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This paper uses three-dimensional seismic data to investigate the typologies, genetics, and mechanisms of soft-sediment deformational processes on the Ebro Continental Margin (offshore northeastern Spain). The study focuses on the two major types of soft-sediment deformation in the region: slope failure and fluid-escape structures. Such processes have operated almost continuously throughout the post-Pleistocene history of the Ebro Continental Margin, and have played a critical role in its overall evolution and construction. This study shows that vertical stacking patterns of submarine canyons create preferential pathways for fluid migration and slope failure. In these areas, three-dimensional seismic analysis reveals a potential cause-and-effect relationship between focused fluid migration and repeated slope failure. The proposed model is that focused fluid flow from sands within stacked submarine canyons leads to overpressure generation and reduction of sediment shear strength, making sediment susceptible to failure. The presence of a widespread region of fluid-escape structures and slope failures on the Ebro Continental Margin has important implications for offshore facilities. The relatively high resolution provided by the seismic data has been sufficient to be used for a geohazard assessment study, aimed at exploratory well design and field development. The results from this study have led to a detailed program of seafloor and near-surface evaluation over a proposed area in the area.

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