Seafloor and Near-Subsurface Studies
Published:January 01, 2011
The present study provides an overview of recent sedimentation patterns on the central Algerian continental margin. Recent sedimentation patterns were assessed from morphological analysis, which is based on swath bathymetry and echo-facies mapping. It appears that sedimentation along the Algerian margin is controlled by two processes: (1) gravity-induced processes, including both mass-transport deposits and turbidity currents, and (2) hemipelagic sedimentation. Mass-transport deposits occur on the Algerian margin at the canyon heads and flanks, in the interfluve areas between canyons, along the seafloor escarpments, and on the flanks of salt diapirs. Mass-transport deposits (MTDs) sampled by coring consist of a variety of soft and hard mud-clast conglomerate and turbidite deposits. MTDs are mostly localized at the toes of steep slopes, where thrust faults were previously identified and mapped. Analysis of the spatial distribution of MTDs and their recurrence in time help reconstruct the main predisposing factors and triggering mechanisms, and evaluate their impact on evolution of the Algerian margin.
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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.