Publication Date

Fall 2019

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

M. Royhan Gani (Director), Nahid D. Gani, Chris Groves, and Timothy Ford

Degree Program

Department of Geography and Geology

Degree Type

Master of Science


Salt tectonics has important implications for hydrocarbon exploration in saltbearing basins since salt deformation can directly or indirectly form hydrocarbon traps, influence hydrocarbon migration, and can control deepwater depositional systems. In various basins around the globe, extensive research has been conducted on initiation of salt mobilization, subsequent deformation, and eventual cessation, mostly from subsurface two-dimensional (2D) sections. However, 3D seismic data has dominated the petroleum industry for the last 30 years. Despite the plethora of 3D seismic data acquired in salt-bearing basins, there has been hardly any published work on the 3D geometries of complex salt bodies. 3D salt mapping in the subsurface can reveal true distribution of salt bodies and their detailed intricacies of geometrical variations, aiding in the overall salt system interpretation. Using a large 3D seismic survey (3,350 km2), this study presents the first 3D salt mapping in the Gulf of Mexico, demonstrating how 3D visualization of the entire Louann Salt system within the Middle Jurassic to presentday stratigraphy can improve interpretation of salt feeder geometries, allochthonous salt canopies, initial salt distribution, and salt weld locations in the study area.


Geology | Geophysics and Seismology | Tectonics and Structure