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Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 2, issue 3/4
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 2, 178–185, 1995
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-2-178-1995
© Author(s) 1995. This work is licensed under
the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

Special issue: Complex space-time geophysical structures

Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 2, 178–185, 1995
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-2-178-1995
© Author(s) 1995. This work is licensed under
the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

  31 Dec 1995

31 Dec 1995

Scaling properties of gravity-driven sediments

D. H. Rothman and J. P. Grotzinger D. H. Rothman and J. P. Grotzinger
  • Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

Abstract. Recent field observations of the statistical distribution of turbidite and debris flow deposits are discussed. In some cases one finds a good fit over 1.5-2 orders of magnitude to the scaling law N(h) α h-B, where N(h) is the number of layers thicker than h. Observations show that the scaling exponent B varies widely from deposit to deposit, ranging from about 1/2 to 2. Moreover, one case is characterized by a sharp crossover in which B increases by a factor of two as h increases past a critical thickness. We propose that the variations in B, either regional or within the same deposit, are indicative of the geometry of the sedimentary basin and the rheological properties of the original gravity-driven flow. The origin of the power-law distribution remains an open question.

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