Skip to Main Content
Book Chapter

Impact of syndepositional faulting on gravity current behaviour and deep-water stratigraphy: Tabernas-Sorbas Basin, SE Spain

David M. Hodgson
David M. Hodgson
Department of Geological Sciences, Gower Street, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK Group, Department of Earth Sciences, Jane Herdman Laboratories, 4 Brownlow Street, Liverpool L69 3GP, UK
Search for other works by this author on:
Peter D. W. Haughton
Peter D. W. Haughton
Department of Geology, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
Search for other works by this author on:
January 01, 2004


Seabed faulting can have a significant impact on the routeing and behaviour of gravity currents depositing sand on deepwater basin floors. The Neogene El Cautivo Fault in the Tabernas-Sorbas Basin, SE Spain, is a rare example of a fault that demonstrably propagated through to the seabed during turbidite deposition, allowing the interplay between deepwater sedimentation and tectonics to be explored. The fault is associated with a wide (up to 350 m) gouge zone that varies significantly in thickness along its length, reflecting upward expansion towards the original seabed and progressive burial as fault activity ceased. Kinematic and stratigraphic evidence indicate that the fault was a dextral oblique strike-slip fault that accommodated an area of deeper ponded bathymetry (a ‘mini-basin’) and accelerated subsidence on its southern flank. Active faulting controlled the routeing of turbidity currents (revealed by changing provenance across the structure), rates of seabed deformation (resulting in differential subsidence and ‘growth’ of the stratigraphy), and the behaviour of the ponded currents (producing distinctive bipartite beds when deposition was in localized ponded depressions). The seabed expression of the fault varied from a forced fold, which warped the surface causing local wedging and onlap in the vicinity of the structure, and an unstable scarp that locally collapsed. The fault gouge fabrics and vein arrays are consistent with faulting of soft, water-rich sediment close to the seabed.

You do not currently have access to this article.
Don't already have an account? Register

Figures & Tables


Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Confined Turbidite Systems

S. A. Lomas
S. A. Lomas
Baker Atlas Geoscience, UK
Search for other works by this author on:
P. Joseph
P. Joseph
Institut Français du Petrole, France
Search for other works by this author on:
Geological Society of London
ISBN electronic:
Publication date:
January 01, 2004




A comprehensive resource of eBooks for researchers in the Earth Sciences

This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

View Article Abstract & Purchase Options

For full access to this pdf, sign in to an existing account, or purchase an annual subscription.

Subscribe Now