Facies architecture of submarine channel deposits on the western Niger Delta slope: Implications for grain-size and density stratification in turbidity currents

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. The published version of this Preprint is available: https://doi.org/10.1002/2016JF003903. This is version 1 of this Preprint.


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Zane Richards Jobe, Zoltan Sylvester, Michele Bolla-Pittaluga, Alessandro Frascati, Carlos Pirmez, Daniel Minisini, Nick Howes, Alessandro Cantelli


High-resolution bathymetry, seismic reflection, and piston core data from a submarine channel on the western Niger Delta slope demonstrate that thick, coarse-grained, amalgamated sands in the channel thalweg/axis transition to thin, fine-grained, bedded sands and muds in the channel margin. Radiocarbon ages indicate that axis and margin deposits are coeval. Core data show that bed thickness, grain size, and deposition rate strongly decrease with increasing height above channel thalweg and/or distance from channel centerline. A 5 times decrease in bed thickness and 1–2 ψ decrease in grain size are evident over a 20 m elevation change (approximately the elevation difference between axis and margin). A simplified in-channel sedimentation model that solves vertical concentration and velocity profiles of turbidity currents accurately reproduces the vertical trends in grain size and bed thickness shown in the core data set. The close match between data and model suggests that the vertical distribution of grain size and bed thickness shown in this study is widely applicable and can be used to predict grain size and facies variation in data-poor areas (e.g., subsurface cores). This study emphasizes that facies models for submarine channel deposits should recognize that grain-size and thickness trends within contemporaneous axis-margin packages require a change in elevation above the thalweg. The transition from thick-bedded, amalgamated, coarser-grained sands to thin-bedded, nonamalgamated, finer-grained successions is primarily a reflection of a change in elevation. Even a relatively small elevation change (e.g., 1 m) is enough to result in a significant change in grain size, bed thickness, and facies.




Earth Sciences, Geology, Geomorphology, Mathematics, Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology, Other Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Sedimentology, Stratigraphy


model, submarine channel, turbidite, levee, terrace


Published: 2018-01-28 11:10


Academic Free License (AFL) 3.0

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