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Sample records for narrow submarine canyon

  1. Flushing submarine canyons.

    PubMed

    Canals, Miquel; Puig, Pere; de Madron, Xavier Durrieu; Heussner, Serge; Palanques, Albert; Fabres, Joan

    2006-11-16

    The continental slope is a steep, narrow fringe separating the coastal zone from the deep ocean. During low sea-level stands, slides and dense, sediment-laden flows erode the outer continental shelf and the continental slope, leading to the formation of submarine canyons that funnel large volumes of sediment and organic matter from shallow regions to the deep ocean(1). During high sea-level stands, such as at present, these canyons still experience occasional sediment gravity flows(2-5), which are usually thought to be triggered by sediment failure or river flooding. Here we present observations from a submarine canyon on the Gulf of Lions margin, in the northwest Mediterranean Sea, that demonstrate that these flows can also be triggered by dense shelf water cascading (DSWC)-a type of current that is driven solely by seawater density contrast. Our results show that DSWC can transport large amounts of water and sediment, reshape submarine canyon floors and rapidly affect the deep-sea environment. This cascading is seasonal, resulting from the formation of dense water by cooling and/or evaporation, and occurs on both high- and low-latitude continental margins(6-8). DSWC may therefore transport large amounts of sediment and organic matter to the deep ocean. Furthermore, changes in the frequency and intensity of DSWC driven by future climate change may have a significant impact on the supply of organic matter to deep-sea ecosystems and on the amount of carbon stored on continental margins and in ocean basins. PMID:17108962

  2. Influence of San Gabriel submarine canyon on narrow-shelf sediment dynamics, southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Karl, Herman A.

    1980-01-01

    A conceptual model attributes the PTC to modification of shelf circulation patterns by San Gabriel Canyon. Surface waves diverge over the canyon head resulting in differential wave set up at the shore face. This forces back turbid nearshore water for a distance of a few kilometers toward the canyon. At some point on the shelf, seaward nearshore flow overlaps offshore currents generated or modified by internal waves focused onto the shelf by the canyon and/or turbulent eddies produced by flow separation in currents moving across the canyon axis. At times, these subtle processes overprint tidal and wind-driven currents and thereby create the PTC. The model suggests that canyons heading several kilometers from shore can have a regulatory effect on narrow-shelf sediment dynamics.

  3. Sedimentary facies in submarine canyons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sumner, E.; Paull, C. K.; Gwiazda, R.; Anderson, K.; Lundsten, E. M.; McGann, M.

    2013-12-01

    Submarine canyons are the major conduits by which sediment, pollutants and nutrients are transported from the continental shelf out into the deep sea. The sedimentary facies within these canyons are remarkably poorly understood because it has proven difficult to accurately sample these heterogeneous and bathymetrically complex environments using traditional ship-based coring techniques. This study exploits a suite of over 100 precisely located vibracores collected using remotely operated vehicles in ten canyons along the northern Californian margin, enabling better understanding of the facies that exist within submarine canyons, their distribution, and the processes responsible for their formation. The dataset reveals three major facies types within the submarine canyons: extremely poorly sorted, coarse-grained sands and gravels with complex and indistinct internal grading patterns and abundant floating clasts; classical normally graded thin bedded turbidites; and a variety of fine-grained muddy deposits. Not all facies are observed within individual canyons, in particular coarse-grained deposits occur exclusively in canyons where the canyon head cuts up to the modern day beach, whereas finer grained deposits have a more complex distribution that relates to processes of sediment redistribution on the shelf. Pairs of cores collected within 30 meters elevation of one another reveal that the coarse-grained chaotic deposits are restricted to the basal canyon floor, with finer-grained deposits at higher elevations on the canyon walls. The remarkable heterogeneity of the facies within these sediment cores illustrate that distinctive processes operate locally within the canyon. In the authors' experience the canyon floor facies represent an unusual facies rarely observed in ancient outcrops, which potentially results from the poor preservation of ancient coarse-grained canyon deposits in the geological record.

  4. Currents in monterey submarine canyon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Xu, J. P.; Noble, M.A.

    2009-01-01

    Flow fields of mean, subtidal, and tidal frequencies between 250 and 3300 m water depths in Monterey Submarine Canyon are examined using current measurements obtained in three yearlong field experiments. Spatial variations in flow fields are mainly controlled by the topography (shape and width) of the canyon. The mean currents flow upcanyon in the offshore reaches (>1000 m) and downcanyon in the shallow reaches (100-m amplitude isotherm oscillations and associated high-speed rectilinear currents. The 15-day spring-neap cycle and a ???3-day??? band are the two prominent frequencies in subtidal flow field. Neither of them seems directly correlated with the spring-neap cycle of the sea level.

  5. Geomorphic process fingerprints in submarine canyons

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brothers, Daniel S.; ten Brink, Uri S.; Andrews, Brian D.; Chaytor, Jason D.; Twichell, David C.

    2013-01-01

    Submarine canyons are common features of continental margins worldwide. They are conduits that funnel vast quantities of sediment from the continents to the deep sea. Though it is known that submarine canyons form primarily from erosion induced by submarine sediment flows, we currently lack quantitative, empirically based expressions that describe the morphology of submarine canyon networks. Multibeam bathymetry data along the entire passive US Atlantic margin (USAM) and along the active central California margin near Monterey Bay provide an opportunity to examine the fine-scale morphology of 171 slope-sourced canyons. Log–log regression analyses of canyon thalweg gradient (S) versus up-canyon catchment area (A) are used to examine linkages between morphological domains and the generation and evolution of submarine sediment flows. For example, canyon reaches of the upper continental slope are characterized by steep, linear and/or convex longitudinal profiles, whereas reaches farther down canyon have distinctly concave longitudinal profiles. The transition between these geomorphic domains is inferred to represent the downslope transformation of debris flows into erosive, canyon-flushing turbidity flows. Over geologic timescales this process appears to leave behind a predictable geomorphic fingerprint that is dependent on the catchment area of the canyon head. Catchment area, in turn, may be a proxy for the volume of sediment released during geomorphically significant failures along the upper continental slope. Focused studies of slope-sourced submarine canyons may provide new insights into the relationships between fine-scale canyon morphology and down-canyon changes in sediment flow dynamics.

  6. An experimental approach to submarine canyon evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, Steven Y. J.; Gerber, Thomas P.; Amblas, David

    2016-03-01

    We present results from a sandbox experiment designed to investigate how sediment gravity flows form and shape submarine canyons. In the experiment, unconfined saline gravity flows were released onto an inclined sand bed bounded on the downstream end by a movable floor that was used to increase relief during the experiment. In areas unaffected by the flows, we observed featureless, angle-of-repose submarine slopes formed by retrogressive breaching processes. In contrast, areas influenced by gravity flows cascading across the shelf break were deeply incised by submarine canyons with well-developed channel networks. Normalized canyon long profiles extracted from successive high-resolution digital elevation models collapse to a single profile when referenced to the migrating shelf-slope break, indicating self-similar growth in the relief defined by the canyon and intercanyon profiles. Although our experimental approach is simple, the resulting canyon morphology and behavior appear similar in several important respects to that observed in the field.

  7. "Internal Waves" Advancing along Submarine Canyons.

    PubMed

    Shepard, F P; Marshall, N F; McLoughlin, P A

    1974-01-18

    Patterns of alternating up- and downcanyon currents have been traced along the axes of submarine canyons off California. The patterns arrive later at stations nearer the heads of coastal canyons. Where a canyon heads between two islands, the patterns advance down the axis. The propagation speeds of these patterns were estimated as 25 to 88 centimeters per second. Internal waves are the probable explanation. PMID:17777263

  8. Seismic expression of Late Quaternary Banda submarine canyon and fan offshore northern Baja California

    SciTech Connect

    Legg, M.R.

    1987-05-01

    High-resolution seismic reflection profiles obtained throughout the inner California continental borderland offshore northwestern Baja California, Mexico, show the presence of numerous modern submarine canyons and associated fans. One set of these, the Banda submarine canyon/fan, is of relatively recent origin, as demonstrated by onlap of the basal fan sediments against an acoustically transparent, presumably hemipelagic deposit. Late Quaternary sedimentation rates inferred from isotopically dated piston core samples place the age of the postulated hemipelagic unit at approximately 650,000 years ago. The Banda submarine canyon heads within the Bahia Todos Santo and passes through a narrow gorge between Punta Banda and Islas Todos Santos. It is proposed that this submarine canyon and fan system formed entirely during late Quaternary time, following the breach of the Punta Banda ridge during a late Pleistocene high sea level stand. The presence of an ancient, buried channel exiting to the north out of Bahia Todos Santos probably marks the head of an earlier submarine canyon which acted as the conduit of clastic sediments from Valle Maneadero to the deep borderland basins. The now active Banda submarine canyon pirated the supply of terrigenous clastics from this older canyon. The active Agua Blanca fault zone cuts across the head of Banda submarine canyon, suggesting that tectonic movements may have played a role in the development of the Banda submarine canyon and fan system.

  9. The key to Understand Submarine Canyon Evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baztan, J.; Berne, S.; Olivet, J.; Rabineau, M.; Aslanian, D.

    2004-12-01

    Submarine canyons are the preferential path of sediment transfer from the shelf to the deep sea, they are the key to understand the source-to-sink sedimentation and, in consequence, the shelf, slope and rise evolution. Pioneer works on submarine canyons described and proposed hypothesis to explain the formation and evolution of them. However, submarine canyons remain a matter of speculation. Our work in the Gulf of Lions (Mediterranean Sea) is based on swath bathymetry data together with sub-bottom profiles, high resolution seismic reflection profiles and cores. These data allow a detailed morphologic and stratigraphic study from the shelf to the rise through time, from 2.600.000 yrs to present. We show that two main erosive features, of very different dimensions, constitute the canyons: the axial incision and the canyon's major valley. The axial incision is interpreted as an erosive path related to the passage of hyperpycnal turbidity currents, generated up-slope by river connection. In the Gulf of Lions such currents are most likely to have formed during each Glacial Maxima (with a cyclicity of 100.000 years for the last 900.000 years and 40.000 years between 900.000 and 2.600.000 years) as both proximity of the shoreline (due to the lowstand of sea level) and high detrital sediment supply (due to glacial abrasion upstream) increased the flow of sediments delivered to the canyon heads. The axial incisions observed at the sea floor and fossil incisions observed on seismic lines, are related to equivalent conditions. The axial incision activity has a key influence on canyon evolution, it triggers mass wasting that affect the canyon's major valley (head and flanks) allowing the progressive widening and deepening of the canyon. Consequently the canyon's major valley (typically bounded by flanks of more than 700 meters in height) is the result of the axial incision activity through successive lowering of sea level. In summary: our cross-disciplinary approach

  10. Flow dynamics around downwelling submarine canyons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spurgin, J. M.; Allen, S. E.

    2014-10-01

    Flow dynamics around a downwelling submarine canyon were analysed with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology general circulation model. Blanes Canyon (northwestern Mediterranean) was used for topographic and initial forcing conditions. Fourteen scenarios were modelled with varying forcing conditions. Rossby and Burger numbers were used to determine the significance of Coriolis acceleration and stratification (respectively) and their impacts on flow dynamics. A new non-dimensional parameter (χ) was introduced to determine the significance of vertical variations in stratification. Some simulations do see brief periods of upwards displacement of water during the 10-day model period; however, the presence of the submarine canyon is found to enhance downwards advection of density in all model scenarios. High Burger numbers lead to negative vorticity and a trapped anticyclonic eddy within the canyon, as well as an increased density anomaly. Low Burger numbers lead to positive vorticity, cyclonic circulation, and weaker density anomalies. Vertical variations in stratification affect zonal jet placement. Under the same forcing conditions, the zonal jet is pushed offshore in more uniformly stratified domains. The offshore jet location generates upwards density advection away from the canyon, while onshore jets generate downwards density advection everywhere within the model domain. Increasing Rossby values across the canyon axis, as well as decreasing Burger values, increase negative vertical flux at shelf break depth (150 m). Increasing Rossby numbers lead to stronger downwards advection of a passive tracer (nitrate), as well as stronger vorticity within the canyon. Results from previous studies are explained within this new dynamic framework.

  11. Flow dynamics around downwelling submarine canyons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spurgin, J. M.; Allen, S. E.

    2014-05-01

    Flow dynamics around a downwelling submarine canyon were analysed with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology general circulation model. Blanes Canyon (Northwest Mediterranean) was used for topographic and initial forcing conditions. Fourteen scenarios were modelled with varying forcing conditions. Rossby number and Burger number were used to determine the significance of Coriolis acceleration and stratification (respectively) and their impacts on flow dynamics. A new non-dimensional parameter (χ) was introduced to determine the significance of vertical variations in stratification. Some simulations do see brief periods of upwards displacement of water during the 10 day model period, however, the presence of the submarine canyon is found to enhance downwards advection of density in all model scenarios. High Burger numbers lead to negative vorticity and a trapped anticyclonic eddy within the canyon, as well as an increased density anomaly. Low Burger numbers lead to positive vorticity, cyclonic circulation and weaker density anomalies. Vertical variations in stratification affect zonal jet placement. Under the same forcing conditions, the zonal jet is pushed offshore in more uniformly stratified domains. Offshore jet location generates upwards density advection away from the canyon, while onshore jets generate downwards density advection everywhere within the model domain. Increasing Rossby values across the canyon axis, as well as decreasing Burger values, increase negative vertical flux at shelf break depth (150 m). Increasing Rossby numbers lead to stronger downwards advection of a passive tracer (nitrate) as well as stronger vorticity within the canyon. Results from previous studies were explained within this new dynamic framework.

  12. The Whittard Canyon - A case study of submarine canyon processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amaro, T.; Huvenne, V. A. I.; Allcock, A. L.; Aslam, T.; Davies, J. S.; Danovaro, R.; De Stigter, H. C.; Duineveld, G. C. A.; Gambi, C.; Gooday, A. J.; Gunton, L. M.; Hall, R.; Howell, K. L.; Ingels, J.; Kiriakoulakis, K.; Kershaw, C. E.; Lavaleye, M. S. S.; Robert, K.; Stewart, H.; Van Rooij, D.; White, M.; Wilson, A. M.

