A Caltech Library Service

Depositional turbidity currents in diapiric minibasins on the continental slope: Formulation and theory

Toniolo, Horacio and Lamb, Michael and Parker, Gary (2006) Depositional turbidity currents in diapiric minibasins on the continental slope: Formulation and theory. Journal of Sedimentary Research, 76 (5-6). pp. 783-797. ISSN 1527-1404. doi:10.2110/jsr.2006.071.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


The northern continental slope of the Gulf of Mexico is riddled with numerous subsiding diapiric minibasins bounded by ridges, many but not all of which are connected by channels created by turbidity currents. The region is economically relevant in that many of these diapiric minibasins constitute focal points for the deposition of sand. Some of these sandy deposits in turn serve as excellent reservoirs for hydrocarbons. A better understanding of the "fill and spill" process by which minibasins fill with mud and sand as the intervening ridges are dissected by canyons may serve to aid in the location of such reservoirs. In the present paper a theory is developed to describe sediment deposition in minibasins. The theory relies on the hypotheses that the turbidity currents in question are sustained for at least about one hour. Two key and heretofore unrecognized aspects of the "fill and spill" process are revealed: (1) the formation of an internal hydraulic jump as a turbidity current spills into a confined basin, and (2) the detrainment of water across a settling interface forming at the top of the ponded turbidity current downstream of the hydraulic jump. It is shown that sufficiently strong detrainment can consume the flow, so that they is no outflow of either water or sediment even with continuous inflow. As the basin fills with sediment, however, overspill is eventually realized. The theory is developed into a numerical model, tested against experiments and applied at field scale in a companion paper.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Lamb, Michael0000-0002-5701-0504
Parker, Gary0000-0001-5973-5296
Additional Information:© 2006 SEPM, Society for Sedimentary Geology. Received 1 May 2005; accepted 25 November 2005. This research was supported by the Office of Naval Research STRATA-FORM Program and the St. Anthony Falls Oil Consortium. The authors thank William Normark for providing data on ponded turbidity currents in Lake Superior.
Group:UNSPECIFIED, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Office of Naval Research (ONR)UNSPECIFIED
St. Anthony Falls Oil ConsortiumUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:5-6
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110804-140222283
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Toniolo, Horacio, Lamb, Michael, Parker, Gary Depositional Turbidity Currents in Diapiric Minibasins on the Continental Slope: Formulation and Theory Journal of Sedimentary Research 2006 76: 783-797
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:24693
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:04 Aug 2011 22:33
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 16:26

Repository Staff Only: item control page