Cote Blanche Island, Salt Dome Mine (Underground), St. Mary Parish, Louisiana:
Salt Diapirism and Geology of the Louann Salt (Jurassic)
October 13-14, 2016
The Southeastern Geological Society will be hosting a field trip to examine spectacular subsurface geology of the Cote Blanche Island Salt Dome Mine, located south of Lafayette and Baton Rouge, on the Louisiana coast. Here, several “islands” (including nearby Avery Island, home of the world famous Tabasco Pepper Sauce Factory) have emerged from the coastal marsh as a result of subsurface salt diapir intrusions. The salt is Jurassic Louann Salt, a massive evaporite formation in the western Gulf, deposited in the young Gulf of Mexico Basin during the initial rifting phase of the Pangaean supercontinent breakup. Later, burial by thick Mesozoic and Cenozoic sediments mobilized the salt, forming a great variety of intrusive salt structures, especially petroleum-trapping salt domes. More than 500 salt domes exist in the northern Gulf Coast. Some coastal and inland domes near the surface have been mined for salt.
Participants will have an opportunity to collect beautiful, large halite crystals, sylvite, and other minerals in the mine, which is entirely underground; the Louann Salt is nowhere exposed in outcrop. The Cote Blanche Salt Dome has been mined since the 1960’s, but has only rarely been accessible to visiting geologists. This is indeed an exceptionally unique field opportunity for SEGS members!
A technical presentation on the mine will be given on Thursday October 13, early evening at a dinner location in New Iberia, LA. The actual field trip will occur on Friday October 14. Please stay tuned for additional details.
Note: You can use the PayPal button on the Membership Page to pay for the trip.
SEGS is very appreciative of two members who have stepped up to our call for help in developing a scholarship program:
Amy Brown of the Suwannee River Water Management District
Aleta Mitchell-Tapping of Cemex
Introducing Our New Treasurer Andy Lawn
Andy Lawn is proud to have been elected by your SEGS Executive Committee as Treasurer, and grateful for many years of service by Harley Means in this position. Andy served as SEGS V.P. and President in 2010 and 2011, with notable field trips to the Dry Tortugas in 2011 and the Cody Scarp (his thesis area) in 2014.
Andy is Professional Geologist with a Master’s degree from the University of South Florida. He’s a Principal Hydrogeologist and Vice President of HSW Engineering, Inc. (HSW). He opened and operated HSW’s Orlando office for years until recently opening another branch office in Tallahassee.
He has over 20 years experience in public and private-sector work for Diversified Drilling, the Southwest Florida Water Management District, and Engineering firms. He specializes in property evaluations for acquisition, environmental cleanup, groundwater modeling, regulatory compliance and permitting, currently serving on the Board of the Florida Brownfields Association (FBA), which is focused on revitalization of contaminated and blighted properties.