Stow, Dorrik A. V. and Tabrez, Ali R. (1998): Hemipelagites; processes, facies and model

ODP 117

Stow, Dorrik A. V.
University of Southampton, Department of Geology, Southampton, United Kingdom

Tabrez, Ali R.
University of Wales, United Kingdom

Hemipelagites; processes, facies and model
In: Stoker, M. S. (editor), Evans, D. (editor), Cramp, A. (editor), Geological processes on continental margins; sedimentation, mass-wasting and stability
Geological Society of London, London, United Kingdom
Detailed sedimentological studies have been carried out on Pleistocene to Recent sediments from the Makran margin and on Miocene to Recent sediments from the Oman margin of the NW Indian Ocean. In both areas, hemipelagites make up c. 50% of the succession, being closely interbedded with turbidites (Makran) and pelagites (Oman). Their sedimentary features (structure, texture, fabric and composition), bedding style and rates of sedimentation are reported and compared with previous detailed studies of both modern and ancient hemipelagites. A composite facies model is presented. Hemipelagites are fine-grained sediments typically occurring in deep-water settings. They generally comprise an admixture of >10% biogenic pelagic material and >10% terrigenous or volcanigenic material, in which >40% of the terrigenous (volcanigenic) fraction is silt size or greater (i.e >4 mu m). They are deposited by a combination of vertical settling and slow lateral advection. Hemipelagites are mostly thoroughly bioturbated with ichnofossils including Zoophycos, Planolites, Chondrites, Phycosiphon and others. They are generally devoid of primary sedimentary structures, except for an organic-rich facies deposited in anoxic conditions which has a distinctive fissile lamination. The submicroscopic fabric is closely packed with subparallel alignment of clays. The grain size is strongly influenced by the composition, although in general the deposits are fine grained (mean size 5-35 mu m), and poorly sorted, in some cases with bimodal, trimodal or polymodal grain-size distributions. The composition includes a biogenic fraction that is calcareous and/or siliceous, and a terrigenous fraction dependent on the nature of the supply pathway, i.e. river plumes, aeolian dust, glacigenic input or volcaniclastic fallout. Chemogenic components (phosphorites, glauconite, ferromanganese nodules) are common in some settings, whereas high organic carbon contents characterize others. Cyclic bedding, typical of climatic forcing, is common although bed boundaries are generally very gradational. Sedimentation rates typically vary from <5 cm/ka to >20 cm/ka and greatly influence development of the different characteristics outlined above. Extremely high rates (>100 cm/ka) occur in zones of hemipelagic sediment focusing, such as slope canyon systems and sediment pathways.
Coverage:Geographic coordinates:
West:20.0000East: 147.0000

Oceanography; advection; Arabian Peninsula; Asia; Cenozoic; clastic rocks; continental margin; continental slope; fabric; grain size; hemipelagite; Indian Ocean; Leg 117; lithofacies; Makran; marine transport; models; Ocean Drilling Program; ocean floors; Oman; pelagite; processes; Quaternary; sediment transport; sedimentary rocks; sedimentary structures; sedimentation; sedimentation rates; submarine canyons; textures; turbidite;