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Deep Marine Systems: Processes, Deposits, Environments, Tectonics and Sedimentation

ISBN: 978-1-118-86549-1
672 pages
November 2015, American Geophysical Union
Deep Marine Systems: Processes, Deposits, Environments, Tectonics and Sedimentation (1118865499) cover image

Description

Deep-water (below wave base) processes, although generally hidden from view, shape the sedimentary record of more than 65% of the Earth’s surface, including large parts of ancient mountain belts. This book aims to inform advanced-level undergraduate and postgraduate students, and professional Earth scientists with interests in physical oceanography and hydrocarbon exploration and production, about many of the important physical aspects of deep-water (mainly deep-marine) systems. The authors consider transport and deposition in the deep sea, trace-fossil assemblages, and facies stacking patterns as an archive of the underlying controls on deposit architecture (e.g., seismicity, climate change, autocyclicity). Topics include modern and ancient deep-water sedimentary environments, tectonic settings, and how basinal and extra-basinal processes generate  the typical characteristics of basin slopes, submarine canyons, contourite mounds and drifts, submarine fans, basin floors and abyssal plains.

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Table of Contents

Preface xi

About the companion website xiii

Part 1 Process and product 1

1 Physical and biological processes 3

1.1 Introduction 4

1.2 Shelf-edge processes 5

1.2.1 High-level escape of mud from the shelf 5

1.2.2 Currents in submarine canyons 7

1.2.3 Internal waves 9

1.2.4 Sediment slides and mass transport complexes (MTCs) 10

1.3 Deep, thermohaline, clear-water currents 12

1.4 Density currents and sediment gravity flows 16

1.4.1 Classification 17

1.4.2 Transformations between flow types 21

1.5 Turbidity currents and turbidites 23

1.5.1 Definition and equations of flow 23

1.5.2 Natural variations and triggering processes 27

1.5.3 Supercritical flow of turbidity currents 32

1.5.4 Autosuspension in turbidity currents 33

1.5.5 Effects of obstacles in the flow path 33

1.5.6 Turbidites 34

1.5.7 Cross-stratification in turbidites 36

1.5.8 Antidunes in turbidites 37

1.5.9 Turbidites from low-concentration flows 38

1.5.10 Downcurrent grain size–bed thickness trends in turbidites 40

1.5.11 Time scales for turbidite deposition 40

1.6 Concentrated density flows and their deposits 42

1.6.1 Deposits from concentrated density flows 42

1.6.2 Large mud clasts in concentrated density-flow deposits 44

1.7 Inflated sandflows and their deposits 45

1.7.1 Deposits of inflated sandflows 45

1.8 Cohesive flows and their deposits 46

1.8.1 Definitions and equations of flow 46

1.8.2 Turbulence of cohesive flows 48

1.8.3 Competence of cohesive flows 49

1.8.4 Deposits of cohesive flows, including debrites 49

1.8.5 Submarine versus subaerial cohesive flows 52

1.9 Accumulation of biogenic skeletons and organic matter 52

1.9.1 Environmental information from biogenic skeletons 55

2 Sediments (facies) 59

2.1 Introduction 60

2.2 Facies classifications 60

2.2.1 Seismic facies 62

2.2.2 The Pickering et al. classification scheme 62

2.3 Facies Class A: Gravels, muddy gravels, gravelly muds, pebbly sands, ≥5% gravel grade 65

2.3.1 Facies Group A1: Disorganised gravels, muddy gravels, gravelly muds and pebbly sands 66

2.3.2 Facies Group A2: Organised gravels and pebbly sands 69

2.4 Facies Class B: Sands, >80% sand grade, <5% pebble grade 75

2.4.1 Facies Group B1: Disorganised sands 76

2.4.2 Facies Group B2: Organised sands 77

2.5 Facies Class C: Sand–mud couplets and muddy sands, 20–80% sand grade, <80% mud grade (mostly silt) 79

2.5.1 Facies Group C1: Disorganised muddy sands 79

2.5.2 Facies Group C2: Organised sand–mud couplets 82

2.6 Facies Class D: Silts, silty muds, and silt–mud couplets, >80% mud, ≥40% silt, 0–20% sand 85

2.6.1 Facies Group D1: Disorganised silts and silty muds 85

2.6.2 Facies Group D2: Organised silts and muddy silts 87

2.7 Facies Class E: ≥95% mud grade, <40% silt grade, <5% sand and coarser grade, <25% biogenics 90

2.7.1 Facies Group E1: Disorganised muds and clays 90

2.7.2 Facies Group E2: Organised muds 94

2.8 Facies Class F: Chaotic deposits 98

2.8.1 Facies Group F1: Exotic clasts 98

2.8.2 Facies Group F2: Contorted/disturbed strata 99

2.9 Facies Class G: Biogenic oozes (>75% biogenics), muddy oozes (50–75% biogenics), biogenic muds (25–50% biogenics) and chemogenic sediments, <5% terrigenous sand and gravel 102

