On planet Earth, most sediment moves downslope; unfortunately, how and when it does so can be complicated. To explore linkages and develop predictive conceptual models of relations between shelf and basinal sedimentary systems, Koo and others describe shelf-edge architecture and evolution of coeval basin-floor fans in Maastrichtian strata (Washakie Basin, Wyoming), a high-sediment-supply basin. The results of examining 630 wireline logs show that the progradation and aggradation style of submarine fans is strongly coupled with the behavior of correlative the shelf edge and shelf-edge deltas, a link interpreted to be driven by relative changes in sea level. This conceptual model is interpreted to be applicable to sediment supply-dominated margins, even as sea level changes, because of limited space on the shelf. In contrast, this linkage might not be appropriate in accommodation-dominated margins with plenty of storage space on the shelf.
Coupling between shelf-edge architecture and submarine-fan growth style in a supply-dominated margin by Woong Mo Koo, Cornel Olariu, Ronald J. Steel, Mariana I. Olariu, Cristian R. Carvajal, and Wonsuck Kim