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Depositional Patterns of the Mississippi Fan Surface: Evidence from GLORIA II and High-Resolution Seismic Profiles

  • David C. Twichell
  • Neil H. Kenyon
  • Lindsay M. Parson
  • Bonnie A. McGregor
Part of the Frontiers in Sedimentary Geology book series (SEDIMENTARY)

Abstract

GLORIA long-range side-scan sonar imagery and 3.5-kHz seismic-reflection profiles depict a series of nine elongate deposits with generally high-backscatter surfaces covering most of the latest fanlobe sequence of the Mississippi Fan in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. The youngest deposit is a “slump” that covers a 250 by 100 km area of the middle and upper fan. The remaining mapped deposits, termed depositional lobes, are long (as much as 200 km) and relatively thin (less than 35 m thick) bodies. Small channels and lineations on the surface of many of these depositional lobes radiate from a single, larger main channel that is the conduit through which sediment has been supplied to these surficial deposits on the fan. The 3.5-kHz profiles show that adjacent depositional lobes overlap one another rather than interfingering, indicating that only one lobe was an active site of deposition at a time. Shifting of the depositional sites appears to be caused by both aggradation and avulsion. The chronology developed from the overlapping relations indicates the oldest of the mapped depositional lobes are on the lowermost fan, and the youngest are further up the fan. Depositional lobes on the lower fan consist of a series of smaller, elongate features with high-backscatter surfaces (540 km in length) located at the ends of previously unrecognized small channels (< 5 m deep). These small channels extend as much as 120 km from the main channel. Small channelized turbidity currents and/or debris flows, sand flows, or mud flows appear to be the dominant transport process constructing these depositional lobes. Channelized flow is an important mechanism for transporting sediment away from the main channel on this fan and the resulting facies created by these small flows are laterally discontinuous.

Keywords

Debris Flow Transparent Layer Sidescan Sonar Backscatter Strength High Backscatter 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • David C. Twichell
  • Neil H. Kenyon
  • Lindsay M. Parson
  • Bonnie A. McGregor

There are no affiliations available

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