There are three major fan valleys on upper Monterey fan. Deep-tow geophysical profiles and 40 sediment cores provide the basis for evaluation of the sedimentation histories of these valleys. Monterey fan valley leads from Monterey canyon to a major suprafan and is bounded by levees that crest more than 400 m above the valley floor. The valley passes through a large z-bend or meander. Monterey East fan valley joins Monterey fan valley at the meander at about 150 m above the valley floor, and marks an earlier position of the lower Monterey fan valley. Ascension valley, a hanging contributary to the Monterey fan valley, appears to have once been the shoreward head of the lower part of the present Monterey fan valley. The relief of Monterey fan valley appears from deep-tow profiles to be erosional. The valley is floored with sand. Holocene turbidity currents do not overtop the levees 400 m above the valley floor, but do at times overflow and transport sand into Monterey East valley, producing a sandy floor. An 1100 m by 300 m dune field was observed on side scan sonar in Monterey East valley. Ascension fan valley was floored with sand during glacial intervals of lowered sea level, then was cut off from its sand source as sea level rose. A narrow (500 m), erosional, meandering channel was incised into the flat valley floor; the relief features otherwise appear depositional, with a hummocky topography perhaps produced in the manner of a braided riverbed. The sand is mantled by about 6 m of probable Holocene mud. Hummocky relief on the back side of the northwestern levees of both Ascension and Monterey valleys is characteristic of many turbidite valleys in the northeast Pacific. The hummocky topography is produced by dune-like features that migrate toward levee crests during growth. ?? 1976.
Additional publication details
Holocene sedimentation history of the major fan valleys of Monterey fan