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Abstract

The Late Permian Ecca Group (1300 m thick) in the Tanqua Karoo consists of a basin floor fan complex (400 m thick), overlain by river-dominated deltaic deposits and associated updip fluvial deposits. This succession is subdivided into two “third-order” depositional sequences with several superimposed high-frequency, “fourth-order” depositional sequences. The Tanqua submarine fan complex contains six regionally distinct fan systems (24 to 60 m thick), five of which form a progradational stack, as revealed by their spatial distribution and regional facies variation. The sixth fan is situated to the south and downlaps onto the fifth fan. This long-term (third-order) progradational pattern records a combination of reduced accommodation space and/or increased sediment supply. Each fan system is assigned to the lowstand systems tract of each high-frequency, fourth-order sequence, and the particular attributes of each fan system are a consequence of their respective positions within the lower-frequency third-order sequence.

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