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Publication Detail
End-signature of deep-marine basin-fill, as a structurally confined low-gradient clastic slope: the Middle Eocene Guaso system, south-central Spanish Pyrenees.
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Article
  • Authors:
    Sutcliffe C, Pickering KT
  • Publisher:
    Blackwell Scientific
  • Publication date:
    2009
  • Pagination:
    1670, 1689
  • Journal:
    Sedimentology
  • Volume:
    56
  • Status:
    Published
  • Print ISSN:
    0037-0746
Abstract
The ca 300 m thick Guaso system is the youngest part of the ca 4 km thick deep-marine fill of the Middle Eocene Ainsa basin, Spanish Pyrenees. It is overlain by 150 to 200 m of fine-grained slope, prodelta and deltaic sediments. The ca 25 discrete deep-marine sandbodies within the Ainsa basin accumulated over ca 10 Myr, making eustasy the most likely control for coarse sand deposition (probably the ca 400 kyr Milankovitch mode). The first-order control on basin-scale accommodation, however, was tectonically-driven subsidence. Previously, the Guaso sandbodies were interpreted as linked to deep erosional, canyon-like features, but here it is argued that they are laterally extensive sandbodies, built by lateral-switching of 3 to 10 m deep erosional channels, and confined only by basin structure during deposition. The Guaso system represents the end of deep-marine deposition in a structurally-confined, delta-fed, low-gradient clastic system. The critical end-signature of deep-marine deposition was a phase of differential tectonic uplift above the underlying (BoltanĖœ a) thrust creating a narrower and shallower basin morphology, thus allowing sedimentation to create a low-gradient clastic system. Then, the next eustatic sea-level fall was insufficient to permit the cutting of canyons or deeply-incised slope channels, as had been the case earlier when the topographic relief between shelf and basin was at least several hundred metres greater. Such low-gradient clastic systems may characterize the end-signature for the infill of other shallowing-up deep-marine basins where a tectonic driver on subsidence is removed and/or differential uplift/subsidence leads to reduced sea floor gradients, leaving eustasy and sediment flux as the principal control on sediment supply.
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