The Aínsa Basin of northern Spain contains a deep-marine succession comprising up to 24 sandstone bodies separated by thick marl-rich units. A detailed analysis of nine outcrops (>900 m of sediment profiles) from the Morillo Formation of the San Vicente Group, from the upper part of the basin succession, has enabled a reappraisal of the unit. Within the Morillo Formation, sediment transport was to the NW, and a range of environments are recognized including channels, lobes and pelagic deposits. The overlying Coscojuela Formation, which partly cuts into the Morillo Formation, shows W-directed palaeocurrents in its proximal reaches, with flows being deflected to the N along an adjacent slope. Destabilization of the adjacent carbonate platform resulted in a significant input of carbonate material into the flow. The final phases of sedimentation within the Aínsa Basin were more complex than previously suspected, probably as a result of a combination of factors, including tectonic activity, resulting in basin narrowing due to anticlinal growth, as well as encroachment and/or destabilization of the adjacent regional carbonate platforms. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.