The biotic response to an ever-changing paleogeography proves insight to depositional settings and sediment fairways as the Gulf of Mexico basin evolved into a passive margin. A data-supported biostratigraphic review of publicly-available exploration boreholes penetrating Lower Cretaceous and Upper Jurassic sediments located within the De Soto Canyon and Mississippi Canyon protraction areas in the Gulf of Mexico yields a repeatable and predictive evolutionary and paleoecological sequence with implications to paleogeography. A three phase paleogeographic model supported by microfossil assemblages will be presented: a sea-floor spreading phase (Oxfordian to Tithonian), a transitional phase (Tithonian to Valaginian), and a progradation/eustacy phase (Valaginian to Present). The differences in microfossil assemblages between these phases suggest significant perturbations in oceanic circulation, structure, and/or chemistry. Understanding these perturbations and the cause further suggests changes in depositional environments, paleogeography, and, potentially, the petroleum system.
Ryan Weber is currently the President of Paleo-Data, Inc., a biostratigraphic consulting firm serving the Oil & Gas sector for 50 years. Ryan previously worked for BP-Houston providing biostratigraphic support for the developing and producing fields in BP's Gulf of Mexico portfolio and co-developed a training module for the non-biostratigraphic staff. Ryan hails a BS and Education certificate from Minnesota State - Mankato, and an MS from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. While in Lincoln, Ryan researched calcareous nannofossils in Upper Cretaceous Pierre Shale stratigraphy in South Dakota and Nebraska as it relates to a bolide impact in Iowa. Ryan also served as the Earth Science Section Chair for the Nebraska Academy of Sciences before starting his career with Paleo-Data, Inc. in New Orleans as Staff Nannofossil Biostratigrapher. There, Ryan gained experience in applied biostratigraphy from onshore and deepwater Gulf of Mexico, Nile Delta, and Northwest Australian shelf, while developing a passion for Miocene and Jurassic stratigraphy and paleooceanography.