Marine Geophysical Research

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 251–267 | Cite as

Impacts of sediment supply and local tectonics on clinoform distribution: the seismic stratigraphy of the mid Pleistocene-Holocene Indus Shelf

  • David R. Limmer
  • Timothy J. Henstock
  • Liviu Giosan
  • Camilo Ponton
  • Ali R. Tabrez
  • David I. M. Macdonald
  • Peter D. Clift
Original Research Paper


We present results from the first high-resolution seismic reflection survey of the inner Western Indus Shelf, and Indus Delta, Arabian Sea. The results show major regional differences in sedimentation across the shelf from east to west, as well as north to south, both since the Last Glacial Maximum (~20 ka) and over longer time scales. We identify 10 major regional reflectors, interpreted as representing sea level lowstands. Strong compressive folding is observed underlying a reflector we have called Horizon 6 in the north-western shelf, probably compression associated with the transpressional deformation of the Murray Ridge plate boundary. Downslope profiles show a series of well developed clinoforms, principally at the shelf edge, indicating significant preservation of large packages of sediment during lowstands. These clinoforms have developed close to zones of deformation, suggesting that subsidence is a factor in controlling sedimentation and consequently erosion of the Indus Shelf. These clinoforms fan out from dome features (tectonic anticlines) mostly located close to the modern shoreline.


Indus Delta Quaternary Clinoforms Seismic stratigraphy 



DL would like to thank all the participants of Pelagia cruise 64PE300, especially the captain, crew and shore-support staff at NIOZ and NOC Southampton. DL was supported by a studentship grant NE/G002029/1. DL also thanks Luke Pinson, Mark Vardy, David Iacopini, Huw Llewellyn and Ron Steel for useful discussions. The work was greatly improved by three reviewers and the editor. This work was also funded by Natural Environment Research Council (UK) grant NE/D005442/1. Contributions by LG and CP were funded by NSF-OCE 0623766 to LG. We thank the government of Pakistan and the Director of the National Institute of Oceanography for their cooperation in this study. PC thanks the Hanse Wissenschaftskollog, Germany for providing time to think about these issues.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • David R. Limmer
    • 1
  • Timothy J. Henstock
    • 2
  • Liviu Giosan
    • 3
  • Camilo Ponton
    • 3
  • Ali R. Tabrez
    • 4
  • David I. M. Macdonald
    • 1
  • Peter D. Clift
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.School of GeosciencesUniversity of AberdeenAberdeenUK
  2. 2.School of Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography CentreUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK
  3. 3.Department of Geology and GeophysicsWoods Hole Oceanographic InstitutionWoods HoleUSA
  4. 4.National Institute of Oceanography ST-47 Block 1Clifton, KarachiPakistan
  5. 5.Department of Geology and GeophysicsLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA

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