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Submarine fan environment inferred from turbidite thickness distributions

Carlson, J. and Grotzinger, J. P. (2001) Submarine fan environment inferred from turbidite thickness distributions. Sedimentology, 48 (6). pp. 1331-1351. ISSN 0037-0746. doi:10.1046/j.1365-3091.2001.00426.x.

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Recent studies of turbidite bed thickness distributions have demonstrated power-law as well as log-normal statistical distributions. The different distributions may reflect different fan processes and environments and, therefore, could be used as a quantitative method to help identify those environments, including those devoid of sequential patterns. The cumulative distributions of well-known turbidite deposits spanning a range of interpreted fan subenvironments are used to illustrate the potential correlation between cumulative distribution and environments. Assuming that power-law distributions may, for some systems, be the primary input signal, one-dimensional modelling allows semi-quantitative characterization of the effects of different fan processes such as erosion and bed amalgamation. Environments indicative of different fan processes may be characterized based on the degree to which processes have acted as a ‘filter’ to modify the assumed power-law distribution systematically. This model of the effect of fan processes on the power-law distribution is used to help to account for bed thickness distributions observed in several field sites.

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URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle
Grotzinger, J. P.0000-0001-9324-1257
Additional Information:© 2001 International Association of Sedimentologists, Manuscript received 16 July 1998; revision accepted 3 July 2001. Article first published online: 11 Jan. 2002. Support by the Chevron Petroleum Oil Field Technology Company and NSF grant EAR-9506574 is greatly appreciated. Kathy Davidek, Tom Hickson, Brian Jacobson and Dawn Sumner are thanked for providing help and guidance at field localities. The manuscript benefited from thorough and very helpful reviews by Jim Best, Patience Cowie, Bill McCaffrey, Kevin Pickering, Hugh Sinclair and Pete Talling. Pete Talling provided very useful feedback regarding the occurrence and origin of log-normal distributions and on the alternative interpretation of powerlaw distributions. Patience Cowie and Hugh Sinclair repeated the simulations and are gratefully acknowledged for pointing out a potential error. We thank Dan Rothman, Will Schweller and Chuck Stelting for stimulating discussions of deep-water processes, encouragement and access to data.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Chevron Petroleum Oil Field Technology CompanyUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Bed thickness; debris flow; log-normal; power-law; scaling; submarine fan; turbidite
Issue or Number:6
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20141010-082008902
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Official Citation:Carlson, J. and Grotzinger, J. P. (2001), Submarine fan environment inferred from turbidite thickness distributions. Sedimentology, 48: 1331–1351. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-3091.2001.00426.x
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:50326
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:10 Oct 2014 15:55
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 18:54

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