Northeastern Section (45th Annual) and Southeastern Section (59th Annual) Joint Meeting (13-16 March 2010)

Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:05 PM


HUNT, Bryan W.1, ROBINSON, Delores M.2, LOVELL, Thomas R.3, WILSON, K. Lance1, WEISLOGEL, Amy L.4 and SMELSER, Bart1, (1)Dept. of Geological Sciences, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487, (2)Department of Geological Sciences, University of Alabama, 201 7th Ave, Box 870338, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0338, (3)Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Purdue University, 550 Stadium Mall Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (4)Department of Geological Sciences, University of Alabama, 201 7th Ave, Box 870338, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487,

During the Late Jurassic as Pangea began to break up, a shallow sea formed causing evaporitic deposition of the Louann salt and associated units. After which, siliciclastic input into the Eastern Gulf of Mexico from paleodrainages filled the low regions and lithified into the Norphlet Formation. Onshore, this formation extends throughout portions of Mississippi, Alabama and Florida; however, its extent in the offshore Eastern Gulf of Mexico is uncertain. The Norphlet Formation is key to understanding basement structures and structures formed in Mesozoic through Cenozoic time in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico because of its timing in relation to the opening of the gulf and its deposition prior to halokinesis. It is a formation that is of particular interest to the oil and gas industry; however, drilling moratoriums have limited the resources devoted to studying the formation in the offshore Eastern Gulf of Mexico. Previous studies correlated the Norphlet Formation throughout the onshore Gulf Coast region and focus on understanding the facies, provenance, and sediment transport pathways. The offshore extent of the formation remains uncertain as do the facies changes and provenance. Thus, in order to understand the offshore Norphlet Formation, seismic reflection data are incorporated with well logs to form a basis for analysis to determine the extent of the formation throughout the Destin Dome and Pensacola areas of offshore Florida. Several onshore structures have been inferred and this study provides evidence for the extent of these structures. An understanding of the extent of the Norphlet Formation will also be used to infer basement structures, determine structures formed during the Mesozoic, understand sediment transport pathways, and determine the influence of early halokinesis in the region.