A Linked Shelf-Edge Delta and Slope-Channel Turbidite System: 3D Seismic Case Study from the Eastern Gulf of Mexico
Henry W. Posamentier, 2013. "A Linked Shelf-Edge Delta and Slope-Channel Turbidite System: 3D Seismic Case Study from the Eastern Gulf of Mexico", Shelf Margin Deltas and Linked Down Slope Petroleum Systems–Global Significance and Future Exploration Potential, Harry H. Roberts, Norman C. Rosen, Richard H. Fillon, John B. Anderson
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Linked shelf edge deltas and slope channel systems are observed in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. The slope channels are characterized by deep incision into the substrate and moderate sinuosity nearly to the shelf-slope break. Channelized flows were not fully confined as evidenced by well-developed levees up to 90 m thick. This sinuosity suggests that turbulent flow within the channel was likely nearly from the uppermost slope. With apparent turbulence characterizing these channels nearly to the shelf-slope break, the dominant mode of sediment delivery to the slope and basin beyond probably was in the form of density underflow (i.e., hyperpycnal flow) rather than shelf edge slump and/or slide progressively transformed into turbidity flow.
The stages of evolution of these slope channels are (1) clustering of small slope gullies on the slope at the initiation of lowstand deposition, (2) dominance of one of these slope gullies and formation of one significant channel, formation of a frontal splay fed by the dominant channel, (3) abandonment of frontal splay deposition in favor of leveed channel deposition across the entire slope, and (4) entrenchment of the leveed channel into the earlier deposited leveed channel and frontal splay.