    2016-08-01

    Submarine canyons are large geomorphological features that incise continental shelves and slopes around the world. They are often suggested to be biodiversity and biomass hotspots, although there is no consensus about this in the literature. Nevertheless, many canyons do host diverse faunal communities but owing to our lack of understanding of the processes shaping and driving this diversity, appropriate management strategies have yet to be developed. Here, we integrate all the current knowledge of one single system, the Whittard Canyon (Celtic Margin, NE Atlantic), including the latest research on its geology, sedimentology, geomorphology, oceanography, ecology, and biodiversity in order to address this issue. The Whittard Canyon is an active system in terms of sediment transport. The net suspended sediment transport is mainly up-canyon causing sedimentary overflow in some upper canyon areas. Occasionally sediment gravity flow events do occur, some possibly the result of anthropogenic activity. However, the role of these intermittent gravity flows in transferring labile organic matter to the deeper regions of the canyon appears to be limited. More likely, any labile organic matter flushed downslope in this way becomes strongly diluted with bulk material and is therefore of little food value for benthic fauna. Instead, the fresh organic matter found in the Whittard Channel mainly arrives through vertical deposition and lateral transport of phytoplankton blooms that occur in the area during spring and summer. The response of the Whittard Canyon fauna to these processes is different in different groups. Foraminiferal abundances are higher in the upper parts of the canyon and on the slope than in the lower canyon. Meiofaunal abundances in the upper and middle part of the canyon are higher than on adjacent slopes, but lower in the deepest part. Mega- and macrofauna abundances are higher in the canyon compared with the adjacent slope and are higher in the eastern than

  13. Wilmington Submarine Canyon: a marine fluvial-like system.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McGregor, B.; Stubblefield, W.L.; Ryan, William B. F.; Twichell, D.C.

    1982-01-01

    Midrange sidescan sonar data show that a system of gullies and small channels feeds into large submarine canyons on the Middle Atlantic Continental Slope of the US. The surveyed canyons all have relatively flat floors, but they have different channel morphologies. Wilmington Canyon has a meandering channel that extends down the Continental Slope and across the Continental Rise, whereas two canyons south of Wilmington Canyon have straight channels that trend directly downslope onto the rise. The morphology of these submarine canyon systems is remarkably similar to that of terrestrial fluvial systems.-Authors

  14. Contemporary sediment-transport processes in submarine canyons.

    PubMed

    Puig, Pere; Palanques, Albert; Martín, Jacobo

    2014-01-01

    Submarine canyons are morphological incisions into continental margins that act as major conduits of sediment from shallow- to deep-sea regions. However, the exact mechanisms involved in sediment transfer within submarine canyons are still a subject of investigation. Several studies have provided direct information about contemporary sedimentary processes in submarine canyons that suggests different modes of transport and various triggering mechanisms. Storm-induced turbidity currents and enhanced off-shelf advection, hyperpycnal flows and failures of recently deposited fluvial sediments, dense shelf-water cascading, canyon-flank failures, and trawling-induced resuspension largely dominate present-day sediment transfer through canyons. Additionally, internal waves periodically resuspend ephemeral deposits within canyons and contribute to dispersing particles or retaining and accumulating them in specific regions. These transport processes commonly deposit sediments in the upper- and middle-canyon reaches for decades or centuries before being completely or partially flushed farther down-canyon by large sediment failures. PMID:23937169

  15. Submarine canyon and fan systems of the California Continental Borderland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Normark, W.R.; Piper, D.J.W.; Romans, B.W.; Covault, J.A.; Dartnell, P.; Sliter, R.W.

    2009-01-01

    Late Quaternary turbidite and related gravity-flow deposits have accumulated in basins of the California Borderland under a variety of conditions of sediment supply and sea-level stand. The northern basins (Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, and San Pedro) are closed and thus trap virtually all sediment supplied through submarine canyons and smaller gulley systems along the basin margins. The southern basins (Gulf of Santa Catalina and San Diego Trough) are open, and, under some conditions, turbidity currents flow from one basin to another. Seismic-reflection profiles at a variety of resolutions are used to determine the distribution of late Quaternary turbidites. Patterns of turbidite-dominated deposition during lowstand conditions of oxygen isotope stages 2 and 6 are similar within each of the basins. Chronology is provided by radiocarbon dating of sediment from two Ocean Drilling Program sites, the Mohole test-drill site, and large numbers of piston cores. High-resolution, seismic-stratigraphic frameworks developed for Santa Monica Basin and the open southern basins show rapid lateral shifts in sediment accumulation on scales that range from individual lobe elements to entire fan complexes. More than half of the submarine fans in the Borderland remain active at any given position of relative sea level. Where the continental shelf is narrow, canyons are able to cut headward during sea-level transgression and maintain sediment supply to the basins from rivers and longshore currents during highstands. Rivers with high bedload discharge transfer sediment to submarine fans during both highstand and lowstand conditions. ?? 2009 The Geological Society of America.

  16. An Experimental Study of Submarine Canyon Evolution on Continental Slopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, S. Y.; Gerber, T. P.; Amblas, D.

    2013-12-01

    Submarine canyons define the morphology of many continental slopes and are conduits for the transport of sediment from shallow to deep water. Though the origin and evolution of submarine canyons is still debated, there is general agreement that sediment gravity flows play an important role. Here we present results from a simple, reduced-scale sandbox experiment designed to investigate how sediment gravity flows generate submarine canyons. In the experiments, gravity flows were modeled using either sediment-free or turbid saline currents. Unconfined flows were released onto an inclined bed of sand bounded on the downstream end by a movable floor that was incrementally lowered during the course of an experiment to produce an escarpment. This design was developed to represent the growth of relief across the continental slope. To monitor canyon evolution on the slope, we placed an overhead DSLR camera to record vivid time-lapse videos. At the end of each experimental stage we scanned the topography by imaging a series of submerged laser stripes, each projected from a motor-driven transverse laser sheet, onto a calibrated Cartesian coordinate system to produce high resolution bathymetry without draining the ambient water. In areas unaffected by the flows, we observe featureless, angle-of-repose submarine slopes formed by retrogressive breaching processes. In contrast, areas influenced by gravity flows cascading across the shelf break are deeply incised by submarine canyons with well-developed channel networks. Our results show that downslope gravity flows and submarine falling base level are both required to produce realistic canyon morphologies at laboratory scale. Though our mechanism for generating relief may be a rather crude analogue for the processes driving slope evolution, we hope our novel approach can stimulate new questions about the coevolution of canyons and slopes and motivate further experimental work to address them.

  17. Depositional framework and genesis of Wilcox Submarine Canyon systems, Northwest Gulf Coast

    SciTech Connect

    Galloway, W.F.; Dinqus, W.F.; Paige, R.E.

    1988-01-01

    Wilcox (late Paleocene-early Eocene) slope systems of the Texas coastal plain contain two families of paleosubmarine canyons that exhibit distinctly different characteristics and stratigraphic settings: Yoakum and Lavaca type canyons occur as widely separated features within the generally retrogradational middle Wilcox interval. Four such canyons exhibit high length to width ratios, extend far updip of the contemporaneous shelf edge, were excavated deeply into paralic and coastal-plain deposits, and were filled primarily by mud. Fills consist of a lower onlapping unit and capping progradational deposits that are genetically related to deposition of the upper Wilcox fluvial-deltaic sequence. Significantly, the canyon fills correlate with widespread transgressive marine mudstones (the Yoakum shale-Sabinetown Formation and ''Big Shale''). In contrast, Lavaca-type canyons form a system of erosional features created along the rapidly prograding, unstable lower Wilcox continental margin. Comparative analysis of the two canyon system suggests a general process model for submarine canyon formation on prograding basin margins. Key elements are depositional loading of the continental margin creating instability, initiation of a large-scale slump, family of slumps, or listric bedding-plane fault creating a depression or indentation in the margin, and headward and lateral expansion of the depression by slumping and density-underflow erosion. Extent of canyon evolution varies according to time and submerged space available for maturation; short, broad canyons form on narrow shelves of actively prograding margins, and elongate mature canyons form in retrogradational or transgressive settings.

  18. Origin of Izu-Bonin forearc submarine canyons

    SciTech Connect

    Fujioka, Kantaro ); Yoshida, Haruko )

    1990-06-01

    Submarine canyons on the Izu-Bonin forearc are morphologically divided from north to south into four types based on their morphology, long profiles, and seismic profiles: Mikura, Aogashima, Sofu, and Chichijima types, respectively. These types of canyons are genetically different from each other. Mikura group is formed by the faults related to bending of the subducting Philippine Sea Plate. Aogashima type genetically relates to the activity of large submarine calderas that supply large amounts of volcaniclastic material to the consequent forearc slope. The third, Sofu group, is thought to be formed by the large-scale mega mass wasting in relation to the recent movement of the Sofugan tectonic line. The last, Chichijima group, is formed by collision of the Uyeda Ridge and the Ogasawara Plateau on the subducting Pacific Plate with Bonin Arc. Long profiles of four types of submarine canyons also support this.

  19. Anatomy of La Jolla submarine canyon system; offshore southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Paull, C.K.; Caress, D.W.; Lundsten, E.; Gwiazda, R.; Anderson, K.; McGann, M.; Conrad, J.; Edwards, B.; Sumner, E.J.

    2013-01-01

    An autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) carrying a multibeam sonar and a chirp profiler was used to map sections of the seafloor within the La Jolla Canyon, offshore southern California, at sub-meter scales. Close-up observations and sampling were conducted during remotely operated vehicle (ROV) dives. Minisparker seismic-reflection profiles from a surface ship help to define the overall geometry of the La Jolla Canyon especially with respect to the pre-canyon host sediments. The floor of the axial channel is covered with unconsolidated sand similar to the sand on the shelf near the canyon head, lacks outcrops of the pre-canyon host strata, has an almost constant slope of 1.0° and is covered with trains of crescent shaped bedforms. The presence of modern plant material entombed within these sands confirms that the axial channel is presently active. The sand on the canyon floor liquefied during vibracore collection and flowed downslope, illustrating that the sediment filling the channel can easily fail even on this gentle slope. Data from the canyon walls help constrain the age of the canyon and extent of incision. Horizontal beds of moderately cohesive fine-grained sediments exposed on the steep canyon walls are consistently less than 1.232 million years old. The lateral continuity of seismic reflectors in minisparker profiles indicate that pre-canyon host strata extend uninterrupted from outside the canyon underneath some terraces within the canyon. Evidence of abandoned channels and point bar-like deposits are noticeably absent on the inside bend of channel meanders and in the subsurface of the terraces. While vibracores from the surface of terraces contain thin (< 10 cm) turbidites, they are inferred to be part of a veneer of recent sediment covering pre-canyon host sediments that underpin the terraces. The combined use of state of the art seafloor mapping and exploration tools provides a uniquely detailed view of the morphology within an active submarine canyon.

  20. Geology and biology of Oceanographer submarine canyon.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Valentine, P.C.; Uzmann, J.R.; Cooper, R.A.

    1980-01-01

    Santonian beds more than 100 m thick are the oldest rocks collected from the canyon. Quaternary silty clay veneers the canyon walls in many places and is commonly burrowed by benthic organisms that cause extensive erosion of the canyon walls, especially in the depth zone (100-1300 m) inhabited by the crabs Geryon and Cancer. Bioerosion is minimal on high, near-vertical cliffs of sedimentary rock, in areas of continual sediment movement, and where the sea floor is paved by gravel. A thin layer of rippled, unconsolidated silt and sand is commonly present on the canyon walls and in the axis. Shelf sediments are transported from Georges Bank over the E rim and in the Canyon by the SW drift and storm currents; tidal currents and internal waves move the sediment downcanyon along the walls and axis.- from Authors

  1. Role of submarine canyons in shaping the rise between Lydonia and Oceanographer canyons, Georges Bank

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McGregor, B.A.

    1985-01-01

    Three large submarine canyons, Oceanographer, Gilbert, and Lydonia, indent the U.S. Atlantic continental shelf and, with four additional canyons, dissect the continental slope in the vicinity of Georges Bank. On the upper rise, these canyons merge at a water depth of approximately 3100 m to form only two valleys. Differences in channel morphology of the canyons on the upper rise imply differences in relative activity, which is inconsistent with observations in the canyon heads. At present, Lydonia Canyon incises the upper rise more deeply than do the other canyons: however, seismic-reflection profiles show buried channels beneath the rise, which suggests that these other six canyons were periodically active during the Neogene. The rise morphology and the thickness of inferred Neogene- and Quaternary-age sediments on the rise are attributed to the presence and activity of the canyons. The erosional and depositional processes and the morphology of these canyons are remarkably similar to those of fluvial systems. Bear Seamount, which has approximately 2000 m of relief on the rise, has acted as a barrier to downslope sediment transport since the Late Cretaceous. Sediment has piled up on the upslope side, whereas much less sediment has accumulated in the "lee shadow" on the downslope side. Seismic-reflection profile data show that Lydonia Canyon has not eroded down to the volcanic rock of Bear Seamount. ?? 1985.

  2. Space-for-time substitution and the evolution of a submarine canyon-channel system in a passive progradational margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Micallef, Aaron; Ribó, Marta; Canals, Miquel; Puig, Pere; Lastras, Galderic; Tubau, Xavier

    2014-09-01

    Space-for-time substitution is a concept that has been widely applied, but not thoroughly tested, in some fields of geomorphology. The objective of this study is to test whether the concept of space-for-time substitution is valid in reconstructing the evolution of a submarine canyon-channel system in a passive progradational margin. We use multibeam echosounder data and in situ measurements from the south Ebro Margin to analyse the morphology and morphometry of a sequence of submarine valleys ordered in terms of increasing valley thalweg length. The morphological model of submarine valley evolution that we can propose from this analysis is very similar to established models in the literature, which leads us to conclude that time can be substituted by space when reconstructing the evolution of submarine canyon and channel systems in the south Ebro Margin. By extracting morphometric information from the application of the space-for-time substitution model to our data, we identify a series of morphological patterns as a submarine canyon evolves in a passive progradational margin. These include the geometric similarity of canyon planform shape, an increase in canyon draining efficiency and in the influence of flank slope failures, and an evolution towards equilibrium between canyon form and imposed water and sediment load without net erosion or deposition taking place. We also observe that canyon elongation is higher downslope and that the canyon undergoes an early stage of rapid incision similar to the process of "erosion narrowing" reported in terrestrial rivers. We demonstrate that the conclusions of our study are not limited to submarine valleys in the south Ebro Margin but are applicable to other margins around the world.

  3. Giant submarine canyons: is size any clue to their importance in the rock record?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Normark, William R.; Carlson, Paul R.

