Encyclopedia of Planetary Landforms

2015 Edition
| Editors: Henrik Hargitai, Ákos Kereszturi

Distributary System Deposits

  • Henrik HargitaiEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-3134-3_143


Fan to lobate sediment wedges at the end of transport paths.

Related Terms

Depositional fan; Fan-shaped deposit; Sediment wedge; Terminal fan


Sedimentary depositional systems (de Villiers et al. 2011) at the end of channel-like transport paths where the material was displaced there by liquid flow, glacial transport, creep or mass movement, and widening towards the downslope direction. They are wedge shaped in cross section and fan to lobate shaped in plan view.


Fan-shaped sediment wedges. Note: Malin and Edgett (2003) defines fan as “any accumulation of debris transported by fluvial processes under laterally constrained conditions and deposited in the absence of that constraint. In this broad definition, a delta would be a sub-class of fan in which rapid deposition of fluvially transported material occurs as a subaerial flow attempts to maintain and adjust its baselevel upon entering a body of water.”

Subaqueous deltas/ fan types:
  1. (1)

    Delta or fan delta:...

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  3. Malin MC, Edgett SK (2003) Evidence for persistent flow and aqueous sedimentation on early mars. Science 302(5652):1931–1934. doi:10.1126/science.1090544CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Stainstreet IG, McCarthy TS (1993) The Okavango fan and the classification of subaerial fan systems. Sediment Geol 85:115–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NASA Ames Research Center/NPPMoffett FieldUSA