Seismic characteristics of sediment drifts: An example from the Agulhas Plateau, southwest Indian Ocean

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Sediment drifts provide information on the palaeoceanographic development of a region. Additionally, they may represent hydrocarbon reservoirs. Because of this, sediment drift investigation has increased over the last few years. Nevertheless, a number of problems remain regarding the processes controlling their shape, the characteristic lithological and seismic patterns and the diagnostic criteria. As an example, sediment drifts from the Agulhas Plateau, southwest Indian Ocean, are presented here. They show a variety of seismic features and facies including an asymmetric mounded geometry, changes in internal reflection pattern, truncation of internal reflectors at the seafloor and discontinuities. This collection of observations in combination with the local oceanography appears to comprise a diagnostic tool for sediment drifts.

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