    2003-01-01

    Submarine canyons are the most important conduits for funneling sediment from continents to oceans. Submarine canyons, however, are zones of sediment bypassing, and little sediment accumulates in the canyon until it ceases to be an active conduit. To understand the potential importance in the rock record of any given submarine canyon, it is necessary to understand sediment-transport processes in, as well as knowledge of, deep-sea turbidite and related deposits that moved through the canyons. There is no straightforward correlation between the final volume of the sedimentary deposits and size o fthe associated submarine canyons. Comparison of selected modern submarine canyons together with their deposits emphasizes the wide range of scale differences between canyons and their impact on the rock record. Three of the largest submarine canyons in the world are incised into the Beringian (North American) margin of the Bering Sea. Zhemchug Canyon has the largest cross-section at the shelf break and greatest volume of incision of slope and shelf. The Bering Canyon, which is farther south in the Bering Sea, is first in length and total area. In contrast, the largest submarine fans-e.g., Bengal, Indus, and Amazon-have substantially smaller, delta-front submarine canyons that feed them; their submarine drainage areas are one-third to less than one-tenth the area of Bering Canyon. some very large deep-sea channells and tubidite deposits are not even associated with a significant submarine canyon; examples include Horizon Channel in the northeast Pacific and Laurentian Fan Valley in the North Atlantic. Available data suggest that the size of turbidity currents (as determined by volume of sediment transported to the basins) is also not a reliable indicator of submarine canyon size.

  4. Tectonic activity and the evolution of submarine canyons: The Cook Strait Canyon system, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Micallef, Aaron; Mountjoy, Joshu; Barnes, Philip; Canals, Miquel; Lastras, Galderic

    2016-04-01

    Submarine canyons are Earth's most dramatic erosional features, comprising steep-walled valleys that originate in the continental shelf and slope. They play a key role in the evolution of continental margins by transferring sediments into deep water settings and are considered important biodiversity hotspots, pathways for nutrients and pollutants, and analogues of hydrocarbon reservoirs. Although comprising only one third of continental margins worldwide, active margins host more than half of global submarine canyons. We still lack of thorough understanding of the coupling between active tectonics and submarine canyon processes, which is necessary to improve the modelling of canyon evolution in active margins and derive tectonic information from canyon morphology. The objectives of this study are to: (i) understand how tectonic activity influences submarine canyon morphology, processes, and evolution in an active margin, and (2) formulate a generalised model of canyon development in response to tectonic forcing based on morphometric parameters. We fulfil these objectives by analysing high resolution geophysical data and imagery from Cook Strait Canyon system, offshore New Zealand. Using these data, we demonstrate that tectonic activity, in the form of major faults and structurally-generated tectonic ridges, leaves a clear topographic signature on submarine canyon location and morphology, in particular their dendritic and sinuous planform shapes, steep and linear longitudinal profiles, and cross-sectional asymmetry and width. We also report breaks/changes in canyon longitudinal slope gradient, relief and slope-area regression models at the intersection with faults. Tectonic activity gives rise to two types of knickpoints in the Cook Strait Canyon. The first type consists of low slope gradient, rounded and diffusive knickpoints forming as a result of short wavelength folds or fault break outs and being restored to an equilibrium profile by upstream erosion and

  5. Currents in la jolla and scripps submarine canyons.

    PubMed

    Shepard, F P; Marshall, N F

    1969-07-11

    Velocities up to 34 centimeters per second have been recorded near the floors of submarine canyons off La Jolla, California. Currents move alternately down- and upcanyon with variable periods. All 3- to 6-day measurements show net current transport downcanyon. Many of the downcanyon currents of higher velocity correlate with ebbing tides, as measured at the nearby pier. Other factors producing the currents probably include internal waves. Velocities are sufficient to transport large quantities of fine sand. PMID:17834739

  6. Measuring currents in submarine canyons: technological and scientific progress in the past 30 years

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Xu, J. P.

    2011-01-01

    The development and application of acoustic and optical technologies and of accurate positioning systems in the past 30 years have opened new frontiers in the submarine canyon research communities. This paper reviews several key advancements in both technology and science in the field of currents in submarine canyons since the1979 publication of Currents in Submarine Canyons and Other Sea Valleys by Francis Shepard and colleagues. Precise placements of high-resolution, high-frequency instruments have not only allowed researchers to collect new data that are essential for advancing and generalizing theories governing the canyon currents, but have also revealed new natural phenomena that challenge the understandings of the theorists and experimenters in their predictions of submarine canyon flow fields. Baroclinic motions at tidal frequencies, found to be intensified both up canyon and toward the canyon floor, dominate the flow field and control the sediment transport processes in submarine canyons. Turbidity currents are found to frequently occur in active submarine canyons such as Monterey Canyon. These turbidity currents have maximum speeds of nearly 200 cm/s, much smaller than the speeds of turbidity currents in geological time, but still very destructive. In addition to traditional Eulerian measurements, Lagrangian flow data are essential in quantifying water and sediment transport in submarine canyons. A concerted experiment with multiple monitoring stations along the canyon axis and on nearby shelves is required to characterize the storm-trigger mechanism for turbidity currents.

  7. Submarine canyons: multiple causes and long-time persistence

    SciTech Connect

    Shepard, F.P.

    1981-06-01

    Submarine canyons are of composite origin and that many of the hypotheses suggested in the past were partly correct but did not appreciate that coordination of other processes was required. Thus there is growing evidence that, in the history of many canyons, there was a period in which subaerial erosion was an important precursor, but that present features are predominantly the result of marine erosion. Those advocating turbidity currents as the unique cause of canyons failed to appreciate that debris flows down the incipient valleys, as well as other types of landslides, could be an almost equally important factor in marine erosion. The great effect of biologic activity on the rock walls of incipient canyons has been almost completely neglected in explanations, and various types of currents such as those of the tides have been left largely out of the picture. Perhaps the most important feature absent in these various hypotheses has been the realization that canyons may well be the result of a long period of formation, much longer than the short episodes of Pleistocene glacial sea-level lowering usually considered explanation enough of these giant features which commonly cut into hard crystalline rock. New information is showing that the canyons may date back to at least the Cretaceous. (JMT)

  8. Submarine canyons as important habitat for cetaceans, with special reference to the Gully: A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moors-Murphy, Hilary B.

    2014-06-01

    There has been much research interest in the use of submarine canyons by cetaceans, particularly beaked whales (family Ziphiidae), which appear to be especially attracted to canyon habitats in some areas. However, not all submarine canyons are associated with large numbers of cetaceans and the mechanisms through which submarine canyons may attract cetaceans are not clearly understood. This paper reviews some of the cetacean associations with submarine canyons that have been anecdotally described or presented in scientific literature and discusses the physical, oceanographic and biological mechanisms that may lead to enhanced cetacean abundance around these canyons. Particular attention is paid to the Gully, a large submarine canyon and Marine Protected Area off eastern Canada for which there exists some of the strongest evidence available for submarine canyons as important cetacean habitat. Studies demonstrating increased cetacean abundance in the Gully and the processes that are likely to attract cetaceans to this relatively well-studied canyon are discussed. This review provides some limited evidence that cetaceans are more likely to associate with larger canyons; however, further studies are needed to fully understand the relationship between the physical characteristics of canyons and enhanced cetacean abundance. In general, toothed whales (especially beaked whales and sperm whales) appear to exhibit the strongest associations with submarine canyons, occurring in these features throughout the year and likely attracted by concentrating and aggregating processes. By contrast, baleen whales tend to occur in canyons seasonally and are most likely attracted to canyons by enrichment and concentrating processes. Existing evidence thus suggests that at least some submarine canyons are important foraging areas for cetaceans, and should be given special consideration for cetacean conservation and protection.

  9. Sandwave migration in Monterey Submarine Canyon, Central California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Xu, J. P.; Wong, F.L.; Kvitek, R.; Smith, D.P.; Paull, C.K.

    2008-01-01

    Repeated high-resolution multibeam bathymetric surveys from 2002 through 2006 at the head of the Monterey Submarine Canyon reveal a sandwave field along the canyon axis between 20 and 250??m water depth. These sandwaves range in wavelength from 20 to 70??m and 1 to 3??m in height. A quantitative measure was devised to determine the direction of sandwave migration based on the asymmetry of their profiles. Despite appreciable spatial variation the sandwaves were found to migrate in a predominantly down-canyon direction, regardless of season and tidal phases. A yearlong ADCP measurement at 250??m water depth showed that intermittent internal tidal oscillations dominated the high-speed canyon currents (50-80??cm/s), which are not correlated with the spring-neap tidal cycle. Observed currents of 50??cm/s or higher were predominantly down-canyon. Applying a simple empirical model, flows of such magnitudes were shown to be able to generate sandwaves of a size similar to the observed ones. ?? 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Internal tidal currents in the Gaoping (Kaoping) Submarine Canyon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lee, I.-H.; Wang, Y.-H.; Liu, J.T.; Chuang, W.-S.; Xu, Jie

    2009-01-01

    Data from five separate field experiments during 2000-2006 were used to study the internal tidal flow patterns in the Gaoping (formerly spelled Kaoping) Submarine Canyon. The internal tides are large with maximum interface displacements of about 200??m and maximum velocities of over 100cm/s. They are characterized by a first-mode velocity and density structure with zero crossing at about 100??m depth. In the lower layer, the currents increase with increasing depth. The density interface and the along-channel velocity are approximately 90?? out-of-phase, suggesting a predominant standing wave pattern. However, partial reflection is indicated as there is a consistent phase advance between sea level and density interface along the canyon axis. ?? 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Origin of Florida Canyon and the role of spring sapping on the formation of submarine box canyons

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Paull, Charles K.; Spiess, Fred N.; Curray, Joseph R.; Twichell, David C.

    1990-01-01

    Florida Canyon, one of a series of major submarine canyons on the southwestern edge of the Florida Platform, was surveyed using GLORIA, SeaBeam, and Deep-Tow technologies, and it was directly observed during three DSRV Alvin dives. Florida Canyon exhibits two distinct morphologies: a broad V-shaped upper canyon and a deeply entrenched, flat-floored, U-shaped lower canyon. The flat- floored lower canyon extends 20 km into the Florida Platform from the abyssal Gulf. The lower canyon ends abruptly at an ∼3 km in diameter semicircular headwall that rises 750 m with a >60° slope angle to the foot of the upper canyon. The sides of the lower canyon are less steep than its headwall and are characterized by straight faces that occur along preferred orientations and indicate a strong joint control. The upper canyon is characterized by a gently sloping, straight V-shaped central valley cut into a broad terrace. The flat floor of the upper canyon continues as terraces along the upper walls of the lower canyon. On the flanks of the upper canyon, there are five >50-m-deep, >0.5-km-wide, closed sink-hole-like depressions which indicate subsurface dissolution within the platform. The origin of the lower canyon is difficult to explain with traditional models of submarine canyon formation by external physical processes. The movement of ground water, probably with high salinities and reduced compounds along regional joints, may have focused the corrosive force of submarine spring sapping at the head of the lower canyon to produce the canyon's present shape.

  12. Ascension Submarine Canyon, California - Evolution of a multi-head canyon system along a strike-slip continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nagel, D.K.; Mullins, H.T.; Greene, H. Gary

    1986-01-01

    Ascension Submarine Canyon, which lies along the strike-slip (transform) dominated continental margin of central California, consists of two discrete northwestern heads and six less well defined southeastern heads. These eight heads coalesce to form a single submarine canyon near the 2700 m isobath. Detailed seismic stratigraphic data correlated with 19 rock dredge hauls from the walls of the canyon system, suggest that at least one of the two northwestern heads was initially eroded during a Pliocene lowstand of sea level ???3.8 m.y. B.P. Paleogeographic reconstructions indicate that at this time, northwestern Ascension Canyon formed the distal channel of nearby Monterey Canyon and has subsequently been offset by right-lateral, strike-slip faulting along the San Gregorio fault zone. Some of the six southwestern heads of Ascension Canyon may also have been initially eroded as the distal portions of Monterey Canyon during late Pliocene-early Pleistocene sea-level lowstands (???2.8 and 1.75 m.y. B.P.) and subsequently truncated and offset to the northwest. There have also been a minimum of two canyon-cutting episodes within the past 750,000 years, after the entire Ascension Canyon system migrated to the northwest past Monterey Canyon. We attribute these late Pleistocene erosional events to relative lowstands of sea level 750,000 and 18,000 yrs B.P. The late Pleistocene and Holocene evolution of the six southeastern heads also appears to have been controlled by structural uplift of the Ascension-Monterey basement high at the southeastern terminus of the Outer Santa Cruz Basin. We believe that uplift of this basement high sufficiently oversteepened submarine slopes to induce gravitational instability and generate mass movements that resulted in the erosion of the canyon heads. Most significantly, though, our results and interpretations support previous proposals that submarine canyons along strike-slip continental margins can originate by tectonic trunction and lateral

  13. Deep-sea scavenging amphipod assemblages from the submarine canyons of the Western Iberian Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duffy, G. A.; Horton, T.; Billett, D. S. M.

    2012-11-01

    Submarine canyons have often been identified as hotspots of secondary production with the potential to house distinct faunal assemblages and idiosyncratic ecosystems. Within these deep-sea habitats, assemblages of scavenging fauna play a vital role in reintroducing organic matter from large food falls into the wider deep-sea food chain. Free-fall baited traps were set at different depths within three submarine canyons on the Iberian Margin. Amphipods from the traps were identified to species level and counted. Scavenging amphipod assemblages were compared at different depths within each canyon and between individual canyon systems. Using data from literature, abyssal plain assemblages were compared to submarine canyon assemblages. Samples from canyons were found to contain common abyssal plain species but in greater than expected abundances. It is proposed that this is a result of the high organic carbon input into canyon systems owing to their interception of sediment from the continental shelf and input from associated estuarine systems. Community composition differed significantly between the submarine canyons and abyssal plains. The cause of this difference cannot be attributed to one environmental variable due to the numerous inherent differences between canyons and abyssal plains.

  14. Delaware River: Evidence for its former extension to Wilmington Submarine Canyon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Twichell, D.C.; Knebel, H. J.; Folger, D.W.

    1977-01-01

    Seismic-reflection profiles indicate that during the Pleistocene the Delaware River flowed across the continental shelf east of Delaware Bay and emptied into Wilmington Submarine Canyon. The ancestral valley (width, 3 to 8 kilometers; relief, 10 to 30 meters) is buried, is not reflected in the surface topography, and probably predates the formation of the present canyon head.

  15. Morphology, distribution, and development of submarine canyons on the United States Atlantic continental slope between Hudson arid Baltimore Canyons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Twichell, David C.; Roberts, David G.

