Contourites, 1st Edition

Contourites, 1st Edition,M. Rebesco,A. Camerlenghi,ISBN9780080931869

Rebesco   &   Camerlenghi   

Elsevier Science



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Key Features

* reviews both theoretical topics and case histories
* provides practical advice on multidisciplinary research techniques
* provides also nonspecialist users with an intuitively-accessible, cross-referenced, and comprehensive coverage of the knowledge in the field.
* provides a helpful tool for research in the preparation of classroom lectures


Contourites are sediments deposited or substantially reworked by bottom currents. The study of contourites is crucial for several fields of fundamental and applied research: paleoclimatology and paleo-oceanography, since these fairly continuous and relatively high-resolution sediments hold the key for priceless information on the variability in circulation patter, current velocity, oceanographic history and basin interconnectivity; hydrocarbon exploration, since accumulation of source rocks may be favored by weak bottom currents, whereas "clean" deep-sea sands may be formed by robust flows; and slope stability, since low-permeability fine-grained contourites facilitate the formation of overpressurized gliding planes when fresh contourites with a high pore-water content becomes rapidly loaded, or when their rigid biosiliceous microfabric collapses due to diagenetic conditions.
Despite its significance, this group of sediments is poorly known by the majority of non-specialists. Notwithstanding the growing interest and the intensified research in contourites, a textbook that might also serve as a reference book on contourites was missing until now. This book addresses all aspects of the knowledge in the field of contourites and provides an authoritative and comprehensive coverage of the subject. It also can serve as a standard reference work for non-specialists, and in particular postgraduate students, university teachers and lecturers, researchers and professionals who are seeking an authoritative source of information about contourites.


oil companies, academic libraries servicing earth and environmental sciences departments, Government and public libraries.

M. Rebesco

Affiliations and Expertise

Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica, Sgonico, Italy

A. Camerlenghi

Affiliations and Expertise

ICREA, Istitució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats c/o GRC Geociències Marines Universitat de Barcelona, Spain

Contourites, 1st Edition

Part 1. Contourite Research
1. Introduction
2. Personal reminiscences on the history of contourites
3. Methods for contourite research

Part 2. Bottom currents
4. Abyssal and contour currents
5. Deep-water bottom currents and their deposits
6. Dynamics of the bottom boundary layer

Part 3. Processes
7. Sediment entrainment
8. Size sorting during transport and deposition of fine sediments: sortable silt and flow speed
9. The nature of contourite deposition

Part 4. Sediments
10. Traction structures in contourites
11. Bioturbation and biogenic sedimentary structures in contourites
12. Some aspets of diagenesis in contourites
13. Contourite facies and the facies model

Part 5. Morphology, geometry and palaeoceanographic reconstructions
14. Contourite drifts: nature, evolution and controls
15. Sediment waves and bedforms
16. Seismic expression of contourite depositional systems
17. Identification of ancient contourites: problems and paleoceanographic signifance

Part 6. Domains
18. Abyssal plain contourites
19. Continental slope contourites
20. Shallow water contourites
21. Mixed turbidite-contourite systems
22. High latituted contourites

Part 7. Importance
23. Economic relevance of contourites
24. Paleoceanographic significance of contourite drifts
25. The significance of contourites for submarine slope stability
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