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How fast do submarine fans grow? Insights from the Quaternary Golo fans, offshore Corsica

Michael L. Sweet, Gwladys T. Gaillot, Tammy M. Rittenour, Kathrine Love and Michael D. Blum
How fast do submarine fans grow? Insights from the Quaternary Golo fans, offshore Corsica
Geology (Boulder) (June 2021) 49 (10): 1204-1208


High-resolution seismic, core, and chronological data from the Quaternary Golo deep-sea fans, offshore Corsica, France, give new insights into rates of submarine fan growth. Average vertical deposition rates for units that represent the Late Pleistocene glacial periods are 0.1-0.5 m/k.y. Glacial-age deposits are sand rich; in contrast, post-glacial deposits lack a significant sand fraction and are dominated by carbonate-rich mud. As a result, seismically constrained volumetric rates of deposition for glacial periods with low sea level and a subaerially exposed shelf are approximately 0.23 km (super 3) /k.y., 2X-5X higher than rates during interglacials when sea level is high, the shelf is submerged, and sand is trapped in shallow-marine environments. At millennial time scales, variations in deposition rate reflect climate-driven sea-level changes, autogenic avulsion of river channels that extend across the shelf during low sea level, and autogenic avulsion of submarine channels that shift the locus of deposition laterally. Short-term deposition rates range from 8.6 m/k.y. at proximal portions of submarine fans to 0.4 m/k.y. along the distal fringe. Our data show that submarine fans can be dynamic environments with formation and evolution of levee-confined channels and lobe complexes in 10 (super 3) -10 (super 4) yr, comparable to the time scales needed to form fluvial channel belts and delta lobes.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 49
Serial Issue: 10
Title: How fast do submarine fans grow? Insights from the Quaternary Golo fans, offshore Corsica
Affiliation: University of Texas at Austin, Institute for Geophysics, Austin, TX, United States
Pages: 1204-1208
Published: 20210624
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 20
Accession Number: 2021-049189
Categories: Quaternary geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 1 table, sect.
N42°23'60" - N42°36'00", E09°35'60" - E10°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: ExxonMobil Exploration Company, USA, United StatesUtah State University, USA, United StatesUniversity of Kansas, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2022, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 202134
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