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The rapid accumulation of data, mainly from field observations and oceanographic research in the past few years, has forced the conclusion that turbidites are not freaks of nature but are very commonplace, especially in environments of deep-water sedimentation. Billions of barrels of oil have been produced from turbidites in the Los Angeles basin alone. A thorough knowledge of their characteristic features and mode of origin would be of great use in petroleum exploration and development in areas where turbidites exist. By virtue of their mode of deposition, turbidites have peculiar syngenetic structures which serve as useful recognition clues and as indicators of current direction and sea-bottom topography. Much more data collecting is necessary before these potential clues can be fully utilized in predicting shape, size, and trend of turbidites from isolated well data, but the possibilities are enormous. Turbidites are deposited in low places on the sea floor, and their over-all geometry is controlled by the shape of these low places. Channel, fan, and blanket-like shapes have been observed. Descriptions in the literature of entire turbidites, showing their complete geometry, are lacking, but four incomplete or generalized examples are given from the California Tertiary.

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