    1982-08-01

    The distribution and morphology of submarine canyons off the eastern United States between Hudson and Baltimore Canyons have been mapped by long-range sidescan sonar. In this area canyons are numerous, and their spacing correlates with overall slope gradient; they are absent where the gradient is less than 3°, are 2 to 10 km apart where the gradient is 3° to 5°, and are 1.5 to 4 km apart where the gradient exceeds 6°. Canyons range from straight to sinuous; those having sinuous axes indent the edge of the continental shelf and appear to be older than those that head on the upper slope and have straighter axes. A difference in canyon age would suggest that canyons are initiated on the continental slope and only with greater age erode headward to indent the shelf. Shallow gullies on the middle and upper slope parts of the canyon walls suggest that submarine erosion has been a major process in a recent phase of canyon development. *Present address: British Petroleum, Moorgate, London EC2Y 9BU, England

  16. Hanging canyons of Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, Canada: Fault-control on submarine canyon geomorphology along active continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harris, Peter T.; Barrie, J. Vaughn; Conway, Kim W.; Greene, H. Gary

    2014-06-01

    Faulting commonly influences the geomorphology of submarine canyons that occur on active continental margins. Here, we examine the geomorphology of canyons located on the continental margin off Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, that are truncated on the mid-slope (1200-1400 m water depth) by the Queen Charlotte Fault Zone (QCFZ). The QCFZ is an oblique strike-slip fault zone that has rates of lateral motion of around 50-60 mm/yr and a small convergent component equal to about 3 mm/yr. Slow subduction along the Cascadia Subduction Zone has accreted a prism of marine sediment against the lower slope (1500-3500 m water depth), forming the Queen Charlotte Terrace, which blocks the mouths of submarine canyons formed on the upper slope (200-1400 m water depth). Consequently, canyons along this margin are short (4-8 km in length), closely spaced (around 800 m), and terminate uniformly along the 1400 m isobath, coinciding with the primary fault trend of the QCFZ. Vertical displacement along the fault has resulted in hanging canyons occurring locally. The Haida Gwaii canyons are compared and contrasted with the Sur Canyon system, located to the south of Monterey Bay, California, on a transform margin, which is not blocked by any accretionary prism, and where canyons thus extend to 4000 m depth, across the full breadth of the slope.

  17. Recent sea beam mapping of Ascension-Monterey Submarine Canyon System

    SciTech Connect

    Greene, H.G. )

    1990-06-01

    Extensive Sea Beam and Bathymetric Swatch Survey System (BS{sup 3}) data covering the Ascension-Monterey Submarine Canyon system and adjoining areas and canyons were collected offshore central California. Many discovered geomorphological features lead to significant new geologic conclusions about the formation and processes of submarine canyons in general and disclose unique sedimentary and tectonic features of the Ascension-Monterey Canyon system. The highly detailed bathymetric maps constructed from the Sea Beam data indicate that the seafloor topographic pattern is influenced by sedimentary and tectonic processes; both remain active along the central California margin. Interpretations of MOAA composite maps, final raw Sea Beam bathymetric maps, and three-dimensional physiographic renditions from bathymetric data indicate a diverse and complex geomorphology for the Ascension-Monterey Submarine Canyon system and adjoining region. Five distinct geomorphologic provinces and four well-defined geographic areas are mapped. Canyons cut by faults and canyon walls actively undergoing mass wasting are prominently displayed in the Sea Beam data. Sedimentary processes illustrating canyon channel capture and the formation of extensive mega-sedimentary wave fields where the canyons debouch onto the abyssal plain are spectacularly well defined. This new tool of seafloor mapping is contributing significant data for the geological interpretation of continental margins and seafloor in the world's oceans.

  18. Holocene sedimentary activity in a non-terrestrially coupled submarine canyon: Cook Strait Canyon system, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mountjoy, J. J.; Micallef, A.; Stevens, C. L.; Stirling, M. W.

    2014-06-01

    The Cook Strait Canyon system, located between the North and South islands of New Zealand, is a large (1800 km2), multi-branching, shelf-indenting canyon on an active subduction margin. The canyon comes within 1 km of the coast, but does not intercept fluvial or littoral sediment systems and is therefore defined as a non-terrestrially coupled system. Sediment transport associated with a strong tidal stream, and seafloor disturbance related to numerous high-activity faults, is known from previous studies. Little is known, however, about the rates of sedimentary activity in the canyon and the processes driving it. A substantial dataset of EM300 multibeam bathymetry, gravity cores, 3.5 kHz seismic reflection profiles, camera and video transects and current meter data have been collected across the region between 2002 and 2011. The canyon system therefore provides an excellent study area for understanding sediment transport in a non-coupled submarine canyon system. Analysis of the data reveals a two-staged sediment transport system where: (1) oceanographic (tidal) processes mobilise sediment from the continental shelf and transport it to depocentres in the upper-central canyons, and (2) tectonic (earthquake) processes remobilise sediment that is transported through the lower canyon to the deep ocean. Tidal boundary-layer currents within the canyon reach velocities up to 0.53 m/s and are capable of mobilising fine sand in the central reach of the upper canyons. The velocity is higher at the canyon rim and capable of mobilising coarse sand. Sediment depocentres resulting from this tidally forced sediment transport have a well formed geomorphology within the mid-upper canyon arms of Cook Strait and Nicholson Canyons. Pseudo-static stability modelling, supported by sediment core analysis, indicates that sediment accumulated in the upper canyons fails during seismic events approximately every 100 years. The 100 year return period ground shaking-level (peak ground

  19. Rapid changes in the head of the Rio Balsas Submarine Canyon system, Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reimnitz, E.; Gutierrez-Estrada, M.

    1970-01-01

    The investigation of a river delta and the heads of several nearby submarine canyons in western Mexico produced evidence for rapid changes in the configuration and depth of the nearshore portions of canyon tributaries. General scarcity of data on the rates of submarine canyon formation and the relationship to river discharge should make these results of special interest. The Rio Balsas, one of Mexico's largest rivers, empties into the ocean near the heads of a large submarine canyon that terminates in the Middle America Trench. One of the distributaries of the Rio Balsas presently is discharging at the head of Can??o??n de la Necesidad, which is being eroded actively. Two inactive canyons are related to former discharge channels of the river. Their heads lie at some distance from shore and are being filled with sediment. The Can??o??n de Petacalco, not now receiving sediment directly from a Rio Balsas distributary, has remained active because the shoreline has not retreated far. Until about 100 years ago its head was being filled with fine-grained and highly organic sediments from a nearby rivermouth, while the coarse portion of the sediment supply joined the canyon via a tributary farther seaward. Since then the river has shifted away from this canyon, and the horizontally stratified sediments in the canyon head have been incised as much as 20-30 m, as evidenced by three 14C dates of organic material exposed in the steep to overhanging canyon walls. The changes in the shallow portion of the Rio Balsas submarine canyons seem to be related to changes in river discharge pattern, either directly or indirectly. A shifting point source of sediment supply either activates a pre-existing, partly filled canyon, or erodes a new one near the new river mouth, whereas the canyon at the abandoned river mouth is deactivated following retreat of the shoreline. The heads of the different tributaries form a dendritic pattern in Holocene unconsolidated sediment. Subaerial processes

  20. Discovery of two new large submarine canyons in the Bering Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carlson, P.R.; Karl, Herman A.

    1984-01-01

    The Beringian continental margin is incised by some of the world's largest submarine canyons. Two newly discovered canyons, St. Matthew and Middle, are hereby added to the roster of Bering Sea canyons. Although these canyons are smaller and not cut back into the Bering shelf like the five very large canyons, they are nonetheless comparable in size to most of the canyons that have been cut into the U.S. eastern continental margin and much larger than the well-known southern California canyons. Both igneous and sedimentary rocks of Eocene to Pliocene age have been dredged from the walls of St. Matthew and Middle Canyons as well as from the walls of several of the other Beringian margin canyons, thus suggesting a late Tertiary to Quaternary genesis of the canyons. We speculate that the ancestral Yukon and possibly Anadyr Rivers were instrumental in initiating the canyon-cutting processes, but that, due to restrictions imposed by island and subsea bedrock barriers, cutting of the two newly discovered canyons may have begun later and been slower than for the other five canyons. ?? 1984.

  1. Submarine canyons: hotspots of benthic biomass and productivity in the deep sea.

    PubMed

    De Leo, Fabio C; Smith, Craig R; Rowden, Ashley A; Bowden, David A; Clark, Malcolm R

    2010-09-22

    Submarine canyons are dramatic and widespread topographic features crossing continental and island margins in all oceans. Canyons can be sites of enhanced organic-matter flux and deposition through entrainment of coastal detrital export, dense shelf-water cascade, channelling of resuspended particulate material and focusing of sediment deposition. Despite their unusual ecological characteristics and global distribution along oceanic continental margins, only scattered information is available about the influence of submarine canyons on deep-sea ecosystem structure and productivity. Here, we show that deep-sea canyons such as the Kaikoura Canyon on the eastern New Zealand margin (42 degrees 01' S, 173 degrees 03' E) can sustain enormous biomasses of infaunal megabenthic invertebrates over large areas. Our reported biomass values are 100-fold higher than those previously reported for deep-sea (non-chemosynthetic) habitats below 500 m in the ocean. We also present evidence from deep-sea-towed camera images that areas in the canyon that have the extraordinary benthic biomass also harbour high abundances of macrourid (rattail) fishes likely to be feeding on the macro- and megabenthos. Bottom-trawl catch data also indicate that the Kaikoura Canyon has dramatically higher abundances of benthic-feeding fishes than adjacent slopes. Our results demonstrate that the Kaikoura Canyon is one of the most productive habitats described so far in the deep sea. A new global inventory suggests there are at least 660 submarine canyons worldwide, approximately 100 of which could be biomass hotspots similar to the Kaikoura Canyon. The importance of such deep-sea canyons as potential hotspots of production and commercial fisheries yields merits substantial further study. PMID:20444722

  2. Submarine canyons: hotspots of benthic biomass and productivity in the deep sea

    PubMed Central

    De Leo, Fabio C.; Smith, Craig R.; Rowden, Ashley A.; Bowden, David A.; Clark, Malcolm R.

    2010-01-01

    Submarine canyons are dramatic and widespread topographic features crossing continental and island margins in all oceans. Canyons can be sites of enhanced organic-matter flux and deposition through entrainment of coastal detrital export, dense shelf-water cascade, channelling of resuspended particulate material and focusing of sediment deposition. Despite their unusual ecological characteristics and global distribution along oceanic continental margins, only scattered information is available about the influence of submarine canyons on deep-sea ecosystem structure and productivity. Here, we show that deep-sea canyons such as the Kaikoura Canyon on the eastern New Zealand margin (42°01′ S, 173°03′ E) can sustain enormous biomasses of infaunal megabenthic invertebrates over large areas. Our reported biomass values are 100-fold higher than those previously reported for deep-sea (non-chemosynthetic) habitats below 500 m in the ocean. We also present evidence from deep-sea-towed camera images that areas in the canyon that have the extraordinary benthic biomass also harbour high abundances of macrourid (rattail) fishes likely to be feeding on the macro- and megabenthos. Bottom-trawl catch data also indicate that the Kaikoura Canyon has dramatically higher abundances of benthic-feeding fishes than adjacent slopes. Our results demonstrate that the Kaikoura Canyon is one of the most productive habitats described so far in the deep sea. A new global inventory suggests there are at least 660 submarine canyons worldwide, approximately 100 of which could be biomass hotspots similar to the Kaikoura Canyon. The importance of such deep-sea canyons as potential hotspots of production and commercial fisheries yields merits substantial further study. PMID:20444722

  3. Does littoral sand bypass the head of Mugu Submarine Canyon? - a modeling study

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Xu, Jingping; Elias, Edwin; Kinsman, Nicole

    2011-01-01

    A newly developed sand-tracer code for the process-based model Delft3D (Deltares, The Netherlands) was used to simulate the littoral transport near the head of the Mugu Submarine Canyon in California, USA. For westerly swells, which account for more than 90% of the wave conditions in the region, the sand tracers in the downcoast littoral drift were unable to bypass the canyon head. A flow convergence near the upcoast rim of the canyon intercepts the tracers and moves them either offshore onto the shelf just west of the canyon rim (low wave height conditions) or into the canyon head (storm wave conditions). This finding supports the notion that Mugu Canyon is the true terminus of the Santa Barbara Littoral Cell.

  4. Submarine canyon and slope processes of the U.S. Atlantic continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McGregor, B.A.

    1983-01-01

    Two regions on the U.S. Atlantic continental margin were surveyed using single-channel, seismic-reflection profiling techniques: the Mid-Atlantic Continental Slope and Rise seaward of New Jersey in the vicinity of Baltimore Canyon and the Continental Slope and upper Rise just north of Cape Hatteras. Submarine canyons are the dominant morphologic feature in both areas. The Continental Slope in the Baltimore Canyon area has a general sea-floor gradient of 3?-4? and a width of approximately 40 km, whereas the study area north of Cape Hatteras has a general sea-floor gradient of approximately 9? and a width of 20 km. The dominant slope process differs in each area. In the Baltimore Canyon area, subbottom reflectors suggest that sediment deposition with progradation of the slope is related to canyon processes. In the study area north of Cape Hatteras, the canyons appear erosional and mass wasting is the dominant erosional process. Dominant slope processes appear to be correlated with the width and sea-floor gradient of the Continental Slope. Although the absolute age of the canyons is difficult to determine without rotary-drill cores for stratigraphic control, Baltimore Canyon is suggested to be older than the shelf-indenting canyon just north of Cape Hatteras. An anomalously large ridge flanking Baltimore Canyon on the upper rise appears to be related to canyon depositional and erosional processes.

  5. Morphology, origin and evolution of Pleistocene submarine canyons, New Jersey continental slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhatnagar, T.; Mountain, G. S.

    2015-12-01

    Submarine canyons serve as important conduits for transport of detrital sediments from nearshore and shelf environments to adjacent deep marine basins. However, the processes controlling the formation, maintenance, and fill of these sediment pathways are complex. This study presents an investigation of these systems at the New Jersey continental margin using a grid of high-resolution, 48-channel seismic reflection data collected in 1995 on the R/V Oceanus cruise Oc270 as a part of the STRATAFORM initiative. The aim is to shed new light on the origin and role of submarine canyons in Pleistocene sedimentation beneath the outer shelf and upper continental slope. Preliminary investigation of the Pleistocene interval reveals prominent unconformities tied to and dated with published studies at 7 sites drilled by ODP Legs 150 and 174A. The profiles of the continental slope unveil a series of abandoned and now buried submarine canyons that have influenced the development of modern canyons. Mapping these systems has revealed a range of canyon geometries, including U, V-shaped and flat-bottomed cross sections, each suggesting different histories. At least three types of seismic facies constitute the canyon fills: parallel onlap, interpreted as infilling by alternating coarser turbidites and finer hemipelagic sediments, chaotic infill, signifying structureless, massive debris flow deposition, and lateral accretion infill by both turbidity and bottom currents. Canyon formation and development appear to be strongly influenced by variations in sediment supply, grain size, and currents on the continental slope. One goal of our research is to establish if the canyons were initiated by failures at the base of the slope followed by upslope erosion, or by erosion at the shelf slope transition, and then downslope extension by erosive events. No single model accounts for all canyons. The history of these canyons may elucidate the extent to which the shelf was exposed during sea

  6. Clast-contact conglomerates in submarine canyons: possible subaqueous sieve deposits

    SciTech Connect

    Fitzgerald, M.S.

