Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin (www.beg.utexas.edu).
American Association of Petroleum Geologists Annual Meeting, Dallas, April 18-21, 2004
Karstification of the Lower Cretaceous Tuxpan Detached Platform, Golden Lane, Mexico
Xavier Janson, Robert Loucks, Charles Kerans, Alfredo Marhx, and Carlos Reyes
The Tuxpan Platform is a large Cretaceous detached carbonate platform in the offshore and onshore subsurface of the Tampico Embayment in eastern Mexico. The platform consists of a wide raised-rim shelf margin separated by a deep intraplatform lagoon. Two 3-D seismic surveys over the platform margins reveal dramatic evidence of karst development and erosion. On the eastern open-ocean side of the platform, a combination of spectacular erosional relief and canyon cutting is mapped. Less spectacular, but representative karstic features on the onshore western side of the platform are also mapped. Erosional features on the east side of the platform consist of large canyons several hundred meters deep and several kilometers wide that scalloped the platform rim. On the western side of the platform, erosional and karstic features consist of sinkholes more than 100 m deep and 500 m in diameter associated with karst towers hundreds of meters high that developed on the platform top. In addition, cores taken on the west platform margin reveal numerous paleocave and karst-related sedimentary features such as collapsed caverns and associated cave-sediment fill. The platform was exposed numerous times during Early Cretaceous; however, the major erosion and karst development occurred at the top of the Albian 4 sequence. By integrating core and seismic data, this study illustrates the complex topography of the platform rim, the heterogeneous architecture of such karstified reservoirs, and the various sedimentary facies associated with such a setting.