Encyclopedia of Planetary Landforms

2015 Edition
| Editors: Henrik Hargitai, Ákos Kereszturi

Subaqueous Fan

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-3134-3_591


Densely channelized distributary systems fed by turbidity currents flowing down underwater channels (Metz et al. 2009).



Modern terrestrial examples are up to several tens of km wide and over 1,000 m deep (Nichols 2009, p. 251 and references therein).


Submarine fans form by sediment transportation from rivers in the form of turbidity flows (Nichols 2009, p. 252).

Surface/Structural Units

(Nichols 2009, p. 251)

  1. (1)

    Submarine fan channels that may have levees associated with them. They may incise into or pass distally into depositional lobes.

  2. (2)

    Depositional lobes: slightly convex, broad sediment bodies formed at the distal end of channels where turbidity currents spread out. One individual lobe may represent multiple events of deposition. This progradation continues until channel avulses.

  3. (3)

    Submarine channel levee, formed in the distal part of the channel, where fine-grained turbidity flow may spill out...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NASA Ames Research Center/NPPMoffett FieldUSA