    1987-05-01

    Thick, coarse, clast-contact conglomerates in submarine canyon fill have previously been attributed to rock-fall, grain-flow, or winnowing processes. However, these processes do not adequately explain some thick conglomeratic sequences. The proposed process of subaqueous sieve deposition could account for these clast-contact conglomerates. Subaerial sieve deposition has been documented on small-scale fan models and on alluvial fans. A subaerial sieve deposit begins as a debris flow which at some point freezes up. The matrix is then lost by subsequent filtration or outflow, and the emplacement of a clast-contact gravel ensues. A subaqueous sieve deposit would be slightly modified in that the matrix would not be lost by filtration into the submarine canyon floor, but rather by outflow at the terminus of the lobe immediately after deposition, or possibly from the top and/or sides of the freezing flow mass during transport. Besides forming in submarine canyons, subaqueous sieve deposits might also occur in paralic, submarine fan channel, and base-of-the-slope settings. In substantiating the existence of subaqueous sieve deposits, the sedimentary structures and grain-size data from recent sieve deposits on alluvial fans are compared to those of ancient submarine canyon deposits. Numerous similarities are found supporting this new method of deposition. Some discrepancies are encountered, but these are expected due to modifications caused by an aqueous medium.

  7. Evolution of Paleogene submarine Canyon-Fan systems, southern Sacramento basin, California

    SciTech Connect

    Fischer, P.J.; Cherven, V.B.; Almgren, A.A.

    1986-04-01

    The evolutionary development of the Paleogene Martinez and Meganos Submarine Canyon and Fan systems of the southern Sacramento basin was controlled by a complex interplay of eustatic sea level change and tectonism. In this brief synthesis, the authors postulated that eustatic sea level changes were the dominant or controlling factor, and tectonism, although significant, was of secondary importance. The development of the Paleogene canyon and fan systems is correlated with low sea level stands or regressions at 60 Ma and 56 Ma. Intermittent tectonism, beginning at least 5-10 m.y. earlier, particularly along the western and southwestern margins of the Sacramento basin, controlled the location of the canyon and fan systems. The controlling tectonic elements of the southern basin were north-trending, high-angle faults related to the Kirby Hills and Midland fault zones and the Diablo-Kirby Hills(.) uplift. Both canyons were probably active (that is, channeling coarse sediment to their fans) during most of the late Paleocene. The authors suggest that canyon activity was maintained by south-flowing longshore drift or feeder systems, down-canyon gravity flows (turbidites, etc) and up-down canyon current systems, all of which are typical of modern, active submarine canyon and fan systems. The canyons filled with fine-grained sediments when the canyons were beheaded or separated from the longshore drift system by rising sea level, or when tectonism(.) shifted the major river drainage that supplied the canyon with sediment. Truncation and erosion of the canyon-fill and fan facies of the late Paleocene-early Eocene Meganos Formation along the Diablo outcrop belt was primarily due to the major early middle Eocene lowstand (49.5 Ma).

  8. Internal wave behaviour in the submarine canyons of the Celtic Sea Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aslam, Tahmeena; Hall, Rob; Heywood, Karen; Dye, Stephen

    2014-05-01

    The Celtic Sea, located off the south coast of Ireland, is a 100-200m deep shelf sea that is notable for the presence of large tidal currents and strong seasonal fluctuations in surface heating and cooling. The shelf edge is a region of rough topography and barotropic tidal flows generate internal waves and associated baroclinic energy fluxes. These internal tides are reflected if they encounter topographic features. The reflection is dependent on the relative topographic slope and can be subcritical (waves continue to shoal), supercritical (waves are reflected back into deep water) or critical (nonlinear effects, potential wave breaking and turbulent mixing). Submarine canyons are a common bathymetric feature along the Celtic Sea shelf edge and are known to trap and focus internal waves towards the head of the canyon, leading to high levels of turbulent mixing. This mixing may drive vertical nutrient fluxes and enhance primary productivity at the shelf edge. Celtic Sea submarine canyons are typically dendritic and vary in cross sectional profile along the length of their axis, providing many different topographic slope values. Using a numerical model, I will investigate the propagation of internal waves through both idealised canyons and realistic canyon bathymetry from the Celtic Sea shelf edge. Using the results I will attempt to parameterise submarine canyon morphology based on its effect on the internal wave field.

  9. Submarine canyons and channels in the Lower St. Lawrence Estuary (Eastern Canada): Morphology, classification and recent sediment dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Normandeau, Alexandre; Lajeunesse, Patrick; St-Onge, Guillaume

    2015-07-01

    Series of submarine canyons and channels observed in the Lower St. Lawrence Estuary (LSLE) provide an opportunity to analyze in great detail the morphology, spatial distribution and modern activity of such systems in a relatively shallow (≤ 300 m) semi-enclosed basin. Based on their geomorphology and physical settings, the canyons and channels were classified into four categories according to their feeding sources (ancient or recent): glacially-fed, river-fed, longshore drift-fed and sediment-starved systems. Their activity was interpreted based on geomorphological characteristics such as the presence of bedforms related to gravity flows, backscatter intensity, axial incision and the presence of rapidly deposited layers in surficial sediments. River-fed deltas were interpreted as inactive, mainly because suspended sediment concentrations at river mouths are low, preventing the generation of hyperpycnal currents or delta-lip failures related to high sediment supply. Longshore drift-fed canyons, present where the coastal shelf narrows, were found to be episodically active probably due to earthquakes or extreme storm events. Unlike other longshore drift-fed canyons observed elsewhere in the world, they are active infrequently because of the modern low rates of sediment supply to their heads. The most active canyons are the sediment-starved type and were observed near Pointe-des-Monts. Their activity is probably due to slope failures and to the presence of strong hydrodynamic processes. Therefore, sediment supply is not the main mechanism responsible for modern canyon and channel activity in the LSLE. However, sediment supply has been an important factor during the formation of the submarine channels and canyons. Their quasi-exclusive occurrence on the Québec North Shore is attributed to its larger watershed and important sedimentary delivery during deglaciation. The Québec North Shore watershed is 20 times greater than the Québec South Shore watershed, which

  10. The World's Largest Submarine Canyon—Kroenke Canyon in the Western Equatorial Pacific

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coffin, M. F.; Adams, N.; Whittaker, J. M.; Lucieer, V.; Heckman, M.; Ketter, T.; Neale, J. F.; Reyes, A.; Travers, A.

    2015-12-01

    Kroenke Canyon lies on the Ontong Java Plateau (OJP) in the western Equatorial Pacific, between the Solomon Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia. In late 2014 aboard the Schmidt Ocean Institute's RV Falkor, we mapped, albeit incompletely, the Canyon for the first time, revealing that it is both the longest (>700 km) and the most voluminous (>6800 km3) submarine canyon yet discovered on Earth. Kroenke Canyon appears to originate in the vicinity of Ontong Java (Solomon Islands) and Nukumanu (Papua New Guinea) atolls, and presumably began to develop when the atolls were high-standing volcanic islands surmounting the ~120 Ma igneous basement of the OJP. The Canyon is characterised by numerous tributaries and significant mass wasting. Kroenke Canyon incises the layer-cake stratigraphy of OJP sediment and sedimentary rock, mostly carbonate with some interbedded chert, which has provided numerous slip surfaces for submarine landslides. The carbonate compensation depth (CCD) roughly coincides with the depth of the transition between the OJP and the neighbouring Nauru Basin. As a result, despite the large volume of sediment eroded and transported by canyon-forming processes, only a minor fan is evident in the Nauru Basin because most of the carbonate has dissolved.

  11. Headless submarine canyons and fluid flow on the toe of the Cascadia accretionary complex

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Orange, D.L.; McAdoo, B.G.; Moore, J.C.; Tobin, H.; Screaton, E.; Chezar, H.; Lee, H.; Reid, M.; Vail, R.

    1997-01-01

    Headless submarine canyons with steep headwalls and shallowly sloping floors occur on both the second and third landward vergent anticlines on the toe of the Cascadia accretionary complex off central Oregon (45 ??N, 125?? 30??W). In September 1993, we carried out a series of nine deep tow camera sled runs and nine ALVIN dives to examine the relationship between fluid venting, structure and canyon formation. We studied four canyons on the second and third landward vergent anticlines, as well as the apparently unfailed intercanyon regions along strike. All evidence of fluid expulsion is associated with the canyons; we found no evidence of fluid flow between canyons. Even though all fluid seeps are related to canyons, we did not find seeps in all canyons, and the location of the seeps within the canyons differed. On the landward facing limb of the second landward vergent anticline a robust cold seep community occurs at the canyon's inflection point. This seep is characterized by chemosynthetic vent clams, tube worms and extensive authigenic carbonate. Fluids for this seep may utilize high-permeability flow paths either parallel to bedding within the second thrust ridge or along the underlying thrust fault before leaking into the overriding section. Two seaward facing canyons on the third anticlinal ridge have vent clam communities near the canyon mouths at approximately the intersection between the anticlinal ridge and the adjacent forearc basin. No seeps were found along strike at the intersection of the slope basin and anticlinal ridge. We infer that the lack of seepage along strike and the presence of seeps in canyons may be related to fluid flow below the forearc basin/slope unconformity (overpressured by the impinging thrust fault to the west?) directed toward canyons at the surface.

  12. Export of terrigenous organic carbon along submarine canyons driven by dense shelf water cascading

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tesi, T.; Puig, P.; Goni, M.; Canals, M.; Langone, L.; Palanques, A.; Miserocchi, S.; Heussner, S.; Trincardi, F.; Calafat, A.; Turchetto, M.; Fabres, J.; Durrieu de Madron, X.; Boldrin, A.

    2008-12-01

    At current highstand in sea level, shelves are considered major sites of terrigenous organic carbon (OCterr) accumulation with relatively little connectivity to the ocean interior. In recent years, the process of dense water cascading from the continental shelf, which occurs in numerous places around the world, has been suggested as carrier for OCterr to the deep ocean. The land-locked Mediterranean Sea is characterized by intense and recurrent cascades of dense shelf water. In winter, cold and dry winds cause the formation of dense water over the shelf that may overflow it and travel down to the outer margin and basin. Moored instruments were deployed in the canyons of the Gulf of Lion (France-Spain) and the Adriatic Sea (Italy) to intercept particulate material escaping the shelf and to investigate hydrodynamic and physical properties of the water column. Surface sediments along the shelves were also sampled to evaluate their contribution to the particle fluxes. The relative fractions of autochthonous and advected OC in sediment trap samples were investigated using biogeochemical proxies including alkaline CuO oxidation products (lignin phenols, dicarboxylic acids, and fatty acids), radiocarbon measurements (Ä14C), and elemental and carbon stable isotope (ä13C) compositions. Lignin-derived CuO products were a powerful biogeochemical tool that allowed us to identify the provenance of the material from the continental margin and to assess the amount of OCterr transferred across the slope in both Mediterranean regions. The results indicate that the composition of OC escaping the shelf through submarine canyons depends on the geomorphological setting. At the present sea level stage, cascading on a broad shelf limits the transport of OCterr, promoting instead the down-slope export of material accumulated in the mid- and outer-shelf. In contrast, cascade events on narrow shelves lead to the efficient export of OCterr from shallower regions of the margin along with

  13. The structure and origin of the large submarine canyons of the Bering Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scholl, D. W.; Buffington, E.C.; Hopkins, D.M.; Alpha, T.R.

    1970-01-01

    Three exceptionally large and long submarine canyons - Bering, Pribilof, and Zhemchug - incise the continental slope underlying the southeastern Bering Sea. Bering Canyon, the world's longest known slope valley, is approximately 400 km long and has a volume of 4,300 km3. The volume of Pribilof Canyon is 1,300 km3 and that of Zhemchug is 8,500 km3; Zhemchug Canyon may well be the world's largest slope valley; most other large submarine canyons have volumes less than 500 km3. Pribilof and Zhemchug canyons are further distinguished by the headward bifurcation of their slope axes to form elongated trough-shaped basins behind the regionally projected position of the shelf edge. These troughs are superimposed over structural depressions formed by down-faulted basement rocks of Mesozoic and older ages. Prior to canyon cutting these depressions were filled with as much as 2,600 m of shallow-water diatomaceous, tuffaceous, and detrital sediments largely of Tertiary age. Deposition of these sediments took place concurrently with general margin subsidence of at least 2,000 m. The data and conclusions presented in this paper stress that the location, trend, and shape of the enormous submarine canyons cutting the Bering margin are structurally determined. However, axial cutting and headward erosion within the relatively unconsolidated Tertiary strata and the older, lithified basement rock is thought to have been caused by basinward-sliding masses of sediment; these unstable sediment bodies accumulated on the upper continental slope and outer shelf, probably near the mouths of major Alaskan rivers. Bering Canyon was periodically cut and filled by axial sedimentation during Late Tertiary and Quaternary time. Pribilof and Zhemchug canyons, however, are thought to have been excavated entirely during the Pleistocene. It is presumed that, during one or more periods of glacially lowered sea level, the Kuskokwim and Yukon rivers emptied into or near the heads of Pribilof and Zhemchug

  14. Event-driven sediment flux in Hueneme and Mugu submarine canyons, southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Xu, J. P.; Swarzenski, P.W.; Noble, M.; Li, A.-C.

    2010-01-01

    Vertical sediment fluxes and their dominant controlling processes in Hueneme and Mugu submarine canyons off south-central California were assessed using data from sediment traps and current meters on two moorings that were deployed for 6 months during the winter of 2007. The maxima of total particulate flux, which reached as high as 300+ g/m2/day in Hueneme Canyon, were recorded during winter storm events when high waves and river floods often coincided. During these winter storms, wave-induced resuspension of shelf sediment was a major source for the elevated sediment fluxes. Canyon rim morphology, rather than physical proximity to an adjacent river mouth, appeared to control the magnitude of sediment fluxes in these two submarine canyon systems. Episodic turbidity currents and internal bores enhanced sediment fluxes, particularly in the lower sediment traps positioned 30 m above the canyon floor. Lower excess 210Pb activities measured in the sediment samples collected during periods of peak total particulate flux further substantiate that reworked shelf-, rather than newly introduced river-borne, sediments supply most of the material entering these canyons during storms.

