The Underwater Development of Holocene Fan Deltas

  1. Albina Colella3 and
  2. David B. Prior4
  1. D. B. Prior1 and
  2. B. D. Bornhold2

Published Online: 2 APR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444303858.ch4

Coarse-Grained Deltas

Coarse-Grained Deltas

How to Cite

Prior, D. B. and Bornhold, B. D. (1990) The Underwater Development of Holocene Fan Deltas, in Coarse-Grained Deltas (eds A. Colella and D. B. Prior), Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444303858.ch4

Editor Information

  1. 3

    Universita della Calabria, Italy

  2. 4

    Atlantic Geoscience Center, Nova Scotia, Canada

Author Information

  1. 1

    Geological Survey of Canada, Atlantic Geoscience Centre, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, B2Y 4A2

  2. 2

    Geological Survey of Canada, Pacific Geoscience Centre, Sidney, British Columbia, Canada, V8L 4B2

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 2 APR 2009
  2. Published Print: 19 OCT 1990

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780632028948

Online ISBN: 9781444303858



  • underwater development of holocene;
  • fan delta;
  • Fjord-head delta;
  • debris avalanching;
  • turbidity flows;
  • slope instability;
  • side-scan sonar data


The subaqueous morphology and geometry of developing Holocene fan deltas in fjords in British Columbia are used to interpret underwater sediment-dispersal processes. The fans are constructed by combinations of processes occurring with various frequencies and magnitudes, including subaqueous debris avalanching, inertia flows, turbidity flows, slope failure and settling of suspensions from buoyant plumes. Long-term fan development responds to changes in sediment supply to the coastline and reduction in underwater relief and slope gradients. A four-stage synthetic evolutionary sequence reflects differences in process combinations as the fan deltas develop.