2012. "Introduction", Application of the Principles of Seismic Geomorphology to Continental Slope and Base-of-Slope Systems: Case Studies from SeaFloor and Near-Sea Floor Analogues, Bradford E. Prather, Mark E. Deptuck, David Mohrig, Berend Van Hoorn, Russell B. Wynn
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The study of near-seafloor deepwater landscapes and the processes that form them (Normark, 1970; Piper, 1970; Coleman and Bouma, 1984) are as important to the understanding of deeply buried marine depositional systems as the study of modern fluvial environments is to our understanding of ancient terrestrial depositional systems. In fact, these near-seafloor studies follow in the great tradition established by earlier clastic sedimentologists (e.g., Fisk, 1947; Lowman, 1947; Shepard et al., 1960; Shepard, 1964; Bernard and LeBlanc, 1965; Le Blanc, 1975) in using modern systems to understand ancient environments.
The acquisition of exploration 3D seismic surveys over the last few decades represents a significant advancement in data quality and density that can be used to push forward our community’s general understanding of slope and base-of-slope systems. High-frequency content near the seabed in 3D seismic volumes allows the display of seafloor geomorphology with a spatial resolution comparable to most deepwater multibeam bathymetric tools (Mosher et al. 2006).
Although near-seafloor depositional systems are imaged at a lower resolution than outcrops, they provide 3D information typically lacking from surface exposures. Near-seafloor seismic data allows the recognition of surfaces related to episodes of starvation, bypass, and/or erosion that control both reservoir bed-length and connectivity.