  15. Submarine canyons as the preferred habitat for wood-boring species of Xylophaga (Mollusca, Bivalvia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romano, C.; Voight, J. R.; Company, J. B.; Plyuscheva, M.; Martin, D.

    2013-11-01

    Submarine canyons are often viewed as natural “debris concentrators” on the seafloor. Organic substrates may be more abundant inside than outside canyon walls. To determine the effects of the presence these substrates in the Blanes submarine canyon (NW Mediterranean) and its adjacent western open slope, we deployed wood to study colonizing organisms. Three replicate pine and oak cubes (i.e. most common trees inland) were moored at 900, 1200, 1500 and 1800 m depth and collected after 3, 9 and 12 months. Wood from inside the canyon was significantly more heavily colonized by the five morphotypes of wood-boring bivalves than was wood on the adjacent open slope. Xylophaga sp. A dominated all wood types and locations, with peak abundance at 900 and 1200 m depth. Its growth rate was highest (0.070 mm d-1) during the first three months and was faster (or it recruits earlier) in pine than in oak. Size distribution showed that several recruitment events may have occurred from summer to winter. Xylophaga sp. B, appeared first after 9 months and clearly preferred pine over oak. As the immersion time was the same, this strongly supported a specific association between recruiters and type of substrate. Three morphotypes, pooled as Xylophaga spp. C, were rare and seemed to colonize preferentially oak inside the canyon and pine in the adjacent open slope. Individuals of Xylophaga were more abundant inside the canyon than in nearby off-canyon locations. Blanes Canyon may serve as a long-term concentrator of land-derived vegetal fragments and as a consequence sustain more animals. Are the species richness and abundance of wood-boring bivalves higher inside the canyon than on the adjacent open slope? Do the composition and density of the wood-boring bivalves change with deployment time and depth, as well as on the type of the sunken wood? What is the growth rate of the dominant wood-boring species?

  16. Axial Channel Morphology Fill and Movement Within Submarine Canyons off California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paull, C. K.; Caress, D. W.; Ussler, W.; Lundsten, E.; Thomas, H.

    2008-12-01

    Axial channels of seven submarine canyons off California have recently been investigated with ultrahigh resolution multibeam surveys. Vibracores collected from remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) provide ground truth data on the materials within the axis of six of these canyons. Acoustic beacons were used to track movement of the seafloor within the axis of Monterey Canyon. Multibeam bathymetry (0.15 m vertical precision and 1.0 m horizontal resolution at 50 m survey altitude) and chirp seismic-reflection profiles (0.11 m vertical resolution) were collected from an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). Inertial navigation combined with Doppler velocity sonar allows the AUV to navigate the sinuous canyons at 3 kt on a pre-programmed route ~50 m above the seafloor. Submarine canyons that head near the shoreline (Monterey, Hueneme, Mugu, Redondo and La Jolla) contain similar wave-like bedforms with 20-100 m wavelengths and amplitudes up to 2.5 m oriented roughly perpendicular to the channel axis. These bedforms are asymmetric in profile with a steep down-canyon face and crescent-shaped, concave down-canyon. They are observed throughout the surveys (80-800 m water depth) and appear to form genetically similar packages (0.1 to 3 km long) that terminate upslope at a somewhat higher topographic step. Generally, bedform groups are found within the axial channel, but occasionally extend up the canyon walls. ROV-collected vibracores show that the wave-like bedforms comprise recent, coarse-grained gravity flow deposits, suggesting these canyons are active. In contrast, two submarine canyons with heads on the outer shelf (Soquel and Santa Monica) lack these wave-like bedforms and have relatively smooth axial channel floors. Vibracores show these canyons are filled with generally uniform fine-grained sediments, suggesting they are inactive. Apparently wave-like bedforms are common features of active submarine canyons. To assess whether sediment within a canyon floor is moved by

  17. Multibeam bathymetric survey of the Ipala Submarine Canyon, Jalisco, Mexico (20°N): The southern boundary of the Banderas Forearc Block?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urías Espinosa, J.; Bandy, W. L.; Mortera Gutiérrez, C. A.; Núñez Cornú, Fco. J.; Mitchell, N. C.

    2016-03-01

    The Middle America Trench bends sharply northward at 20°N. This, along with the close proximity of the Rivera-North America Euler pole to the northern end of this trench, sharply increases the obliquity of subduction at 20°N. By analogy with other subduction zones with similar sharply changing obliquity, significant trench parallel extension is expected to exist in the forearc region near the bend. To evaluate this possibility, multibeam bathymetric, seafloor backscatter and sub-bottom seismic reflection data were collected in this area during the MORTIC08 campaign of the B.O. El Puma. These data image in detail a large submarine canyon (the Ipala Canyon) extending from the coast at 20°05‧N to the Middle America Trench at 19°50‧N. This canyon is 114 km long and is fed by sediments originating from two, possibly three, small rivers: the Ipala, Tecolotlán and Maria Garza. This canyon deeply incises (up to 600 m) the entire continental slope and at least the outer part of the shelf. Within the canyon, we observe meanders and narrow channels produced by turbidity flows indicating that the canyon is active. In the marginal areas of the canyon slumps, rills, and uplifts suggest that mass movements and fluid flow have had a major impact on the seafloor morphology. The seafloor bathymetry, backscatter images and sub-bottom reflection profiles evidence the tectonic processes occurring in this area. Of particular interest, the canyon is deflected by almost 90° at three locations, the deflections all having a similar azimuth of between 125° and 130°. Given the prominence and geometry of this canyon, along with its tectonic setting, we propose that the presence of the canyon is related to extension produced by the sharp change in the plate convergence. If so, the canyon may lie along the southeast boundary of a major forearc block (the Banderas Forearc Block).

  18. Small-scale turbidity currents in a big submarine canyon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Xu, Jingping; Barry, James P.; Paull, Charles K.

    2013-01-01

    Field measurements of oceanic turbidity currents, especially diluted currents, are extremely rare. We present a dilute turbidity current recorded by instrumented moorings 14.5 km apart at 1300 and 1860 m water depth. The sediment concentration within the flow was 0.017%, accounting for 18 cm/s gravity current speed due to density excess. Tidal currents of ∼30 cm/s during the event provided a "tailwind" that assisted the down-canyon movement of the turbidity current and its sediment plume. High-resolution velocity measurements suggested that the turbidity current was likely the result of a local canyon wall slumping near the 1300 m mooring. Frequent occurrences, in both space and time, of such weak sediment transport events could be an important mechanism to cascade sediment and other particles, and to help sustain the vibrant ecosystems in deep-sea canyons.

  19. Role of submarine canyons in the US Atlantic Continental Slope and upper Continental rise development

    SciTech Connect

    McGregor, B.A.

    1984-04-01

    Three areas of the US Atlantic continental slope and rise (seaward of George Bank, Delaware Bay, and Pamlico Sound north of Cape Hatteras) have been studied using seismic reflection profiles and mid-range sidescan-sonar data. The continental slope in all three areas is dissected by numerous submarine canyons. The general sea floor gradient of the slope and the morphology of the rise, however, vary among the areas. Submarine canyons are dominant morphologic features on the slope and have an important function in sediment transport and distribution on the rise. In the study area north of Cape Hatteras, however, the low relief of the rise topography indicates that ocean currents flowing parallel to the margin may also affect sediment distribution on the rise. Morphology and sedimentation patterns suggest that differences in canyon ages exist both within each area and among the areas. Spatial and temporal variability of canyon activity is important in determining sediment sources for the construction of the rise. Although the US Atlantic slope and rise are relatively sediment-starved at present, mid-range sidescan data and submersible observations and samples suggest that periodic sediment transport events occur within the canyons.

  20. Sediment dynamics and post-glacial evolution of the continental shelf around the Blanes submarine canyon head (NW Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durán, Ruth; Canals, Miquel; Lastras, Galderic; Micallef, Aaron; Amblas, David; Pedrosa-Pàmies, Rut; Sanz, José Luis

    2013-11-01

    head rim constitute a source of coarse sediment. High-energy processes, namely river floods and coastal storms, are the main controls over the river-shelf-canyon sediment exchange. River floods increase the delivery of terrigenous particles to the coastal system. Storms, mainly from the east, remobilize the sediment temporarily accumulated on the shelf towards the canyon head, so that the finer fractions are preferentially removed and a coarse lag is normally left on the shelf floor. Exceptionally, very strong storms also remove the coarse fractions from the shelf drive them into the canyon. Processes like dense shelf water cascading, which is much more intense in canyons to the north of BC, and the Northern Current also contribute to the transport of suspended sediment from far distant northern sources. During the last post-glacial transgression the BC had a strong influence on the evolution of the inner continental margin, as it interrupted the shelf sediment dispersal system by isolating the shelves to its north and south, named La Planassa and Barcelona shelves, respectively. The detailed study of the geomorphology and uppermost sediment cover of the continental shelf surrounding the Blanes submarine canyon yields insight into the past and present shelf sediment dynamics and the shelf-to-canyon sediment exchanges. The continental shelf near the canyon head consists of mosaic where erosional, or non-depositional, and depositional zones coexist. East of the canyon and offshore Tossa de Mar, the modern sediment deposition is mostly confined to the inner and middle shelf, whilst most of the La Planassa shelf is sediment depleted with numerous relict morphosedimentary features cropping out. Rocky outcrops, narrow ridges and relict coarse sand deposits suggesting erosion or non-deposition of fine sediments in modern times occupy the middle and outer shelf floor east and northeast of the canyon head. In contrast, north and west of the canyon head, the middle and outer

  1. The timing of sediment transport down Monterey Submarine Canyon, offshore California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stevens, Thomas; Paull, Charles K.; Ussler, William III; McGann, Mary; Buylaert, Jan-Pieter; Lundsten, Eve M

    2013-01-01

    While submarine canyons are the major conduits through which sediments are transported from the continents out into the deep sea, the time it takes for sediment to pass down through a submarine canyon system is poorly constrained. Here we report on the first study to couple optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages of quartz sand deposits and accelerator mass spectrometry 14C ages measured on benthic foraminifera to examine the timing of sediment transport through the axial channel of Monterey Submarine Canyon and Fan, offshore California. The OSL ages date the timing of sediment entry into the canyon head while the 14C ages of benthic foraminifera record the deposition of hemipelagic sediments that bound the sand horizons. We use both single-grain and small (∼2 mm area) single-aliquot regeneration approaches on vibracore samples from fining-upward sequences at various water depths to demonstrate relatively rapid, decadal-scale sand transport to at least 1.1 km depth and more variable decadal- to millennial-scale transport to a least 3.5 km depth on the fan. Significant differences between the time sand was last exposed at the canyon head (OSL age) and the timing of deposition of the sand (from 14C ages of benthic foraminifera in bracketing hemipelagic sediments) are interpreted as indicating that the sand does not pass through the entire canyon instantly in large individual events, but rather moves multiple times before emerging onto the fan. The increased spread in single-grain OSL dates with water depth provides evidence of mixing and temporary storage of sediment as it moves through the canyon system. The ages also indicate that the frequency of sediment transport events decreases with distance down the canyon channel system. The amalgamated sands near the canyon head yield OSL ages that are consistent with a sub-decadal recurrence frequency while the fining-upward sand sequences on the fan indicate that the channel is still experiencing events with a 150

  2. Sedimentary Filling of the Submarine Canyon "Swatch of No Ground", Bengal Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palamenghi, L.; Schwenk, T.; Kudrass, H. R.; Spiess, V.

    2008-12-01

    The submarine canyon "Swatch of No Ground" (SoNG), deeply incised into the Bengal Shelf, plays an important role in the source to sink system Himalaya-Bengal Fan by connecting the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers, which drain the Himalayas, with the largest submarine fan on Earth. It is believed that around one third of the delivered sediments of at least 1 billion ton per year are transported through this canyon to the deep sea fan. In general the SoNG acts as a temporary trap and releases the sediments episodically by turbidity currents to the fan. Transportation of the sediments to the head of the canyon under quite weather conditions is done by tidal currents during high discharge periods. More effective, passages of cyclones remobilize shelf sediments and transport them to the canyon, and trigger also failures in the canyon flanks with consequent mass wasting downward. Finally all processes lead to high sedimentation rates of 50 cm per year in the head of the canyon. To understand the filling architecture and depositional processes, high-resolution multichannel seismic data were collected in summer 2006 in the upper canyon with the German research vessel "Sonne". Additionally, multibeam and sediment echosounder data were gathered, together with gravity cores. Hydroacoustic data and cores were also already collected on cruises in 1994 and 1997 and consequently, some lines and stations were revisited to study the deposition within the last years. The seismic data, shot on a dense grid of lines along and across the axis including flanks and shoulders, reveal a thick (1.5 sec TWT) sedimentary fill. Well stratified layer alternate with transparent to chaotic units intercalated by filled channels. Two main unconformities could be identified in the seismic data. Faulting is also found in the study area, probably caused by sediment compaction. The data set should be used to develop an IODP proposal to drill into this unique high resolution archive.

  3. How Well Do Submarine Canyon Deposits Represent the Sediment-transport Events That Created Them?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Symons, W. O.; Sumner, E.; Paull, C. K.; Xu, J.; Cartigny, M.; Maier, K. L.; Lorenson, T. D.

