Interpretation of acoustical profiles has provided insight into the late Quaternary geologic history of the Continental Shelf off South Texas. (See the geographic index map on sheet 1 for location of the area studied.) The profiles reveal the interplay of tectonism, sedimentation, and cyclic fluctuations of sea level in the building and geologic evolution of the continental terrace. The sequence of sediments studied extends to about 200 meters (m) beneath the sea-floor surface. Four seismic-stratigraphic units underlain by four prominent sound reflectors were identified and mapped.
This geologic synthesis, for which the research was funded by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), is but one aspect of a coordinated, multidisciplinary environmental study of the South Texas Outer Continental Shelf sponsored by BLM (Berryhill, 1976, 1977). The environmental studies are keyed to the leasing of Federal Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) lands for petroleum exploration and production. Their purpose is to provide the data development of petroleum resources on the OCS, as well as to provide the basis for predicting the impact of oil and gas exploration and production on the marine environment. Of primary concern is the recognition of geologic conditions that might be hazardous to structures placed on the sea floor. Geologic hazards relate directly to the potential for significant movement of the sea floor in the future. Judging sea-floor stability and recognizing geologic features that are potentially hazardous require an understanding of the recent geologic history of the area, which, in turn, entails determining the relative rates and interactions of sedimentation and tectonism through time.
In addition to the primary objective, the synthesis provides knowledge about the magnitude and extent of sea-level fluctuations in the western Gulf of Mexico, and it provides a depositional facies model of possible use in appraising the resource potential of the more deeply buried sediments.
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Title||Maps showing late Pleistocene and Holocene evolution of the South Texas continental shelf|
|Series title||Miscellaneous Field Studies Map|
|Publisher||U.S. Geological Survey|
|Publisher location||Denver, CO|
|Description||2 Sheets: 50.13 x 36.20 inches; 41.96 x 33.93 inches|
|Other Geospatial||South Texas Continental Shelf|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|