Large diapiric and nondiapiric masses of Jurassic salt and Tertiary shale underlie the northern Gulf of Mexico continental slope and adjacent outer continental shelf. Local steepening of the sea floor in response to the vertical growth of these structures is a serious concern to those involved in the site selection and the construction of future oil and gas production and transportation facilities in this frontier petroleum province. The evidence given in this paper supports the conclusion that the present continental slope region of the northern Gulf of Mexico is undergoing active diapirism and consequent slope steepening. Because most of the sediment on the flanks of diapiric structures consists of underconsolidated muds, slumping will take place regularly in response to further diapiric movement.-from Authors
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Active diapirism and slope steepening, northern Gulf of Mexico continental slope.