To help understand factors that influence submarine fan deposition, we outline some of the principal sedimentary, tectonic, and sea-level controls involved in deep-water sedimentation, give some data on the rates at which they operate, and evaluate their probable effects. Three depositional end-member systems, two submarine fan types (elongate and radial), and a third nonfan, slope-apron system result primarily from variations in sediment type and supply. Tectonic setting and local and global sea-level changes further modify the nature of fan growth, the distribution of facies, and the resulting vertical stratigraphic sequences. ?? 1984 Springer-Verlag New York Inc.