Analysis of major modern deltas in terms of drainage patterns supplying the delta and the tectonic setting of the deltaic accumulation reveals that there are four principal types: namely, (1) intracratonic and (2) rifted-continental-margin deltas with either Afrotype or Amerotype drainage, (3) marginal-basin deltas, and (4) deltas at the boundary between a craton and Mesozoic-Cenozoic orogenic belts with grain-parallel drainage. These different types of delta are expressed in the character of their basement and the lithostratigraphy of their deltaic pile. Recognition of these different delta types is useful for predicting the paleogeographic situation and structural history of ancient deltas.

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