Coarse-grained Infill of Failure-generated Slope Accommodation, Tres Pasos Formation, West Face, Sierra Contreras, Southern Chile
Michael R. Shultz, Timothy D. Cope, Andrea Fildani, Stephan A. Graham, 2008. "Coarse-grained Infill of Failure-generated Slope Accommodation, Tres Pasos Formation, West Face, Sierra Contreras, Southern Chile", Atlas of Deep-Water Outcrops, Tor H. Nilsen, Roger D. Shew, Gary S. Steffens, Joseph R. J. Studlick
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Two thick turbidite sandstone units collectively form the basal Tres Pasos Formation sandstone exposed on the west face of the Sierra Contreras mountain range, Ultima Esperanza, chile (Figures 1,2). Both sandstone units overlie and interact with thick mass-transport complexes (MTCs). These units are generically interpreted to represent infill of accommodation produced by slope failure, and may represent submarine fans, channel-fill units, crevasse-splay units, or units representing channel capture by slope failure. Extensive exposure of both coarse- and fine-grained strata make the Tres Pasos Formation an important analog system for hydrocarbon reservoirs in mud-rich, structurally complex, slope environments. This spectacular outcrop underscores the importance of slope failure on the preservation and stratigraphic architecture of deep-water sandstones.
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Tor H. Nilsen, a red-haired Scandinavian who stood more than six feet tall, died October 9, 2005, at his San Carlos, California, home. This was after a valiant five-year fight with melanoma cancer. He was 63. His ashes were scattered at his family plot in Norway in 2006.
He was born in New York City on November 29, 1941, to Mollie Abrahamson and Nils Marius Nilsen of Mandal, Norway, and was the first of their children to be born in the United States. After graduating from Brooklyn Tech, he earned his B.S. in geology from City College of New York in 1962. While there, his prowess on the basketball court impressed a scout from the New York Knicks, but Tor went on to graduate school and earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in geology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1964 and 1967, respectively. His M.S. thesis was a study of Precambrian metasedimentary deposits in the Lake Superior area, and his Ph.D. thesis was a study of Devonian alluvial-fan deposits of the Old Red Sandstone in western Norway.
Dr. Nilsen’s principal expertise was in depositional systems analysis, stratigraphic analysis, and the relationships among tectonics, eustasy, and sedimentation. He began his industry career in 1967 as a research geologist with the Shell Development Company in Houston, Texas, and Ventura, California, where he worked on the tectonics and sedimentation of Tertiary shelf systems of coastal California. He subsequently spent two years with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as the Military