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Deep-sea fans; tapping into Earth's changing landscapes

Angela M. Hessler and Andrea Fildani
Deep-sea fans; tapping into Earth's changing landscapes
Journal of Sedimentary Research (November 2019) 89 (11): 1171-1179


Deep-sea fan sediments carry physical and chemical signatures that reflect the conditions under which their native landscapes evolved. Fans are long-lived, strongly net-depositional heaps of terrigenous debris, in some cases directly connected to a major river catchment. Here we use recent findings from deep-sea fans around the world to reason that modern fans might be our most continuous record of Cenozoic landscape change over large geographic scales. We opt for the use of multiple signatures that indicate major shifts in composition, because this approach avoids the problems inherent to measuring sediment flux alone. We emphasize the importance of looking across grain size, in particular at the clay fraction, the fastest carrier of sedimentary signals. Highlighted cases show the range of environmental signals preserved in deep-sea fans, observed over millennial and longer time scales, and how these signals help us understand the climate-surface interactions important to the carbon cycle. Revisiting legacy core with new techniques, in addition to future drilling campaigns, can provide the observational constraints needed to fill recognized gaps in climate models and landscape-erosion projections.

ISSN: 1527-1404
EISSN: 1938-3681
Serial Title: Journal of Sedimentary Research
Serial Volume: 89
Serial Issue: 11
Title: Deep-sea fans; tapping into Earth's changing landscapes
Affiliation: The Deep Time Institute, Austin, TX, United States
Pages: 1171-1179
Published: 201911
Text Language: English
Publisher: Society for Sedimentary Geology, Tulsa, OK, United States
References: 135
Accession Number: 2020-003919
Categories: Sedimentary petrology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: block diag.
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2020, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), Tulsa, OK, United States
Update Code: 202002
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