    2015-12-01

    Submarine canyons act as major conduits of sediment from shallow- to deep-sea regions, yet the sedimentary processes operating within them are poorly understood. This stems from the relative inaccessibility of such complex environments and therefore the difficulty of making direct observations. As a result, much of our understanding of the dynamics of sediment-laden flows in submarine canyons results from making inferences from the deposits that they leave behind in the geological record. This study tests how well geological deposits in the canyon can be used to reconstruct the flows that created them by comparing the sedimentary record on the floor, benches and walls of Monterey canyon, offshore California, with the sediments collected in sediment traps during flow events. The project makes use of systematic transects of precisely located push cores and vibracores that were collected using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV). The cores were collected by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) at approximately 300 m, 500 m, 800 m, 1000 m, 1200, and 1500 m water depth, with three of these in the vicinity of sediment traps deployed in 2002 by the US Geological Survey. Laser particle-size analysis of the grain sizes present in the push cores was directly compared to the grain size of deposits from the sediment traps, previously analysed using the same technique. A key result suggests that using deposits to reconstruct flows may not be as straightforward as previous studies have assumed. For example the size of sediment found draping the canyon walls can be very different from that collected in sediment traps at the same heights and locations. Two hypotheses are outlined to explain reasons for this unexpected sediment distribution: (1) The vertical sediment distribution is not uniform along the canyon transect, corresponding to differences in turbulence intensity as a result of variations in flow depth and distance from the canyon wall, and (2) flows or not

  4. Modelling bottom trawling-generated sediment flows in La Fonera submarine canyon (Northwestern Mediterranean Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Payo-Payo, Marta; Silva Jacinto, Ricardo; Lastras, Galderic; Canals, Miquel; Puig, Pere; Martín, Jacobo; Sanchez-Vidal, Anna; Rabineau, Marina

    2015-04-01

    Bottom-trawling is one of the anthropogenic activities with a stronger and more widespread impact on the seafloor. Physical processes involved in sediment resuspension due to trawling and the resulting sediment-laden flows are not fully understood. The amount and fate of remobilized sediments are of the utmost relevance for establishing present-day continental margin sediment budgets. Resuspension by bottom trawling leads to massive transfer of sediment from shallower to deeper areas practically worldwide. La Fonera submarine canyon is a large, deeply-incised active canyon in the Northwestern Mediterranean Sea. It presents complex sediment transport dynamics associated to littoral drift and extreme events such as dense shelf water cascading and severe storms. Recent studies have revealed recurrent peaks in near-bottom current speed and suspended sediment concentration in the northern flank of the canyon synchronously with trawling. Aiming at simulating sediment-loaded fluxes triggered by trawling and their interaction with the seafloor in La Fonera canyon, we have implemented a numerical process-based model developed to reproduce such flows. Mooring data have been used both to calibrate the modelled sediment fluxes. Good agreement between model and monitoring data has been found, with modelled peaks of suspended sediment concentration values exceeding 120 mg-l-1 and current speed measurements of up to 40 cm-s-1 at the mooring site. Moreover, we have quantified fishing activity over the canyon flanks through modelling and have obtained the propagation pattern of sediment flows from the fishing ground downward the canyon. Our results confirm the value of numerical models to complete and enlarge our understanding of the sedimentary transfer processes from shallow to deep in the ocean. Besides, they allow establishing quantitative comparisons between trawling impact and natural forcing on the sediments dynamics of La Fonera submarine canyon.

  5. Reconstruction of submarine canyon systems associated with proto-Stockton arch during Late Cretaceous

    SciTech Connect

    Rider, J.

    1986-04-01

    A hypothetical depositional model of the middle Great Valley gas fields of California includes the area from the Southwest Vernalis gas field in the south (T3S) to the Nicolaus gas field in the north (T12N). The model assumes that (1) the early Campanian Dobbins Shale Member was deposited at or near the shelf/slope break, and (2) the absence of the Dobbins Shale Member indicates scouring processes of active submarine canyon systems. A striking correlation exists between the proposed distribution of the Dobbins Shale Member scour channels and the position of river systems operating today in the valley. The model distinguishes six submarine canyon systems: (1) Feather River/Nicolaus, (2) American River/Florin, (3) Cosumnes River/Poppy Ridge, (4) Mokelumne River/Lodi, (5) Calaveras delta/Mulligan Hill, and (6) Stanislaus River/East Collegeville. The model implies that an extensive delta system was associated with the Calaveras River during deposition of the Dobbins Shale Member, before its erosive exit southwest of the Mulligan Hill gas field, just east of the Los Medanos, Concord, and Willow Pass fields. The presence of possible equivalents of the Dobbins Shale Member of this latter area suggests an early Campanian highland, the proto-Stockton arch. Subsequent Forbes Formation deposition appears to involve apronlike drapes or overlaps of the early Campanian canyons. However, during deposition of the Kione Formation, the canyon systems were reactivated, and canyon scour predominated, matching the scour patterns of the Dobbins Shale Member. From these ancestral canyons, younger canyons could have evolved easily.

  6. Acoustical Detection of High-Density Krill Demersal Layers in the Submarine Canyons off Georges Bank.

    PubMed

    Greene, C H; Wiebe, P H; Burczynski, J; Youngbluth, M J

    1988-07-15

    High-density demersal layers of krill have been detected in the submarine canyons off Georges Bank by means of a high-frequency, dual-beam bioacoustical technique. Krill densities in these demersal layers were observed to be two to three orders of magnitude greater than the highest densities observed in water-column scattering layers. Such abundances may help explain the unusually high squid and demersal fish production estimates attributed to the Georges Bank ecosystem. PMID:17734865

  7. Sedimentologic evolution of a submarine canyon in a forearc basin, Upper Cretaceous Rosario Formation, San Carlos, Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Morris, W.R.; Busby-Spera, C.J.

    1988-06-01

    The walls, floor, and fill of a submarine canyon are well-exposed near San Carlos, Mexico, in forecarc strata of the Upper Cretaceous Rosario Formation. The submarine canyon is about 7 km wide and at least 230 m deep and has eroded a minimum of 150 m into underlying fluvial red beds. It is unclear whether subaerial or submarine processes initiated the canyon cutting; however, marine processes, especially debris flows, modified the morphology of the submarine canyon. The submarine canyon fill and overlying slope deposits form two major fining-upward sequences. The first includes a 120 m thick lower conglomerate-sandstone unit (LCSU) at the base of the canyon fill overlain by a 50-110 m thick middle mudstone-sandstone unit (MMSU). The MMSU consists predominantly of mudstone and thin-bedded sandstone, but includes a channel filled with sandstone beds that form a fining- and thinning-upward sequence. This sequence is overlain by the second major sequence, a 0-60 m thick upper conglomerate-sandstone unit (UCSU), which is confined to three channels within the submarine canyon and passes gradationally upward into slope mudstone. Each of the two major fining-upward sequences records a gradual decrease in supply of coarse-grained sediment to the submarine canyon head. The first fining-upward sequence may correspond to a lowstand and subsequent rise in global sea level or, alternatively, may have resulted from local downdropping of the basin. The second fining-upward sequence does not correspond to global sea level fluctuations but is age-correlative with a drop then rise in relative sea level recognized by other workers 300-400 km to the north in the San Diego-Ensenada area. This sea level drop is inferred to have been a regional-scale tectonic event that affect the forearc basin along its length. 18 figures, 2 tables.

  8. Submarine sand dunes and sedimentary environments in Oceanographer Canyon.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Valentine, P.C.; Cooper, R.A.; Uzmann, J.R.

    1984-01-01

    Reveals an extensive field of large sand dunes on the canyon floor. The dunes are medium to coarse sand, are oriented across the axis, and the largest of them are as high as 3m and have wavelengths up to 15m. Their asymmetry, grain size, and height suggest that they are formed by axial currents flowing up- and downcanyon and that the largest dunes require flows of at least 70 cm/sec.-from Authors

  9. Litter in submarine canyons off the west coast of Portugal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mordecai, Gideon; Tyler, Paul A.; Masson, Douglas G.; Huvenne, Veerle A. I.

    2011-12-01

    Marine litter is of global concern and is present in all the world's oceans, including deep benthic habitats where the extent of the problem is still largely unknown. Litter abundance and composition were investigated using video footage and still images from 16 Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) dives in Lisbon, Setúbal, Cascais and Nazaré Canyons located west of Portugal. Litter was most abundant at sites closest to the coastline and population centres, suggesting the majority of the litter was land sourced. Plastic was the dominant type of debris, followed by fishing gear. Standardised mean abundance was 1100 litter items km -2, but was as high as 6600 litter items km -2 in canyons close to Lisbon. Although all anthropogenic material may be harmful to biota, debris was also used as a habitat by some macro-invertebrates. Litter composition and abundance observed in the canyons of the Portuguese margin were comparable to those seen in other deep sea areas around the world. Accumulation of litter in the deep sea is a consequence of human activities both on land and at sea. This needs to be taken into account in future policy decisions regarding marine pollution.

  10. Dispersal of natural and anthropogenic lead through submarine canyons at the Portuguese margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richter, T. O.; de Stigter, H. C.; Boer, W.; Jesus, C. C.; van Weering, T. C. E.

    2009-02-01

    Submarine canyons represent natural conduits for preferential transport of particulate material, including anthropogenic contaminants, from coastal zones directly to the deep sea. To assess related dispersal of natural and anthropogenic lead (Pb), we analyzed Pb concentrations and stable isotope ratios in surface sediments and sediment trap particulate material from the Portuguese margin Nazaré and Setúbal/Lisbon canyons. Geochemical data are integrated with previously obtained data on near-bottom hydrodynamics and processes and pathways of sediment transport. The two canyon systems are located in close geographic proximity to each other, but represent contrasting settings in terms of sediment input and down-canyon sediment transport processes. Concentration-isotope diagrams and three-isotope plots ( 206Pb/ 207Pb vs. 208Pb/ 206Pb) suggest binary mixing between natural and anthropogenic end members. The inferred isotopic signature of pollutant Pb ( 206Pb/ 207Pb=1.143 [1.134-1.149, 95% confidence interval]) is most consistent with industrial Pb; ongoing influence from gasoline Pb additives is at most of minor importance. Two proposed natural end members most likely bracket the isotopic signature of natural Pb. Accordingly, binary mixing calculations indicate that on average 20-45% vs. 35-55% of total Pb is derived from anthropogenic sources in the Nazaré and Setúbal-Lisbon canyon systems, respectively. Enhanced anthropogenic influence in the latter area is consistent with its proximity to heavily populated and industrialized areas and with sediment input from the Tagus and Sado rivers, potential major carriers of pollutant particles. In both canyon systems, the anthropogenic component generally decreases with increasing water depth. Isotopic signatures of sediment trap particulate material are generally consistent with surface sediment data at similar water depth, but show large variability in the upper Nazaré canyon and major deviations from surface sediments

  11. Typhoon associated hyperpycnal turbidity current in a submarine canyon off a river mouth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsu, R. T.; Liu, J. T.

    2013-12-01

    As the result of the interplay between frequent earthquake occurrence, typhoon invasion, and heavy rainfall, many rivers in Taiwan have the potential to generate hyperpycnal plume especially when the typhoon passes through the Taiwan Island and brings a large amount of rainfall. In order to capture the hyperpcnal turbidity current signal, two moorings each configured with an SCTD and ADCP, one with an additional non-sequential sediment trap, were deployed in the head region of the Gaoping Submarine Canyon three days after the typhoon-induced peak of the river discharge and suspended sediment concentration (SSC) of the Gaoping River in southern Taiwan. Our data show a demarcation between a tidal and hyperpycnal regimes. The latter lasted for the first 5 days for the 18-day deployment, as defined by higher water density due to high suspended sediment concentration. Several lines of evidence indicate the presence of the tail end of a hyperpycnal turbidity current (HTC), including the retention of warm water near the canyon floor, high SSC, down-canyon directed flow and its vertical structure, and high terrestrial fraction (larger than 70%) of the organic particles carried in the flow. The decreasing mass flux during the passing of the HTC is also an indication of a waning HTC. Our findings also show that the vertical flow structure and the direction of the gravity-driven down-canyon HTC were little affected by the instantaneous tidal oscillations in the canyon. Typhoon Fanapi hit Taiwan on Sep. 19th. (a) The satellite image indicated the cyclonic clouds covered all over the island. (b) The heavy rainfall accumulated over 1000 mm in one day in the southwestern Taiwan. Especially, the high precipitation was concentrated mostly in the drainage basin of the Gaoping River in the southern central range. (Graphs in a and b are by courtesy of Central Weather Bureau-CWB in Taiwan) (c) This graph was taken by FORMOSAT-2 on Sep. 21st and superimposed by the Gaoping Submarine

  12. Rapid Changes on Sediment Accumulation Rates within Submarine Canyons Caused By Bottom Trawling Activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Puig, P.; Masque, P.; Martin, J.; Paradis, S.; Juan, X.; Toro, M.; Palanques, A.

    2014-12-01

    The physical disturbance of the marine sedimentary environments by commercial bottom trawling is a matter of concern. The direct physical effects of this fishing technique include scraping and ploughing of the seabed and increases of the near-bottom water turbidity by sediment resuspension. However, the quantification of the sediment that has been resuspended by this anthropogenic activity over years and has been ultimately exported across the margin remains largely unaddressed. The analysis of sediment accumulation rates from sediment cores collected along the axes of several submarine canyons in the Catalan margin (northwestern Mediterranean) has allowed to estimate the contribution of this anthropogenic activity to the present-day sediment dynamics. 210Pb chronologies, occasionally supported by 137Cs dating, indicate a rapid increase of sediment accumulation rates since the 1970s, in coincidence with a strong impulse in the industrialization of the trawling fleets of this region. Such increase has been associated to the enhanced delivery of sediment resuspended by trawlers from the shelves and upper slope regions towards the canyon's interior, and to the rapid technical development at that time, in terms of engine power and gear size. This change has been observed in La Fonera (or Palamós) Canyon at depths greater than 1700 m, while in other canyons it is restricted to shallower regions (~1000 m in depth) closer to fishing grounds. Two sampling sites from La Fonera and Foix submarine canyons that exhibited high sediment accumulation rates (0.6-0.7 cm/y) were reoccupied several years after the first chronological analyses. These two new cores reveal a second and more rapid increase of sediment accumulation rates in both canyons occurring circa 2002 and accounting for about 2 cm/y. This second change at the beginning of the XXI century has been attributed to a preferential displacement of the trawling fleet towards slope fishing grounds surrounding submarine

  13. 78 FR 67086 - Safety Zone, Submarine Cable Replacement Operations, Kent Island Narrows; Queen Anne's County, MD

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-11-08

    ...The Coast Guard proposes to establish a temporary safety zone encompassing certain waters of Kent Island Narrows in Queen Anne's County, MD. This action is necessary to provide for the safety of mariners and their vessels on navigable waters during submarine cable replacement operations at the Kent Island Narrows (MD-18B) Bridge. This action is intended to restrict vessel traffic movement to......

  14. A comparison of megafaunal communities in five submarine canyons off Southern California, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duffy, Grant A.; Lundsten, Lonny; Kuhnz, Linda A.; Paull, Charles K.

    2014-06-01

    Remotely operated vehicle surveys were conducted in five submarine canyons off Southern California during research expeditions in 2005 and 2010. Video transects from a range of depths were analysed to produce presence/absence data of megafauna for each site. A comparison of benthic communities at various depths, locales, and canyons was performed. No significant difference was found between canyon communities based on the level of sediment transport activity, however this may be due to the unbalanced sampling of this opportunistic study. There was significant variation in biological community composition and abundance amongst water depths. These depth-related trends are in agreement with the findings of the previous studies and are likely tied to depth-correlated variables such as hydrostatic pressure, temperature, salinity, and oxygen concentration. Species richness was found to initially increase with depth before declining rapidly at the mouths of the studied canyons. Low oxygen levels in the Santa Monica Basin, into which four of the surveyed canyons empty, may explain this.

