CONTROL OF SLOPE ON DEPOSITION FROM SMALL-SCALE TURBIDITY CURRENTS: EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS AND POSSIBLE GEOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE

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ABSTRACT

The experiments involved pouring aqueous starting suspensions of pumice sand and kaolinite silt into a submerged trough. The steepness of the bottom slope of the trough was varied from run to run. Heights of sand and silt were recorded at 10-cm intervals away from source. The results: (1) support earlier suggestions that the ratio of sandstone to shale is a sensitive indicator of proximality in ancient turbidites, but do not support clearly the suggestion that the rate of decrease in that ratio away from source may indicate steepness of bottom slope; (2) suggest that the rate of decrease in sandstone thickness away from source in ancient turbidites may be inversely proportional to steepness of bottom slope.

The possible application of the results to the geological record is discussed.

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