Evolution of a Submarine Mass-Transport Complex in Space and Time

Conference paper

Abstract

Submarine mass-transport deposits (MTDs) can be petroleum reservoirs, drilling hazards, or indicators of seafloor instability that need to be considered in deep-water engineering projects. In 3-D seismic reflection data, MTDs are typically characterized by laterally extensive but relatively thin layers of debris with weak and incoherent reflectors and, in many cases, little or no seafloor geomorphic expression. Because of their great lateral extent, it is unusual to see proximal and distal portions of large MTDs in a single data set. We infer that spatial variation in the geometry of a large and exceptionally well-imaged MTD can serve as a proxy for the temporal evolution of the mass transport event at a point. Near its source, the MTD is characterized by disaggregation of originally intact strata. As distance from the source increases, the complex becomes increasingly chaotic the manifestation of the original structure weakens. Each facies also has a characteristic seafloor geomorphologic expression. The spatio-temporal evolution is particularly evident when the fabric is visualized using 3-D seismic volume amplitude attributes that display the lateral continuity of reflectors.

Keywords

Mass transport Slope stability Submarine Geohazards 3D seismic 

References

  1. Haneberg WC, Tripp G (1991) An irrigation-induced debris flow in northern New Mexico. Bull Assoc Eng Geol 28:359–374Google Scholar
  2. Hocking RM (1988) Regional geology of the northern Carnarvon Basin. In: The North West Shelf, Australia. Proceedings of PESA symposium, Perth, WA, pp 21–43Google Scholar
  3. Sawyer DE, Flemings PB, Buttles J, Mohrig D (2012) Mudflow transport behavior and deposit morphology: role of shear stress to yield strength ratio in subaqueous experiments. Mar Geol 307–310:28–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Sawyer DE, Flemings PB, Dugan B, Germaine JT (2009) Retrogressive failures recorded in mass transport deposits in the Ursa Basin, Northern Gulf of Mexico. J Geophys Res 114(B10). doi: 10.1029/2008JB006159
  5. Shipp RC, Weimer P, Posamentier HW (2011) Mass-transport deposits in deepwater settings, vol 96. SEPM Special Publication, TulsaGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fugro GeoConsulting, IncHoustonUSA

Personalised recommendations