3D anatomy of late Neogene contourite drifts and associated mass flows in the Faroe-Shetland Basin
Paul C. Knutz, Joseph A. Cartwright, 2004. "3D anatomy of late Neogene contourite drifts and associated mass flows in the Faroe-Shetland Basin", 3D Seismic Technology: Application to the Exploration of Sedimentary Basins, Richard J. Davies, Joseph A. Cartwright, Simon A. Stewart, Mark Lappin, John R. Underhill
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We have combined 3D mapping of key reflectors with seismic profiles to describe the geometry and anatomy of contourite drifts formed by deep waters passing through the oceanic gateway of the Faroe-Shetland Channel. The West Shetland Drift complex is characterized by sheeted-mounded drift units, and upslope migrating sediment waves accreting over an early Pliocene unconformity. The basin section is constructed by a series of asymmetric depositional units of early Pliocene-Pleistocene age, interlayered by three mega-debrite sequences that extend into the basin. The Pliocene drift surface display an enhanced topography of bifurcating moat-channels that tend to branch out in a southwest direction. Along the lower slope a succession of upslope migrating sediment waves has accumulated from the Pliocene drift topography. These features extend to the present sea bed at water depths of 700-1000 m where they appear as a series of linear, bifurcating ridges. The high accumulation rates of the West Shetland Drift since the early Pliocene transition and the formation of upslope migrating sediment waves is related to a sustained flow of Norwegian Sea deep waters and cross-slope transport of fine-grained sediments from the NW European shelf.