Abstract

Introduction

That the importance of delta deposits has long been recognized is well attested by the many descriptions of such formations, both past and present, appearing in our geological literature. Professor Barrell's3 paper on the great Devonian delta of the Appalachian trough is an excellent illustration, while his study of the “Criteria for the determination of ancient delta deposits”4 is one of the classics of sedimentation.5

Yet when one desires to really visualize the “why and wherefore” of the internal structure of a delta, and searches the literature for experiments in delta-building, a surprising meagerness is found. Some6 have studied deltas principally from the viewpoint of the physiographer and have discussed their subaerial form. T. A. Jaggar, Jr.,7 gave some short conclusions in abstract, but unfortunately never published the complete report. Even the most recent literature on this subject contains little suggestion of what may be accomplished with synthetic deltas.8

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