Keathley Canyon / Walker Ridge
The thermal history of petroleum source rocks in the Keathley Canyon-Walker Ridge area is thought to be strongly impacted by extensive salt sheets. Thick salt in some areas could conduct heat from the deep sediments, retarding maturation of potential source rocks. In addition, the number of large intra-salt basins that contain migration conduits to depth is limited. Hence, there is reason to suspect that hydrocarbon charge will not be ubiquitous across the region. The presence or absence of seafloor seepage is one basis for identifying generative areas.
A total of 90 cores were collected across Walker Ridge, Keathley Canyon, and the southern portions of Garden Banks and Green Canyon as part of this program. Core locations were selected in 1995 by using state-of-the-art geophysics to identify subsurface features that are characteristic of hydrocarbon seepage. In conjunction with results from the subsequent Western Gulf Consortium, the results showed a fairly extensive seep belt over a wide area of the deep-water Gulf.
Deliverables for this study include PDF images of core logs (core locations and descriptions), data volumes with the results of the following analyses: total scanning fluorescence, C15+ gas chromatography, C1-C4 hydrocarbons (headspace), and biomarker, and a final, interpretive report.