- Copyright © 2016, SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology)
The outer parts of deep-water fans, and the basin plains into which they pass, are often described as areas where erosion is negligible and turbidite systems have net aggradation. Nevertheless, sedimentological and stratigraphic analysis of outer-fan-lobe and confined-basin-plain deposits in Cretaceous–Paleocene Gottero Sandstone (NW Italy) has revealed extensive but cryptic bedding-parallel substrate-delamination features at the base of many sheet-like event beds. These comprise a variety of shallow but wide scour structures showing evidence of lateral expansion by sand injection. The scours commonly occur at the base of beds made up of a basal clean sandstone overlain by argillaceous sandstone containing abundant mudstone clasts and locally large substrate rafts (up to 20 meters long). These strata are interpreted as a type of hybrid event bed. Field observations suggest that mud-clast entrainment occurred by delamination at the base of dense sandy flows. The large rafts, in some cases only partly detached, were incorporated in the flows locally and then carried for short distances (hundreds of meters to a few kilometers) before partly disaggregating and undergoing deformation due to internal shearing. The development of such features may be common in flat and/or confined basin settings where high-volume flows interact with a cohesive and well layered substrate (e.g., muddy outer fans or confined or ponded basins with thick mudstone caps). Delamination is therefore suggested as an alternative mechanism leading to the formation of hybrid event beds following local substrate entrainment on the basin floor as opposed to on more remote slopes and at channel–lobe transition zones.