As exploration for hydrocarbons moves into progressively deeper waters and as production comes on line trom an ever increasing number and variety of turbidite-related plays, it is essential that we critically appraise existing models for deep-water sedimeIitary systems, The turbidite paradigm is 50 years old and everything trom a 1 cm thick silt-Iaminated mudstone bed to a 50 m thick boulder-pebble-sand graded megabed has been called a turbidite. The contourite paradigm is 35 years old and there remains an enormous controversy surrounding the recognition of fossil contourites in ancient series. The submarine fan model is 30 years old and, in its heyday, almost any ancient turbidite succession was interpreted as part of a fan system, typically with reference to thinning-upward or thickening upward sequences of bedthickness variation.


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