Many deep-water fans include intimately associated channels and lobes, formed by dynamic conditions of flow, sedimentation and erosion, and gradient. Fernandez et al. describe a series of large-scale experiments on non-channelized turbidity currents that illustrate the evolution and complex stratigraphy of channel-lobe systems developed updip and downdip of a break in slope. Data and analysis examined: (i) velocity and suspended sediment concentration of the flows themselves; (ii) time and spatial evolution of channel and lobe construction, and (iii) spatial trends in grain-size distribution along the deposit. The results provide a comparative picture of the gross structure of the fans, with information on their surfaces, growth dynamics, and times of activity of the incised channels and lobed features. Of particular note is the role that the break in slope played in governing channel aggradation and lobe architecture over the deposit, and ultimately controlling the dimension, geometry, and connectivity of the deposits.
Growth patterns of subaqueous depositional channellobe systems developed over a basement with a downdip break in slope:laboratory experiments by Rocio Luz Fernandez, Alessandro Cantelli, Carlos Pirmez, Octavio Sequeiros, and Gary Parker