Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis


Earth and Ocean Sciences


College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

James H. Knapp


The Carolina Trough is a major linear sedimentary basin along the eastern continental margin of North America which formed as a result of tectonic and thermal subsidence during continental rifting in Mesozoic time (Hutchinson et al., 1982). The Carolina Trough is unique along the southeastern U.S. margin where the only known evaporite deposits are found, and this salt basin may reserve large amounts of oil and gas (Carpenter & Amato, 1992). Therefore, analysis of 2D multichannel seismic reflection surveys that were conducted in the Mid-South Atlantic Ocean in 1982 plays an important role in Petroleum industry. In addition, current interpretations of the distribution of salt structures in the Carolina Trough suggest that evaporites were deposited on oceanic rather than thinned continental lithosphere

The aims of this study are to (1) map the salt structures in the Carolina Trough, (2) potentially place new constraints on the age and setting of evaporite deposition, and (3) re-evaluate timing and mechanism of salt structure development based on interpretation of previously proprietary 2D seismic reflection data released by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (formerly MMS and USGS). A total of 120 seismic reflection profiles from Marine Seismic Survey B-02-82-AT Depth and 7 seismic reflection profiles from Marine Seismic Survey B-04-82-AT were interpreted by using PETREL E&P Software Platform Version 2015. We suggest that the presence of the salt diapirs at the seaward side of the Carolina Trough, below the base of the continental slope, is evidence either that (1) salt migrated downdip during salt tectonism, (2) salt was deposited on oceanic crust on the abyssal plain, or (3) continental crust extends beyond the base of the continental slope. Based on regional correlation of well data, the source interval for the salt appears to be of Upper Jurassic age.

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Geology Commons