Volume 40 Issue 2
Apr.  2021
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Yintao Lu, Xiwu Luan, Boqing Shi, Weimin Ran, Fuliang Lü, Xiujuan Wang, Quanbin Cao, Xiaoyong Xu, Hui Sun, Genshun Yao. Migrated hybrid turbidite-contourite channel-lobe complex of the late Eocene Rovuma Basin, East Africa[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2021, 40(2): 81-94. doi: 10.1007/s13131-021-1750-1
Citation: Yintao Lu, Xiwu Luan, Boqing Shi, Weimin Ran, Fuliang Lü, Xiujuan Wang, Quanbin Cao, Xiaoyong Xu, Hui Sun, Genshun Yao. Migrated hybrid turbidite-contourite channel-lobe complex of the late Eocene Rovuma Basin, East Africa[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2021, 40(2): 81-94. doi: 10.1007/s13131-021-1750-1

Migrated hybrid turbidite-contourite channel-lobe complex of the late Eocene Rovuma Basin, East Africa

doi: 10.1007/s13131-021-1750-1
Funds:  The China-ASEAN Maritime Cooperation Fund Project under contract No. 12120100500017001; the National Natural Science Foundation of China under contract Nos 42076219, 92055211 and 42006067.
More Information
  • Corresponding author: E-mail: xluan@qnlm.ac
  • Received Date: 2019-08-27
  • Accepted Date: 2020-05-25
  • Available Online: 2021-04-02
  • Publish Date: 2021-04-02
  • Analysis of 3D seismic data and well log data from the Rovuma Basin in East Africa reveals the presence of a late Eocene channel-lobe complex on its slope. The first two channels, denoted as channel-1 and channel-2, are initiated within a topographic low on the slope but come to a premature end when they are blocked by a topographic high in the northwest region of the basin. New channels migrate southeastward from channel-1 to channel-6 due to the region’s sufficient sediment supply and stripping caused by bottom currents. The primary factors controlling the development of the channel complex include its initial paleo-topographic of seafloor, the property of gravity flows, the direction of the bottom current, and the stacking and expansion of its levees. The transition zone from channel to lobe can also be clearly identified from seismic sections by its pond-shaped structure. At a certain point, thest systems record a transiton from erosive features to sedimentary features, and record a transition from a confined environment to an open environment. Channels and lobes can be differentiated by their morphologies: thick slump-debris flows are partly developed under channel sand sheets, whereas these slump-debris flows are not very well developed in lobes. Well log responses also record different characteristics between channels and lobes. The interpreted shale volume throughout the main channel records a box-shaped curve, thereby implying that confined channel complexes record high energy currents and abundant sand supply, whereas the interpreted shale volume throughout the lobe records an upward-fining shape curve, thereby indicating the presence of a reduced-energy current in a relatively open environment. Within the Rovuma Basin of East Africa, the average width of the Rovuma shelf is less than 10 km, the width of the slope is only approximately 40 km, and the slope gradient is 2°–4°. Due to this steep slope gradient, the sand-rich top sheet within the channel also likely contributes to the straight feature of the channel system. It is currently unclear whether the bottom current has any effect on its sinuosity.
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