Published:January 01, 2011
The significance of submarine mass movement on most continental margins is now well established in the scientific literature. The resultant sedimentary deposits have been called by many names, but will be hereafter termed mass-transport deposits (MTDs) for this publication. Such deposits are distinctive in deepwater depositional systems, most commonly due to their large size, distinctive morphology, and chaotic internal character. Recently, regional overviews have identified a number of margins around the world where MTDs are commonly observed on or near the seafloor across much of the continental slope (e.g., Weaver et al., 2000; Evan et al., 2005; Posamentier and Walker, 2006, Huhnerbach et al., 2008; Lee, 2009; Twichell et al. 2009; Boyd et al., 2010). Equally as common, but documented mostly on an areally smaller scale, MTDs have been reported to be a substantial component of the near-surface stratigraphic record in at least a few basins (e.g., Newton et al., 2004; Moscardelli et al., 2006; Posamentier and Walker, 2006; Giles et al., 2010).
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Mass-Transport Deposits in Deepwater Settings
Historically, submarine-mass failures or mass-transport deposits have been a focus of increasingly intense investigation by academic institutions particularly during the last decade, though they received much less attention by geoscientists in the energy industry. With recent interest in expanding petroleum exploration and production into deeper water depths globally and more widespread availability of high-quality data sets, mass-transport deposits are now recognized as a major component of most deep-water settings. This recognition has lead to the realization that many aspects of these deposits are still unknown or poorly understood. This volume contains twenty-three papers that address a number of topics critical to further understanding mass-transport deposits. These topics include general overviews of these deposits, depositional settings on the seafloor and in the near-subsurface interval, geohazard concerns, descriptive outcrops, integrated outcrop and seismic data/seismic forward modeling, petroleum reservoirs, and case studies on several associated topics. This volume will appeal to a broad cross section of geoscientists and geotechnical engineers, who are interested in this rapidly expanding field. The selection of papers in this volume reflects a growing trend towards a more diverse blend of disciplines and topics, covered in the study of mass-transport deposits.