|dc.description.abstract||This study uses an extensive data‐set from a sand‐rich contourite depositional system located
in the Gulf of Cadiz. Newly acquired data, targeting a modern contourite sandy depositional
system in the eastern Gulf of Cadiz, has been integrated with historical data, including a
seismic survey over a Pliocene mixed system in the northern Gulf of Cadiz. Seismic, core and
sediment analysis has been used to assess the controls on the system, and characterise the
sediments. The presented study gives a new complete view of past circulation of the
Mediterranean Outflow Water and contourite deposition in the eastern Gulf of Cadiz over the
upper, mid and lower slope. It also identifies a mixed system in the Pliocene section of the
northern Gulf of Cadiz. This allows us to make the following contributions to the field;
1. A new model from Quaternary evolution of the eastern sandy contourites, and
Pliocene evolution of a sandy mixed system the northern Gulf of Cadiz.
2. A detailed examination of the sand facies and sediment of the Gulf of Cadiz and a new
set of contourite sand facies models proposed.
3. A thorough examination of the controls on contourite formation, and their integration
in a sequence stratigraphic framework.
4. A review of the hazards bottom currents pose to deep water exploration, and the
reservoir potential of contourite sands and other facies.
The Gulf of Cadiz provides a good modern day analogue for contourite sands. They show
various facies and sedimentological characteristics that are tied to depositional processes.
They are also highly cyclic in nature, on a variety of time scales. If they can be positively
identified in the subsurface, they have the capacity to make potential hydrocarbon reservoirs.
The facies and sedimentological models presented here, and their integration into a sequence
stratigraphic model will aid the positive identification of these deposits in the future.||en_US