The distribution of deposits, sediment transport pathways and processes on the lower Monterey Fan channel and channel-mouth lobe (CML) are studied through the integration of GLORIA and TOBI sidescan sonar data with 7-kHz subbottom profiler records and sediment cores for ground-truthing. The lower Monterey channel is characterised by an up to 30-m-deep channel with poorly developed levees and alternating muddy and silty muddy overbank deposits. The channel is discontinuous, disappearing where gradients are less than about 1:350. Ground-truthing of the large CML shows that the entire CML is characterised by widespread deposits of generally fine sand, with coarser sand at the base of turbidites. Sand is particularly concentrated in finger-like areas of low-backscatter intensity and is interpreted as the result of non-turbulent sediment-gravity flows depositing metres thick massive, fine sand. TOBI sidescan sonar data reveal recent erosional features in the form of scours, secondary channels, large flow slides, and trains of blocks at the distal end of the CML. Erosion is probably related to increasing gradient as the CML approaches Murray Fracture zone and to differential loading of sandy submarine fan deposits onto pelagic clays. Reworking of older flow slides by sediment transport processes on the lobe produces trains of blocks that are several metres in diameter and aligned parallel to the flow direction. ?? 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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Sedimentary processes of the lower Monterey Fan channel and channel-mouth lobe