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Salt tectonics in the western Gulf of Cadiz SW Iberia

, : Salt tectonics in the western Gulf of Cadiz SW Iberia. Annual Meeting - American Association of Petroleum Geologists

This study presents the results from the interpretation of an extensive and recent regional 2D seismic survey focused on the understanding of the salt tectonics in the western Gulf of Cadiz. Two different salt units were identified: an autochthonous salt unit of Late Triassic or Early Jurassic (Hettangian) age and an allochthonous unit originated from the Hettangian salt. Interpretation of the pattern of distribution of the salt in the basin allowed subdivision of the area of study into three distinct salt domains: a) the eastern domain characterized by the presence of a conspicuous allochthonous salt nappe (Esperanca Salt), b) the central domain dominated by salt diapirs with mild deformation of Miocene strata and wide salt-withdrawal mini-basins and c) the south-western domain where present day tectonics induce impressive salt deformation affecting the seafloor. This complex pattern is mainly the result of the interaction of inherited basement structure, complex tectonic history and stress regime of the basin. The intense halokinesis observed has created several salt related trap geometries and fluid migration pathways. As the focus of worldwide exploration along passive margins is gradually shifting to deepwater regions, the western Gulf of Cadiz has the potential to become a deepwater petroleum province in the near future.


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