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Book Chapter

Debris Flows vs. Turbidity Currents: a Modeling Comparison of Their Dynamics and Deposits

By
Lincoln F. Pratson
Lincoln F. Pratson
Division of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, U.S.A.
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Jasim Imran
Jasim Imran
Department of Civil Engineering, University of South Carolina, Columbus, South Carolina, U.S.A.
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Gary Parker
Gary Parker
St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A.
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James P. M. Syvitski
James P. M. Syvitski
Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A.
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Eric Hutton
Eric Hutton
Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, U.S.A.
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Published:
January 01, 2000

Abstract

Debris flows tend to conserve their density, whereas turbidity currents constantly change theirs through erosion, deposition, and entrainment. Numerical models illustrate how this distinction leads to fundamental differences in the behaviors of debris flows and turbidity currents and the deposits they produce. The models predict that when begun on a slope that extends onto a basin floor, a debris flow will form a deposit that begins near its point of origin and gradually thickens basinward, ending abruptly at its head. By contrast, deposition from an ignitive turbidity current (i.e., one that causes significant erosion) will largely be restricted to the basin floor and will be separated from its origin on the slope by a zone of erosion. Furthermore, the turbidite will be thickest just beyond the slope base and thin basinward. These contrasting styles of deposition are accentuated when debris flows and turbidites are stacked.

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Contents

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
Volume
72
ISBN electronic:
9781629812625
Publication date:
January 01, 2000

GeoRef

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