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Abstract

Abstract: Deep-marine strata of the Windermere Supergroup, which currently are exposed in an area over 35,000 km2 in the southern Canadian Cordillera, were deposited on the passive margin of Neoproterozoic western North America. In the Isaac Formation at the Castle Creek study area, stratigraphic evidence of slope instability occurs as mass-movement (slump and slide) and cohesive-debris-flow deposits that crop out locally through the 1.5-km-thick succession. These deposits are particularly common in a mass-transport deposit (MTD) up to 110 m thick that occurs sandwiched between two major channel complexes. Interstratified within these deposits are common coarse-grained channel fills that preferentially infilled irregular topography on the seafloor. In many instances, this irregular topography was most probably related to earlier emplacement of debris-flow and slump and slide deposits. Important stratigraphic characteristics in this succession suggest that this particular MTD represents a major change in the nature of sediment supply and transport and depositional processes within the basin. These changes are interpreted to be controlled principally by changes of relative sea level, which had a first-order control on sediment supply, sediment caliber, and sediment composition to the slope and more distal basin floor.

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