Although the distinction may be lost on some, frontal and lateral lobe fringes can be distinct (see here and here and here). To explore lobes of deep-water settings. Spychala and others aim to: 1) to establish the characteristic facies associations that distinguish the different lobe fringe settings, and 2) to interpret flow processes that produce the observed facies variability. To do so, they examine the sedimentology and facies architecture of Fan 4 of the Skoorsteenberg Formation, Karoo Basin, South Africa. The data suggest that hybrid beds are most common in frontal fringe settings, whereas ripple-laminated beds dominate in lateral fringe positions, distinctions interpreted to be controlled by primary flow processes. These types of constraints on the temporal and spatially variability of lobe fringe successions aids deep-water fan reconstruction, provides building blocks for reservoir models, and reduces uncertainty in subsurface evaluation of analogous reservoirs.
Frontal and lateral submarine lobe fringes:comparing sedimentary facies, architecture, and flow processes by Yvonne T. Spychala, David M. Hodgson, Amandine Prélat, Ian A. Kane, Stephen S. Flint, and Nigel P. Mountney