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Accumulation of land-derived sediment on the seafloor; a fan is shaped like the section of a cone, with its apex at the mouth of a subbmarine canyon. The sediments consist largely of sandy material that drops from the canyon current in successively finer layers. Submarine fan valleys, with low relief and natural levees, often occur on submarine fans. Several fans may coalesce laterally.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on submarine fan, visit Britannica.com.
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