Multiple terraces within the deep incised Zaire Valley (ZaïAngo Project): are they confined levees?
N. Babonneau, B. Savoye, M. Cremer, M. Bez, 2004. "Multiple terraces within the deep incised Zaire Valley (ZaïAngo Project): are they confined levees?", Confined Turbidite Systems, S. A. Lomas, P. Joseph
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Terraces have been frequently observed and described along turbidite valleys. Many interpretations have been aimed at determining the origin of these structures, including a tectonic origin, succession of infilling and incision processes, channel-wall slumps, or inner levee aggradation. The Zaire submarine valley presents a complex structure with multiple terraces bordering a deep incised meandering thalweg. The detailed analysis of the morphology, the seismic structure and the recent sedimentation (in cores) along the Zaire upper-fan valley show that terraces are inner levees confined within the incised valley. Many terraces correspond to the infilling of abandoned meanders, and aggrade by deposition of turbidite sequences due to current overflows. The major process affecting the initiation and the development of terraces inside the valley is the vertical incision of the thalweg, simultaneously with meander migration.