CLASSIFICATION OF SUBMARINE CONFLUENCES AND IMPLICATIONS FOR INTRA-CANYON SEDIMENT DISTRIBUTION
We propose a classification for submarine confluences based on a combined analysis of canyon geometry and the use of seismic attributes. Confluences may be symmetric or asymmetric based on the similarity of the angles the tributaries bear to the post-confluence channel. Asymmetric confluences are primary or secondary depending on whether the dominant pre-confluence sediment flow (or deposition) takes place along the main or secondary tributary, respectively. This classification can be used to characterise the full sedimentary fill of buried canyons and channels and also of specific channel-fill events. The detailed assessment of the lateral continuity (or lack of it) of sand-prone strata shows that these can extend into the tributaries or be limited to the post-confluence segments. Furthermore, the strata geometry suggests episodic flow shifts and/or diachronous sediment deposition between tributaries. This has implications for the estimation of fluid flow paths at confluence regions, and to assess which tributaries constitute favourable fluid accumulation compartments.