Inversely graded grain-flow deposits are characterized by a hydraulic equivalence that differs from that based on settling velocities or entrainment. Dispersive equivalence, derived from the dispersive pressure hypothesis on how inverse grading develops, was found to agree reasonably well with observed relationships between grain sizes and densities in grain-flow deposits. Furthermore, observed relationships in deposits formed in subaerial and subaqueous environments were found to be independent of fluid density as is required by dispersive equivalence. The results suggest that dispersive pressure controls the development of the inverse grading common to beach foreshore laminations, slip-face foreset strata, the basal parts of some coarse-grained turbidites, and other diverse deposits.

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