Characteristics of Fine-Grained Outer Fan Fringe Turbidite Systems
Comparing the fringes of modern and ancient fans seemingly results in different interpretations, probably caused by incompatible datasets. Studies on the Mississippi Fan suggest that the entire fan is controlled by a special form of branching of channelized flow. The fan-fringe sand bodies are finger shaped and considered to be overbank deposits. Observations from the Tan-qua Karoo outcrops suggest that sand transport starts either as narrow fingers at the end of many distributaries or as one “wide” sheet sand that breaks up into fingers. The two different interpretations, derived from modern and ancient deposits, have significant implications on transport processes of sand and on sand-body geometries, volumes, and connectivities.