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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 63 (1979)

Issue: 3. (March)

First Page: 551

Last Page: 552

Title: Early Pleistocene Submarine Canyon, Boso Peninsula, Japan: ABSTRACT

Author(s): J. H. M. Whitaker, H. Okada, H. Takano

Article Type: Meeting abstract


The Boso submarine canyon was one of the first "fossil" canyons to be described. It is also one of the best exposed, because careful quarrying of the economically useful gravel fill has exposed the noneconomic marly rocks into which the canyon was cut. These country rocks (Umegase Formation) are gently dipping, cream-colored siltstones and mudstones. In contrast, the canyon fill (Higashi-higasa Formation) consists of brown to yellow sandstones with marked lenses of polymodal and polymictic conglomerates (with small pebbles of granites, basalts, cherts, and basic tuffs from the Chichibu terrane and much larger clasts of marlstone up to 1 m in diameter). There are also some boulder beds and armored mud balls and many early Pleistocene shelly fossils.

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Within the canyon-fill sediments, there are some unusual water-escape structures.

The southern wall of the canyon is well exposed in a large quarry, where four "steps" occur in a vertical height of about 60 m. Upcanyon, these pass into fewer but higher "steps." Small overhangs caused by protruding bedding surfaces are original features, as gravel fill still adheres to the marly walls. Canyon downcutting toward the east is shown by widening of the present outcrop of the fill in that direction, and eastward-moving paleocurrents are indicated by boulder imbrication. Rapid downcutting and filling is suggested by the well-preserved wall overhangs, and channeling within the fill sediments suggests that the deeply cut canyon was filled by several successive influxes of sediment.

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Copyright 1997 American Association of Petroleum Geologists