Unlike fish, carbonate platforms commonly drown. After they do, pre-existing margins can impart large-scale inflections in bathymetry below the subsequent shelf break that influence sediment dispersal on the slope. Here, Hurd etal. explore the relation between a pre-existing, relict break in slope and subsequent accumulations in Permian strata of West Texas. The data reveal that increased slopes favor bypass and channels, which in turn favor accumulation of downdip, onlapping organic-rich shale and carbonate mud-dominated mass transport complexes. These results are interpreted to have general applicability to drowned carbonate platforms. And, no fish were harmed during this study either.
Large-scale inflections in slope anglebelow the shelf break: a first order control on the stratigraphic architectureof carbonate slopes: Cutoff Formation, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, WestTexas, U.S.A. by Gregory S. Hurd, Charles Kerans, Shawn Fullmer, Xavier Janson