2.9.1 Facies Group G1: Biogenic oozes and muddy oozes 102

2.9.2 Facies Group G2: Biogenic mud 104

2.10 Injectites (clastic dykes and sills) (Figs 2.46–2.50) 105

2.11 Facies associations 111

3 Deep-water ichnology 112

3.1 Introduction 112

3.2 General principles of ichnology 113

3.2.1 Preservational classification of trace fossils 113

3.2.2 Ethological classification of trace fossils 114

3.2.3 Taxonomic classification of common deep-water trace fossils 115

3.3 Colonisation of SGF deposits: Opportunistic and equilibrium ecology 122

3.4 Ichnofacies 125

3.5 Ichnofabrics 127

3.6 Trace fossils in core 128

3.7 Case study I: Trace fossils as diagnostic indicators of deep-marine environments, Middle Eocene Ainsa–Jaca basins, Spanish Pyrenees 129

3.7.1 Introduction 129

3.7.2 Study area: Ainsa–Jaca basins 129

3.7.3 Trace-fossil distributions 129

3.7.4 Interpretation 129

3.8 Case study II: Subsurface ichnological characterisation of the Middle Eocene Ainsa deep-marine system, Spanish Pyrenees 130

3.8.1 Introduction 130

3.8.2 Trace-fossil distributions and ichnofabrics in the Ainsa System, Ainsa Basin, Spanish Pyrenees 130

3.8.3 Interpretation 132

3.9 Summary of ichnology studies in deep-water systems 134

3.10 Concluding remarks 134

4 Time–space integration 136

4.1 Introduction 136

4.2 Submarine fan growth phases and sequence stratigraphy 144

4.2.1 Early models for fan development and relative base-level change 144

4.2.2 California Borderland submarine fans and base-level change 149

4.2.3 Recent studies of ancient submarine fans and inferred base-level changes 151

4.3 Tectono-thermal/glacio-eustatic controls at evolving passive continental margins 153

4.4 Eustatic sea-level changes at active plate margins 154

4.5 Changing relative base level and sediment delivery processes 160

4.6 Autocyclic processes 164

4.6.1 Autocyclicity in submarine channels 164

4.6.2 Fill-and-spill model for slope basins 167

4.6.3 Autocyclicity in fan deltas 170

4.7 Palaeo-seismicity and the stratigraphic record 171

4.8 Deconvolving tectonic and climatic controls on depositional sequences in tectonically active basins: Case study from the Eocene, Spanish Pyrenees 171

