31. Endorheic Basins

  1. Cathy Busby2 and
  2. Antonio Azor3
  1. Gary Nichols

Published Online: 30 JAN 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781444347166.ch31

Tectonics of Sedimentary Basins: Recent Advances

Tectonics of Sedimentary Basins: Recent Advances

How to Cite

Nichols, G. (2011) Endorheic Basins, in Tectonics of Sedimentary Basins: Recent Advances (eds C. Busby and A. Azor), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444347166.ch31

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Department of Earth Science, University of California, Santa Barbara CA 93106, USA

  2. 3

    Departamento de Geodinámica, Universidad de Granada, Campus de Fuentenueva, s/n, 18071 Granada, Spain

Author Information

  1. Department of Earth Sciences, Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2012
  2. Published Print: 30 DEC 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405194655

Online ISBN: 9781444347166



  • endorheic;
  • internal drainage;
  • continental sedimentation;
  • fluvial distributive systems;
  • Lacustrine basins


Basins of internal drainage occur in a wide variety of tectonic settings. The characteristics of the continental successions in them are to a large extent controlled by the absence of direct connection to the oceans, as well as by the tectonic setting. Climate plays a major role in determining the general nature of the facies, ranging from aeoliandominated environments in arid settings to lake basins in humid regions. Key features include a tendency to a strongly aggradational stratigraphic architecture with deep fluvial incision only occurring in lake basins that have climatically induced lake-level fluctuations. Fill of the basin can lead to substantial onlap onto the basin margins, including the back-filling of feeder valleys. Fluvial systems in endorheic basins are distributive and may deposit basin-scale fans of channel and overbank facies.