Turbidites are sea-bottom deposits formed by massive slope failures. Rivers flowing into the ocean deposit sediments on the continenal shelf and slope. These slopes fail in response to excessive sedimentation load and sometimes earthquake shaking, sending the sediments sliding down to the ocean bottom to create a turbidite. Carbon dating of turbidites has been shown to provide a good method to determine the date of very old earthquakes.
Turbidites (interbedded with mudstones/siltstones) from the Ross Sandstone Formation Turbidite system of Namurian age in County Clare, Western Ireland. The sandstone beds were formed in a deep basin by turbidites coming from a delta area.