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Salt Tectonics, Sediments and Prospectivity, G. I. ALSOP, S. G. ARCHER, A. J. HARTLEY, et al. (Ed.) (2012) 265-287
Kinematics of regional salt flow in the northern Gulf of Mexico
Xavier Fort 1, Jean-Pierre Brun 2

The kinematics of regional-scale salt flow in the northern Gulf of Mexico is analysed using: (i) a map of shelf-break contours at the termination of successive depositional episodes; (ii) the location and geometry of large-scale structures of the slope domain as imaged by seismics; and (iii) digital slope bathymetry. In the north margin, salt has flowed towards the SW since the Cretaceous with three main stages of development prior to, during and after a massive salt extrusion in the Early Miocene time. The corresponding sequence of structural development is discussed using a laboratory model. Contrary to all previous interpretations that invoked sedimentary loading as the main driving force, the analysis of regional-scale salt flow implies that the salt tectonics of the northern Gulf of Mexico is predominantly controlled by gliding above the margin dip. The SWdirected salt flow indicates that the north margin of the northern Gulf of Mexico trendsNW-SE, in agreement with plate kinematic models in which the Yucatan continental block has undergone a 45-608 dextral rotation relative to its present orientation
1 :  g.o. logical consulting
pas de tutelle
2 :  Géosciences Rennes (GR)
CNRS : UMR6118 – INSU – Observatoire des Sciences de l'Univers de Rennes – Université de Rennes 1
Systèmes Tectoniques
Planète et Univers/Sciences de la Terre
Gulf of Mexico – salt tectonics – regional-scale salt flow – salt extrusion – salt nappe – shelf migration – sedimentary loading – minibasins – laboratory modelling
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