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California Borderland

Maps comparing lowstand versus highstand sediment routing patterns for southern

Maps comparing lowstand versus highstand sediment routing patterns for southern California Borderland (from Covault et al., 2007)

Recent to modern submarine fan systems offer unique insights into the processes of sandy deep-water sedimentation. Analysis of modern systems provides turbidite researchers a glimpse of sea-floor morphology as well as timing and distribution of sediment gravity flow deposits. Factors that influence deep-water sedimentation, such as (1) basin setting, (2) source-to-basin sediment dispersal, (3) source area composition, (4) structural/tectonic activity, (5) sea level stands, and (6) climatic fluctuations, are relatively well-known for Holocene systems (last 11,000 years) and, thus, provide a contextual framework for understanding controls on deep-water sedimentation. Former SPODDS students were fortunate to collaborate with USGS, Menlo Park marine geologist Bill Normark, who has studied modern deep-water systems around the world for decades. This collaboration continues with Mary McGann (USGS, Menlo Park) and broadens our analyses and knowledge of deep-water sedimentation.

Brian Romans studied the evolution and architecture of the Hueneme Fan through the Holocene in the Santa Monica Basin as part of his Ph.D. research (completed 2008). Jake Covault's Ph.D. (completed 2008) involved work on high-resolution near-surface seismic-reflection analysis of a Late Quaternary, littoral drift fed turbidite system (the San Diego Trough). Abena Temeng completed a Masters thesis (2009) on the Newport Canyon system using high-resolution AUV bathymetric data and chirp sub-bottom profiles.