM) - Implications and Complications of a Real 3D View

Lorena Moscardelli, Lesli Wood, R. Torres-Vargas, J. Bermudez, G. Lopez-Leyva, C. Caraveo
Bureau of Economic Geology


      This work shows geomorphological descriptions and analyses of several clinoform packages that were mapped using 9,300 sq km of high quality 3D seismic data along the Laguna Madre - Tuxapan (LM-T) continental margin in eastern offshore Mexico. Dip transects through the data show several episodes of apparent clinoform aggradation and progradation affecting the Tertiary stratigraphic succession of the eastern Mexican continental margin. However, detailed mapping of these events revealed that clinoform foresets are broadly affected by mass wasting processes. Interestingly, 2D lines seem to be ineffective when trying to identify mass wasting affects on the clinoform foresets. Structural maps of the surfaces that define clinoform boundaries, as well as amplitude extraction maps are the only way to really appreciate the magnitude of the gravitational failures that are affecting the clinoform foresets. This new development suggests that we still do not fully understand the real three-dimensionality of clinoform architectures. Moreover, the geomorphological complexities that have been observed in the clinoform foresets suggest that it would be inappropriate to reconstruct continental margin trajectories only using variations on clinoform stacking patterns.


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