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Unpredictable geometry and depositional stacking patterns of mass-transport complexes in salt minibasins

Biancardi, Cerys A., Alves, Tiago M. ORCID: and Martins-Ferreira, Marco Antonio Caçador 2020. Unpredictable geometry and depositional stacking patterns of mass-transport complexes in salt minibasins. Marine and Petroleum Geology 120 , 104522. 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2020.104522

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Mass-transport complexes in a salt minibasin of the Espírito Santo Basin (SE Brazil) are investigated using a high-quality 3D seismic volume and borehole data. A series of six (6), stacked MTCs were identified from the sea floor down to an approximate depth of 1.5 km. These MTCs exhibit a high variability in size and internal structures. Three of the MTCs contain single, discrete landslide deposits while the other three MTCs contain multiple, contemporaneous landslides that merge to span the entire salt minibasin. The data in this work show that Area/Length relationships and the number of contemporaneous landslide deposits within an MTC are random, revealing no obvious relationship with relative location or depth. As such, there are no clear stacking patterns for the MTCs in this minibasin. This implies that landslide deposits can be encountered anywhere within a salt minibasin and, furthermore, the extent of the slope failure and its internal structure are unpredictable. This work concludes that slope instability can be the dominant process of sediment filling Miocene salt minibasins on the continental slope of Espírito Santo. Moreover, there is a strong link between halokinesis and the triggering of landslides in the salt minibasins, but the identification of MTCs becomes challenging with increasing depth and there is the potential for them to be misrepresented. The identification of basal ramps therefore becomes critical in any analysis; except for the youngest MTC 1, all other complexes show clear basal ramps, and for one of the MTCs the basal ramp is its sole identifying character.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0264-8172
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 6 July 2020
Date of Acceptance: 5 June 2020
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2022 05:22

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