Gulf of Mexico

Assessment tract permissive of halokinetic potash-bearing salt in Mexico-United States of America

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Geologic information

CountryMexico-United States of America
Deposit typehalokinetic potash-bearing salt
Evaporite basinGulf of Mexico
Basin typemarine rift basin
Geologic unitLouann Salt [and equivalent units]
Tectonic settingdivergent margin
Upper Triassic-Lower Jurassic-Middle Jurassic
Minimum:Mesozoic-Jurassic-Middle Jurassic
Maximum:Mesozoic-Triassic-Upper Triassic
Potassium minerals:
Notes:Extent of known salt diapirs within Jurassic rock outcrop areas in the southeastern United States and eastern Mexico.

Economic information

Known K sites?Yes
Identified resources?No
Feature typesalt structures
Quality of informationincomplete
Assessment year2011
Assessment depth3km
AssessorsMark D. Cocker (USGS)
Qualitative assessmentR6: Tract is unlikely to be developed based on the available data in the opinion of the assessors; very little positive information exists.
Tract delineationThe Gulf of Mexico tract consists of areas of Jurassic salt diapirs believed to have the potential for potash were outlined within known areas of Jurassic rock occurrence in the southeastern United States and eastern Mexico as determined using Ege (1985, plate 1) and a geologic map of Mexico (University of Arizona Center for Mineral Resources, 1999).

Reference information

Nearby dataBaldwin, Choctaw, Clarke, Mobile, Monroe, Washington, Acadia, Ascension, Assumption, Avoyelles, Beauregard, Bienville, Calcasieu, Caldwell, Catahoula, Claiborne, East Baton Rouge, East Carroll, Evangeline, Franklin, Grant, Iberia, Iberville, Jackson, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Lafourche, La Salle, Lincoln, Livingston, Madison, Natchitoches, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, Red River, Richland, Saint Charles, Saint James, Saint John the Baptist, Saint Landry, Saint Martin, Saint Mary, Tensas, Terrebonne, Webster, West Baton Rouge, Winn, Claiborne, Clarke, Copiah, Covington, Forrest, Franklin, Greene, Hinds, Issaquena, Jasper, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Lamar, Lawrence, Lincoln, Marion, Perry, Pike, Rankin, Scott, Sharkey, Simpson, Smith, Walthall, Warren, Wayne, Yazoo, Anderson, Austin, Brazoria, Brazos, Brooks, Burleson, Chambers, Cherokee, Colorado, Duval, Fort Bend, Galveston, Hardin, Henderson, Houston, Jackson, Jasper, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Kenedy, La Salle, Leon, Liberty, McMullen, Madison, Montgomery, Polk, Rains, San Jacinto, Smith, Trinity, Upshur, Van Zandt, Walker, Waller, Washington, Webb, Wharton, Wood, Mexico
Bartolini, C., Buffler, R.T., and Chantu-Chapa, A., eds., 2001, The western Gulf of Mexico basin: American Association of Petroleum Geologists Memoir 75, 480 p.
Ege, J.R., 1985, Maps showing distribution, thickness, and depth of salt deposits of the United States: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 85-28, 11 p., 4 pls. (Also available at
Galloway, W.E., 2008, Depositional evolution of the Gulf of Mexico sedimentary basin, in Miall, A.D., ed., The sedimentary basins of the United States and Canada: Elsevier, Sedimentary Basins of the World, v. 5, p. 505-549.
Juarez, M.V., 1972, Exploracion de la sal para la investigacion de las sales de potasio en la Isla de Tancamichapan, municipio de Jaltipan, Ver., Seminario Interno Anual sobre Exploracion Geologico-Minera: Consejo de Recursos Naturales no Renovables Seminario Interno Anual sobre Exploracion Geologico-Minera, p. 129-135.
Kupfer, D.H., 1998, Geology and history of the Belle Isle Salt Mine, the southernmost Five Islands salt dome, St. Mary Parish, Louisiana: Louisiana Geological Survey Geological Pamphlet 11, 34 p.
Land, L.S., Eustice, R.A., Mack, L.E., and Horita, Juske, 1995, Reactivity of evaporites during burial; An example from the Jurassic of Alabama: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 59, p. 3765-3778.
Murray, G.E., 1966, Salt structures of Gulf of Mexico Basin; A review: American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, v. 50, p. 439-478.
Ratcliff, D.W., Gray, S.H., and Whitmore, N.D., Jr., 1992, Seismic imaging of salt structures in the Gulf of Mexico: The Leading Edge, v. 11, p. 15-31.
Stern, R.J.; Anthony, E.Y.; Ren, Minghua; Lock, B.E.; Norton, Ian; Kimura, Jun-Ichi; Miyazaki, Takashi; Hanyu, Takashi; Chang, Qing; and Hirahara, Yuka, 2011, Southern Louisiana salt dome xenoliths; First glimpse of Jurassic (ca. 160 Ma) Gulf of Mexico crust: Geology, v. 39, p. 315-318.
University of Arizona, 1999, University of Arizona-Industry-USGS Mexico Consortium: University of Arizona, Center for Mineral Resources, CD-ROM.
Viniegra O., Francisco, 1971, Age and evolution of salt basins of southeastern Mexico: American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, v. 55, p. 478-494.
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