Architecture and stratigraphy of the Bengal Fan as response to tectonic and climate revealed from high-resolution seismic data

Author(s): Schwenk, Tilmann; Spiess, Volkhard
Author Affiliation(s): Primary:
Universität Bremen, Fachbereich Geowissenschaften, Bremen, Federal Republic of Germany
StatoilHydro, Norway
University of Leeds, United Kingdom
Volume Title: External controls on deep-water depositional systems
Volume Author(s): Kneller, Ben, editor; Martinsen, Ole J.; McCaffrey, Bill
Source: External controls on deep-water depositional systems, edited by Ben Kneller, Ole J. Martinsen and Bill McCaffrey. Special Publication - Society for Sedimentary Geology, Vol.92, p.107-131. Publisher: Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM), Tulsa, OK, United States. ISSN: 1060-071X
Note: In English. 50 refs.; illus., incl. sects., 1 table, sketch maps
Summary: High resolution seismic data collected on four profiles located on the Bengal Fan at 8°N, 11°N, 14°N, and 17°N were analyzed. Numerous channel-levee systems were identified as main architectural elements, all characterized by erosional incision into underlying sediments. On the upper middle fan (17°N), the channel-levee systems are grouped into four complexes. They are separated by regional unconformities, which were partly caused by generation of nonchannelized turbidity currents or switching of the feeding canyon. Succession of the systems and dating of two surface channels (Weber et al., 1997; Weber et al., 2003) indicate activity of the Bengal Fan even during sea-level rises and highstands. In all three profiles from the lower fan, two regional unconformities were found. At 8°N, the unconformities could be dated at DSDP Site 218 to have Pliocene and Pleistocene ages, and were interpreted to be the equivalents of unconformities found in the central Indian Ocean, which are caused by deformation events of the oceanic crust (Krishna et al., 2001a). Faults terminating within Pleistocene sediments suggest tectonic activity at least within the Pleistocene at 8°N. The unconformities identified at 11°N and 14°N may also result from tectonic events. Besides these unconformities, variations of sedimentation rates in time and space determined at 8°N and the onset of channel-levee systems simultaneously with lithological changes at ODP Leg 116 sites suggest that tectonic events at the Bengal Fan as well as changes of sediment supply and transport occurred partly concurrently. The sediment supply in turn depends on the erosional regime in the Himalayas, which is controlled by tectonic or climate or an interaction of both. Therefore we propose that a tectonic link may exist between source and sink areas of Bengal Fan turbidites, i.e., between uplift of the Himalayas and deformation events of the Indian Ocean lithosphere.
Year of Publication: 2009
Research Program: DSDP Deep Sea Drilling Project
Key Words: 20 Geophysics, Applied; 24 Surficial Geology, Quaternary Geology; Asia; Bangladesh; Bay of Bengal; Bengal Fan; Cenozoic; Channels; Clastic sediments; Climate change; Continental margin sedimentation; Currents; DSDP Site 218; Deep Sea Drilling Project; Depositional environment; Fluvial features; Geometry; Geophysical methods; Geophysical surveys; High-resolution methods; Highstands; Himalayas; Indian Ocean; Indian Peninsula; Leg 22; Levees; Lithostratigraphy; Marine sedimentation; Neotectonics; Paleoclimatology; Paleoenvironment; Pleistocene; Quaternary; Rivers; Sediment supply; Sediment transport; Sedimentation; Sedimentation rates; Sediments; Seismic methods; Seismic stratigraphy; Submarine fans; Surveys; Tectonics; Turbidite; Turbidity currents; Unconformities
Coordinates: N080025 N080026 E0861659 E0861658
Record ID: 2010037425
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