Abstract

The Doumsan fan delta in the Miocene Pohang Basin (SE Korea) includes large-scale gravelly Gilbert-type foresets that are more than 150 m high and dip at about 20 degrees . The foresets consist of six sedimentary facies: medium- to thick-bedded sandy gravel deposits with variable grading patterns and bed geometries (Facies A), thin- to medium-bedded, commonly inversely graded sandy gravel deposits (Facies B), sheet-like layers, a few grains thick, of pebble gravel (gravel sheets; Facies C), lensoidal layers, a few grains thick, of cobble to boulder gravel (gravel lenses; Facies D), thin-bedded sand with outsized clasts (Facies E), and very thick-bedded (> 10 m thick) disorganized gravel deposits in the toeset area (Facies F). These facies are indicative of deposition from cohesionless debris flows (Facies A and B), debris falls (Facies C and D), turbulent flows (Facies E), and very thick debris flows that are related to large-scale foreset failure (Facies F). These facies are in close association with one another, except for Facies F, and are either vertically superposed or laterally juxtaposed within single sedimentation units. This suggests that these facies originated from a series of evolving sediment gravity flows. A cohesionless debris flow generated at the topset-foreset boundary or on the middle of the foreset slope segregated its sediments into a pebble-rich lower division and a sandy upper division with sparse cobble-to-boulder clasts by preferential upward drift of large clasts and surface transformation of fine-grained material. The pebbly lower division was emplaced by frictional freezing, forming Facies A beds. On the other hand, the sediments in the upper division continued to move as a sandy turbulent flow and bouldery debris fall, resulting in Facies E and D deposits downslope. The cohesionless debris flow occasionally transformed into a series of thinner flows by development of roll waves along the top of the flow, producing Facies B layers on the margin of a Facies A bed. Otherwise, the cohesionless debris flow transformed into grain-assemblage debris fall and single-grain debris fall consecutively by removal of interstitial sand via downward percolation and stripping into ambient water. The debris falls produced gravel sheets (Facies C) and gravel lenses (Facies D). During this flow transformation, cobble- to boulder-size clasts and sandy material were selectively transported farther downslope, resulting in prominent textural bimodality of the prodelta deposits, which comprise isolated large clasts and lensoidal deposits of cobble-to-boulder gravel set in sandy background material.

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