Origin and development of the Apalachicola Basin

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Seismic mapping, restorations and subsidence analysis suggest an initial phase of rifting created the Apalachicola Basin during Late Triassic-Middle Jurassic time. A later period of rifting occurred during Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous time, extending the basin towards the southwest. Subsidence analysis implies that tectonic hinge zones do not mark crustal boundaries; however, they may be tilted crustal blocks associated with reactivation of a pre-existing Paleozoic lineament or fault. Basin restorations demonstrate that since Late Jurassic time, the two major controls on basin paleogeography are salt movement and subsidence. A massive differential sediment load between the northeastern and southwestern Apalachicola Basin enabled updip migration of salt into the large Destin Dome salt anticline and the surrounding diapir field. Comparison of restorations with expulsion timing from Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous source rocks indicates that structural traps against salt were in place prior to the expulsion of hydrocarbons. Formation of the Apalachicola Basin is consistent with the steer's head model of basin formation that invokes a simple two layer stretching model. Overall similarities in basin geometry, orientation, sedimentation and subsidence indicate that the Apalachicola Basin and the Tampa Embayment formed in a similar manner. Determining the extent of these basins helps to determine the geometry and distribution of Triassic and Jurassic sedimentary rocks.

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