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Abstract

High resolution seismic data from shallow analogues can be used to improve our understanding of deeply buried turbidite systems and provide an invaluable aid in resolving what would constitute first-order sub-seismic elements in a conventional seismic survey. This research focuses on the Late Pleistocene Brazos-Trinity turbidite system located on the northern Gulf of Mexico continental slope. The system lies immediately downdip of a lowstand shelfedge delta and is ponded in four mini-basins linked fill-and-spill style. The sedimentary fill consists of onlap-fill packages in each basin, deposited during the last glacial. The results of this work allow us to: {a) determine the overall architecture of a system where the physiographic context and timing are fairly well constrained; (b) reconstruct a complex basin fill history made up of high frequency forward and backstepping elements; (c) improve our understanding of lithofacies distribution; (d) demonstrate that channel levee systems do not represent the first establishment of bypass to downdip basins and are representative of the last sequence within a glacial cycle; and (e) suggest that high frequency climatically-linked changes in sediment supply may control the deposition of 5th order sequences in deep marine clastic systems.

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