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Fine-Grained, Mud-Rich Turbidite Systems: Model and Comparison with Coarse-Grained, Sand-Rich Systems

Arnold H. Bouma
Arnold H. Bouma
Department of Geology and Geophysics, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.A.
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January 01, 2000


Several models of submarine fans/turbidite systems have been published, based on tectonic setting, basin characteristics, grain size, types of gravity flows, relative sea-level fluctuations, and so on. Among the various general and specific models are two siliciclastic end members that are important guides for many turbidite studies: fine-grained, mud-rich, and coarse-grained, sand-rich turbidite systems.

Fine-grained, mud-rich complexes are typical for passive margin settings, with long fluvial transport, fed by deltas, wide shelf, efficient basin transport, resulting in a bypassing system. A high sand-to-shale ratio occurs at the base-of-slope, changes to an overall low ratio on the middle fan and to a high ratio on the outer fan. Coarse-grained, sand-rich complexes are typical for regions in active margin setting, characterized by a short continental transport distance, narrow shelf, and a canyon-sourced, nonefficient basin transport system that results in a prograding type of fan. The high sand-to-shale ratio slowly decreases away from channels and in the fan fringe region.

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AAPG Memoir

Fine-Grained Turbidite Systems

Arnold H. Bouma
Arnold H. Bouma
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Charles G. Stone
Charles G. Stone
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American Association of Petroleum Geologists
ISBN electronic:
Publication date:
January 01, 2000




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