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Book Chapter

Prograding Shelfbreak Types on Passive Continental Margins: Some European Examples1

By
Denis Mougenot
Denis Mougenot
Université Pierre et Marie Curie de Paris, Laboratorie de Géodynamique sous-marine
06230 Villefranche-sur-mer, France
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Gilbert Boillot
Gilbert Boillot
Université Pierre et Marie Curie de Paris, Laboratorie de Géodynamique sous-marine
06230 Villefranche-sur-mer, France
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Jean-Pierre Rehault
Jean-Pierre Rehault
Université Pierre et Marie Curie de Paris, Laboratorie de Géodynamique sous-marine
06230 Villefranche-sur-mer, France
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Published:
January 01, 1983

ABSTRACT

This study focuses on the origin of prograding shelfbreaks on passive margins, using as examples selected seismic sections recorded on Iberian Atlantic and Western Mediterranean margins. Five main factors appear to control shelf progradation: (1) the amount and nature of sediment contributed to the outer shelf; (2) the equilibrium depth H at which sedimentary particles come to rest, a factor depending on grain-size distribution and specific hydrodynamic conditions at the depositional site (according to the models presented herein, H is the shelfbreak depth); (3) the morphology of the margin, i.e. the shelfbreak is significantly prograding only where the shelf forms on a slightly inclined slope or a marginal plateau; (4) the geological activity of the margin, i.e. prograding shelves have a sigmoid configuration on young subsiding margins, and an oblique configuration on mature, slowly subsiding margins; (5) the eustatic sealevel changes, i.e. the shelfbreak is eroded during periods of low sealevel and is built-up and progrades during periods of high sealevel. In sum, the prograding outeredge of shelves provides a fairly reliable record of Quaternary sealevel changes and of the geological evolution of margins, of which they are an integral part.

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SEPM Special Publication

The Shelfbreak: Critical Interface on Continental Margins

Daniel Jean Stanley
Daniel Jean Stanley
Division of Sedimentology Smithsonian Institution
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George T. Moore
George T. Moore
Chevron Oil Field Research Company La Habra California
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SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology
Volume
33
ISBN electronic:
9781565761636
Publication date:
January 01, 1983

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