Canyon San Fernando, Mexico: A Deep-water, Channel-levee Complex Exhibiting Evolution from Submarine Canyon—Confined to Unconfined
Mason Dykstra, Ben Kneller, 2008. "Canyon San Fernando, Mexico: A Deep-water, Channel-levee Complex Exhibiting Evolution from Submarine Canyon—Confined to Unconfined", Atlas of Deep-Water Outcrops, Tor H. Nilsen, Roger D. Shew, Gary S. Steffens, Joseph R. J. Studlick
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The outcrops are located on the Pacific coast of Baja California, Mexico. They comprise a 1-km (3300-ft)-thick portion of the Upper Rosario Formation, an Upper Cretaceous slope succession that consists of hemipelagites and gravity-current deposits. In the Canyon San Fernando area, the Upper Rosario consists of the fill of a midslope submarine canyon overlain by a genetically related, unconfined channel-levee complex. Deposition occurred over approximately 1.6 million years, a time-scale consistent with a third- order sea-level cycle. Paleocurrent directions and paleogeographic reconstructions demonstrate that these channel systems flowed to the south-southwest on a west-southwest facing continental margin, indicating that channelized transport was obliquely downslope. The orientation of the channel systems was probably pinned by the location of a fault trending oblique to the slope.
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Atlas of Deep-Water Outcrops
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