4.9 Problems in determining controls on sediment delivery 183

4.10 Carbonate versus siliciclastic systems 191

4.11 Computer simulations of deep-water stratigraphy 193

4.12 Laboratory simulations of deep-water stratigraphy 193

4.13 Supercritical versus subcritical fans 194

4.14 Hierarchical classification of depositional units 195

4.15 Concluding comments 196

5 Statistical properties of sediment gravity flow (SGF) deposits 200

5.1 Introduction 200

5.2 Cloridorme Formation, Middle Ordovician, Québec 205

5.3 Vertical trends 218

5.3.1 Tests for randomness 223

5.3.2 Correlation tests to identify asymmetric trends 224

5.3.3 Realisation that asymmetric trends can be formed, at low probability, by random processes 227

5.3.4 Asymmetric trends in the grain size of SGF deposits 230

Part 2 Systems 237

6 Sediment drifts and abyssal sediment waves 239

6.1 Introduction 239

6.2 Distribution and character of contourites and sediment drifts, North Atlantic Ocean 241

6.2.1 Broad sheeted drifts 243

6.2.2 Elongate drifts 245

6.2.3 Sediment waves 245

6.2.4 Thin contourite sheets 249

6.2.5 Other abyssal current-generated structures 249

6.3 Facies of muddy and sandy contourites 251

6.4 Seismic facies of contourites 255

6.5 The debate concerning bottom-current reworking of sandy fan sediments 255

6.6 Ancient contourites 257

6.6.1 Talme Yafe Formation 258

6.7 Facies model for sediment drifts 260

7 Submarine fans and related depositional systems: modern 262

7.1 Introduction 262

7.2 Major controls on submarine fans 266

7.2.1 Sediment type 266

7.2.2 Tectonic setting and activity 266

7.2.3 Sea-level fluctuations 267

7.3 Submarine canyons 274

7.3.1 Shifting locus of coarse-grained clastic input 277

7.4 Architectural elements of submarine-fan systems 277

7.4.1 Channels and channel–levée systems 280

7.4.2 Waveforms (sediment waves) 290

7.4.3 Lobes 294

7.4.4 Sheets 298

7.4.5 Scours and megaflutes 299

7.4.6 Mass-transport complexes 302

7.5 The distribution of architectural elements in modern submarine fans 303

7.6 Modern non-fan dispersal systems 303

7.7 Concluding remarks 307

8 Submarine fans and related depositional systems: ancient 309

8.1 Introduction 309

8.2 Ancient submarine canyons 311

8.3 Ancient submarine channels 313

8.3.1 Channel scale, architecture and stacking patterns 313

8.3.2 Channel stacking 329

8.3.3 Case study: Milliners Arm Formation, NewWorld Island, Newfoundland 333

8.3.4 Levées 341

8.3.5 Lateral accretion deposits (LAPs) 347

8.3.6 Post-depositional modification of channel fills 354

8.4 Comparing modern and ancient channels 355

8.5 Ancient lobe, lobe-fringe, fan-fringe and distal basin-floor deposits 357

8.6 Seafloor topography and onlaps 369

8.7 Scours 377

8.8 Basin-floor sheet-like systems 382

8.9 Prodeltaic clastic ramps 387

8.10 Concluding remarks 393

Part 3 Plate tectonics and sedimentation 403

9 Evolving and mature extensional systems 405

9.1 Introduction 406

9.2 Models for lithospheric extension 408

9.3 Subsidence and deep-water facies of rifts and young passive margins 410

9.4 The post-breakup architecture of passive margins 413

9.4.1 Passive margins outboard of major deltas 415

9.4.2 Passive margins underlain by mobile salt 415

9.4.3 Slope apron of the northwest African margin 416

9.4.4 Passive margins swept by bottom currents 417

9.4.5 Glaciated passive margins 421

9.4.6 Carbonate platforms and ramps 425

9.5 Failed rift systems 428

9.6 Fragments of ancient passive margins 429

9.7 Concluding remarks 430

10 Subduction margins 433

10.1 Introduction 433

10.2 Modern subduction factories 435

10.2.1 Forearcs 435

10.2.2 Trench sedimentation 437

10.2.3 Accretionary prisms 443

10.2.4 Role of seamounts in subduction factory 449

10.2.5 Very oblique convergence and strike-slip in subduction factory 453

10.2.6 Preservation and recognition of trench stratigraphy 459

10.2.7 Forearc basins/slope basins 459

10.2.8 Fluid flow and plumbing in forearc settings 467

10.3 Arc–arc collision zones 474

10.4 Forearc summary model 482

10.5 Marginal/backarc basins 483

10.6 Ancient convergent-margin systems 488

10.7 Forearc/backarc cycles 493

10.8 Concluding remarks 493

11 Foreland basins 497

11.1 Introduction 498

11.2 Modern foreland basins 499

11.2.1 Neogene–Quaternary Taiwan 499

11.2.2 Neogene Quaternary Southern Banda Arc 502

11.3 Ancient deep-marine foreland basins 506

11.3.1 Permo–Triassic Karoo foreland basin, South Africa 507

11.3.2 Oligocene–Miocene foreland basin, Italian Apennines 509

11.3.3 Lower Palaeozoic foreland basin, Quebec Appalachians 513

11.3.4 South Pyrenean foreland basin and thrust-top/piggyback basins 515

11.4 Concluding remarks 523

12 Strike-slip continental margin basins 528

12.1 Introduction 528

12.2 Kinematic models for strike-slip basins 529

12.3 Suspect terranes 529

12.4 Depositional models for strike-slip basins 532

12.5 Modern strike-slip mobile zones 537

12.5.1 Californian continental margin 541

12.5.2 Gulf of California transtensional ocean basin 555

12.6 Ancient deep-marine oblique-slip mobile zones 557

12.6.1 Mesozoic Pyrenees 560

12.6.2 Lower Palaeozoic north central Newfoundland and Britain 562

12.7 Concluding remarks 566

References 573

Index 647

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Author Information

Kevin T. Pickering is Professor of Sedimentology & Stratigraphy in the Department of Earth Sciences at University College London, U.K. He has published ~140 peer-reviewed papers, co-authored 6 books and edited 3 books on aspects of deep-water sediments and global environmental issues. He managed the industry-sponsored Ainsa Project, an integrated outcrop-subsurface drilling project to understand deep-marine channels in the Spanish Pyrenees, and has sailed on four international scientific drilling expeditions (DSDP, ODP, IODP). In 2010, in recognition of his research, Pickering was elected as a Fellow of the Geological Society of America.

Richard N. Hiscott is an Emeritus Professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada.  His 40 years of process-oriented research covers ancient deep-sea to alluvial facies of Proterozoic to Cretaceous age, four Ocean Drilling Program campaigns including Amazon submarine fan, Quaternary sedimentology of the Labrador Sea, Santa Monica Basin, and the Black Sea region including dynamics of the saline gravity current that enters the low-salinity Black Sea through the Bosphorus Strait.

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