Deep-water sedimentation processes on a glaciated margin: the Foula Wedge trough mouth fan, West of Shetland.

Simona Caruso* (Corresponding Author), Vittorio Maselli, Brice Rea, Matteo Spagnolo

*Corresponding author for this work

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Trough Mouth Fans (TMF) are sedimentary depocenters located at glaciated continental margins and consist predominantly of glacigenic debris flow deposits. The Foula wedge is a Pleistocene TMF accumulated offshore West of Shetland over the Northeast Atlantic margin. This study presents an analysis of a 3D seismic reflection dataset imaging the distal Foula wedge basin fan deposits between 1010 and 1100 m water depth, directly downslope from a gully system which was active untill the end of the last deglaciation. Results reveal, in unprecedented detail, the basal surface of this fan system and its internal complex architecture. Features typical of both debris flow deposits and turbidites are identified, including a basin channel network with linear and diverging erosional features forming distinctive terminal lobes, stacked and backstepping. The study links the seafloor morphology of the basin fan with its subsurface geomorphology, showing connection with the downslope gully system to the east. It presents evidence for a complex distal depositional system on glaciated margins, characterised by heterogeneous sediment delivery processes and deposits. A conceptual evolution model is proposed, with a glacigenic debris flow-dominated TMF at the LGM, subsequently influenced by
meltwater discharges, with deposition occurring as a function of the shelf margin andvised slope paleo-morphology, slope substrate composition, interaction of downslope and along slope processes and ice-margin dynamics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106769
Number of pages25
JournalMarine Geology
Early online date15 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022


  • Deep-water sedimentation processes
  • Glacigenic debris flows
  • Basin fan deposits
  • Trough mouth fan
  • Subglacial meltwater
  • West of Shetland
  • Seismic geomorphology


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