Using bathymetry and seismic reflection profiles, this study examined and determined the transient nature of the Kaoping Fan located in the topographically complex slope offshore southwest Taiwan. Kaoping Fan is located west of the lower reach of the Kaoping Canyon at the lower Kaoping Slope, ranging from 2,200 to 3,000 m water depth, and has a relatively small areal extent restricted in the topographic lows confined by structural highs due to mud diapiric uplifting and thrust faulting. Kaoping Fan shows an asymmetrical triangular fan-shaped bathymetric feature elongated in an NW-SE direction but with a strong skew toward the east. The fan deposits consist of three main seismic facies: layered high-amplitude reflections in the upper section and stratified, parallel to sub-parallel low-amplitude reflections with variable continuity and channel fill facies in the lower section. In the absence of ground-truthing from core data, the seismic patterns suggest that the Kaoping Fan recorded the onset of channelized and over-bank deposits in the lower part and layered turbidite facies in the upper part subsequently. The development of the Kaoping Fan can be divided into three stages in terms of canyon activities and fan-feeding processes. Initially, Kaoping Fan was mainly fed by a point sediment source at the apex of the fan. Secondly, Kaoping Fan was maintained as a slope fan, mainly fed laterally by over-spilled sediments from the canyon. Finally, the Kaoping Canyon completely passes through the Kaoping Fan and supplies over-spilled sediments laterally, forming a transient fan with canyon incision and sediment by-passing. The accumulation of sediments and the growth of Kaoping Fan are primarily controlled by inherited complex paleo-topography and the evolution of Kaoping Canyon. The sediment delivery system of Kaoping Fan is characterized by lateral supply of over-spilling sediment flows and sediments bypassing to and beyond the base of slope. The Kaoping Fan together with the ponded Fangliao Fan in the topographically complex Kaoping Slope can be used as a type model for evaluating the topographic effects on the development of submarine fans on complex slopes in general.
Geomorphology – Elsevier
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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