  15. Geomorphic characterization of four shelf-sourced submarine canyons along the U.S. Mid-Atlantic continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Obelcz, Jeffrey; Brothers, Daniel S.; Chaytor, Jason D.; ten Brink, Uri S.; Ross, Steve W.; Brooke, Sandra

    2013-01-01

    Shelf-sourced submarine canyons are common features of continental margins and are fundamental to deep-sea sedimentary systems. Despite their geomorphic and geologic significance, relatively few passive margin shelf-breaching canyons worldwide have been mapped using modern geophysical methods. Between 2007 and 2012 a series of geophysical surveys was conducted across four major canyons of the US Mid-Atlantic margin: Wilmington, Baltimore, Washington, and Norfolk canyons. More than 5700 km2 of high-resolution multibeam bathymetry and 890 line-km of sub-bottom CHIRP profiles were collected along the outer shelf and uppermost slope (depths of 80-1200 m). The data allowed us to compare and contrast the fine-scale morphology of each canyon system. The canyons have marked differences in the morphology and orientation of canyon heads, steepness and density of sidewall gullies, and the character of the continental shelf surrounding canyon rims. Down-canyon axial profiles for Washington, Baltimore and Wilmington canyons have linear shapes, and each canyon thalweg exhibits morphological evidence for recent, relatively small-scale sediment transport. For example, Washington Canyon displays extremely steep wall gradients and contains ~100 m wide, 5–10 m deep, v-shaped incisions down the canyon axis, suggesting modern or recent sediment transport. In contrast, the convex axial thalweg profile, the absence of thalweg incision, and evidence for sediment infilling at the canyon head, suggest that depositional processes strongly influence Norfolk Canyon during the current sea-level high-stand. The north walls of Wilmington, Washington and Norfolk canyons are steeper than the south walls due to differential erosion, though the underlying cause for this asymmetry is not clear. Furthermore, we speculate that most of the geomorphic features observed within the canyons (e.g., terraces, tributary canyons, gullies, and hanging valleys) were formed during the Pleistocene, and show only

  16. Hudson Submarine Canyon Head Offshore New York and New Jersey: a Dynamic Interface II

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rona, P.; Guida, V.; Scranton, M.; Gong, D.; Sullivan, M.; Haag, S.; Diercks, A.; Asper, V.

    2008-12-01

    Hudson Canyon is the largest submarine canyon on the US Atlantic continental margin. Our multidisciplinary study focuses on the canyon head from where it begins as an indentation in the outer continental shelf (water depth 100 m) to 75 km seaward along the canyon axis (water depth 2000 m). A shallow trough, the Hudson Shelf Valley extends about 185 km across the continental shelf and connects the mouth of the Hudson River where the river discharges into New York Bay to the head of the canyon. Our study comprises high-resolution bathymetry using Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) Eagle Ray (100 square km area),and delineation of interacting shelf and slope water masses using shipboard and AUV hydrocasts including water samples for methane analysis. The initial 10 km of the canyon head (axial depth 100 m to 300 m) bifurcates where it indents the outer shelf, with one branch aligned NW-SE with the Hudson Shelf Valley and a second branch aligned N-S along the shelf. The walls and floor of the NW-SE branch are smoothed by sediment accumulation and appear inactive in terms of sediment transport. The N-S branch is rough and appears active. Ravines orthogonal to the axis progressively increase in frequency and relief seaward through successive 10 km-long N-S and NW-SE trending sections of the canyon attaining a 1 km spacing. Two circular depressions (diameters 100 m and 300 m; relief c.15 m; depths 345 m and 390 m) occur at the base of the W wall of the N-S segment. The depressions may be collapse features related to gas discharge evidenced by a high methane anomaly (50 nM) detected in the adjacent canyon axis (water depth 421 m). Multiple layers of inter-leaved shelf (fresh) and slope (warm, salty) water masses were observed in the canyon head in summer 2007 and 2008. The dynamic interaction of these water masses is being studied in context of shelf-slope exchange and potential influence on canyon topography and ecosystems. We thank NOAA for support.

  17. Tectonic controls on nearshore sediment accumulation and submarine canyon morphology offshore La Jolla, Southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Le, Dantec N.; Hogarth, L.J.; Driscoll, N.W.; Babcock, J.M.; Barnhardt, W.A.; Schwab, W.C.

    2010-01-01

    CHIRP seismic and swath bathymetry data acquired offshore La Jolla, California provide an unprecedented three-dimensional view of the La Jolla and Scripps submarine canyons. Shore-parallel patterns of tectonic deformation appear to control nearshore sediment thickness and distribution around the canyons. These shore-parallel patterns allow the impact of local tectonic deformation to be separated from the influence of eustatic sea-level fluctuations. Based on stratal geometry and acoustic character, we identify a prominent angular unconformity inferred to be the transgressive surface and three sedimentary sequences: an acoustically laminated estuarine unit deposited during early transgression, an infilling or "healing-phase" unit formed during the transgression, and an upper transparent unit. Beneath the transgressive surface, steeply dipping reflectors with several dip reversals record faulting and folding along the La Jolla margin. Scripps Canyon is located at the crest of an antiform, where the rocks are fractured and more susceptible to erosion. La Jolla Canyon is located along the northern strand of the Rose Canyon Fault Zone, which separates Cretaceous lithified rocks to the south from poorly cemented Eocene sands and gravels to the north. Isopach and structure contour maps of the three sedimentary units reveal how their thicknesses and spatial distributions relate to regional tectonic deformation. For example, the estuarine unit is predominantly deposited along the edges of the canyons in paleotopographic lows that may have been inlets along barrier beaches during the Holocene sea-level rise. The distribution of the infilling unit is controlled by pre-existing relief that records tectonic deformation and erosional processes. The thickness and distribution of the upper transparent unit are controlled by long-wavelength, tectonically induced relief on the transgressive surface and hydrodynamics. ?? 2009 Elsevier B.V.

  18. Sediment community responses to marine vs. terrigenous organic matter in a submarine canyon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunter, W. R.; Jamieson, A.; Huvenne, V. A. I.; Witte, U.

    2013-01-01

    The Whittard Canyon is a branching submarine canyon on the Celtic continental margin, which may act as a conduit for sediment and organic matter (OM) transport from the European continental slope to the abyssal sea floor. In situ stable-isotope labelling experiments were conducted in the eastern and western branches of the Whittard Canyon, testing short-term (3-7 days) responses of sediment communities to deposition of nitrogen-rich marine (Thalassiosira weissflogii) and nitrogen-poor terrigenous (Triticum aestivum) phytodetritus. 13C and 15N labels were traced into faunal biomass and bulk sediments, and the 13C label traced into bacterial polar lipid fatty acids (PLFAs). Isotopic labels penetrated to 5 cm sediment depth, with no differences between stations or experimental treatments (substrate or time). Macrofaunal assemblage structure differed between the eastern and western canyon branches. Following deposition of marine phytodetritus, no changes in macrofaunal feeding activity were observed between the eastern and western branches, with little change between 3 and 7 days. Macrofaunal C and N uptake was substantially lower following deposition of terrigenous phytodetritus with feeding activity governed by a strong N demand. Bacterial C uptake was greatest in the western branch of the Whittard Canyon, but feeding activity decreased between 3 and 7 days. Bacterial processing of marine and terrigenous OM were similar to the macrofauna in surficial (0-1 cm) sediments. However, in deeper sediments bacteria utilised greater proportions of terrigenous OM. Bacterial biomass decreased following phytodetritus deposition and was negatively correlated to macrofaunal feeding activity. Consequently, this study suggests that macrofaunal-bacterial interactions influence benthic C cycling in the Whittard Canyon, resulting in differential fates for marine and terrigenous OM.

  19. Food quality determines sediment community responses to marine vs. terrigenous organic matter in a submarine canyon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunter, W. R.; Jamieson, A.; Huvenne, V. A. I.; Witte, U.

    2012-08-01

    The Whittard canyon is a branching submarine canyon on the Celtic continental margin, which may act as a conduit for sediment and organic matter (OM) transport from the European continental slope to the abyssal sea floor. In situ stable-isotope labelling experiments were conducted in the eastern and western branches of the Whittard canyon testing short term (3-7 day) responses of sediment communities to deposition of nitrogen-rich marine (Thallassiosira weissflogii) and nitrogen-poor terrigenous (Triticum aestivum) phytodetritus. 13C and 15N labels were traced into faunal biomass and bulk sediments, and the 13C label traced into bacterial polar lipid fatty acids (PLFAs). Isotopic labels penetrated to 5 cm sediment depth, with no differences between stations or experimental treatments (substrate or time). Macrofaunal assemblage structure differed between the eastern and western canyon branches. Following deposition of marine phytodetritus, no changes in macrofaunal feeding activity were observed between the eastern and western branches, with little change between 3 and 7 days. Macrofaunal C and N uptake was substantially lower following deposition of terrigenous phytodetritus with feeding activity governed by a strong N demand. Bacterial C uptake was greatest, in the western branch of the Whittard canyon, but feeding activity decreased between 3 and 7 days. Bacterial processing of marine and terrigenous OM were similar to the macrofauna in surficial (0-1 cm) sediments. However, in deeper sediments bacteria utilised greater proportions of terrigenous OM. Bacterial biomass decreased following phytodetritus deposition and was negatively correlated to macrofaunal feeding activity. Consequently, this study suggests that macrofaunal-bacterial interactions influence benthic C cycling in the Whittard canyon, resulting in differential fates for marine and terrigenous OM.

  20. Biodiversity of macrofaunal assemblages from three Portuguese submarine canyons (NE Atlantic)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cunha, Marina R.; Paterson, Gordon L. J.; Amaro, Teresa; Blackbird, Sabena; de Stigter, Henko C.; Ferreira, Clarisse; Glover, Adrian; Hilário, Ana; Kiriakoulakis, Konstadinos; Neal, Lenka; Ravara, Ascensão; Rodrigues, Clara F.; Tiago, Áurea; Billett, David S. M.

    2011-12-01

    The macrofaunal assemblages from three Portuguese submarine canyons, Nazaré, Cascais and Setúbal were studied from samples collected at their upper (900-1000 m), middle (3200-3500 m) and lower sections (4200-4500 m) and at the adjacent open slopes (˜1000 m), during the HERMES cruises D297 (R.R.S. Discovery, 2005) CD179 (R.R.S. Charles Darwin, 2006) and 64PE252 (R.V. Pelagia, 2006). The taxonomic composition and patterns in biodiversity, abundance and community structure of the benthic macrofauna were described. Annelida (42.1% of total abundance; 137 species) and Arthropoda (20.6%; 162 species) were, respectively, the most abundant and the most species-rich Phyla among the 342 taxa identified during this study. Multivariate analyses showed significant differences between and within canyons and between canyons and open slope assemblages. At their upper section, canyons supported higher macrofauna abundance but slightly lower biodiversity than the adjacent slopes at similar depth. In all canyons abundance reached the highest value in the middle section and the lowest in the upper section, with marked fluctuations in Nazaré (474-4599 ind. m -2) and lower variability in Cascais (583-1125 ind. m -2). The high abundance and dominance of the assemblages in the middle section of Nazaré and Setúbal was accompanied by depressed biodiversity, while in Cascais, Hurlbert's expected species richness showed increasing values from the upper to the middle canyon, and maintained the high values at the lower section. Overall, the Nazaré Canyon showed the lowest expected species richness (ES (100): 16-39) and the Cascais Canyon the highest (39-54). There was a significant negative Kendall's correlation between total organic carbon concentrations in the superficial sediments and ES (100) and a significant positive correlation between total nitrogen and macrofauna density. The influences of organic enrichment, sediment heterogeneity and hydrodynamic regime on the abundance

  1. Submarine canyon deposits, central California coast, and their possible relation to an Eocene low sea-level stand

    SciTech Connect

    Seiders, V.M.; Joyce, J.M.

    1984-01-01

    A cliff exposure in the northern Santa Lucia Range is interpreted to represent the north margin of an Eocene submarine canyon. The exposure shows an unconformity between The Rocks Sandstone Member of the Reliz Canyon Formation and the underlying crystalline basement rocks. Sandstone beds overlie the unconformity at an angle of about 20/sup 0/. Stratigraphic relations exposed nearby show that about 220 m of the Reliz Canyon and Church Creek Formations pinches out northward against the basement across a distance of about 900 m of the Reliz Canyon and Church Creek Formations pinches out northward against the basement across a distance of about 900 m. This corresponds to an original southward slope of the unconformity of about 14/sup 0/. Farther south, an even steeper slope to the north may be indicated, but a fault of uncertain horizontal displacement intervenes. The Reliz Canyon Formation seems to have been deposited in a small northwest-trending submarine canyon in the vicinity of the exposed unconformity; elsewhere in the region the Reliz Canyon Formation may have been deposited in two other canyons or restricted basins. Fossil data show that the voluminous sand of The Rocks Sandstone Member was deposited near the early-middle Eocene boundary, a postulated time of worldwide low sea level. 20 refs., 7 figs.

  2. Describing the development of submarine canyons using stream-power erosion laws

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitchell, N. C.

    2004-12-01

    -432, 2004. Soh, W., and H. Tokuyama, Rejuvination of submarine canyon associated with ridge subduction, Tenryu Canyon, off Tokai, central Japan, Mar. Geol., 187, 203-230, 2002.

  3. The surface sediment distribution and sedimentary environment of the Pearl River Submarine Canyon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, X.; Chu, F.; Li, J.; Xu, D.; Zhang, W.

    2012-12-01

    The grain size composition, particle size parameters, clay mineral, and detrital mineral of surface sediment of this The Pearl River Submarine Canyon (the PRSC, for short) area have been measured and analyzed, which were took sampling in 2005 and 2006 in the northern South China Sea. The results show that the isolines distribution features of these parameters have very good corresponding relation with the geomorphology of the PRSC. On the continental-shelf slope break of the PRSC head (123m-1500m water depth), the close interval isolines of the surface sediment particle size percentage content and size parameters nearly parallel with the water depth isolines. The data of sand percentage content and mean grain size, sorting coefficient and skewness decreases with the increase of water depth. The other way around, the silt and clay percentage content and kurtosis value increase with deeper water. These show that in the canyon head sediment distribution was controlled by the material source (mainly comes from the Pearl River), slope and the northern South China Sea offshore current. In the main PRSC area, the surface sediment grain size composition content and grain size parameter numerical isolines have become a isoline platform which has the similar shape with the main PRSC and extended to the northeast and southwest deep sea basin. This means that the sedimentary environment of main canyon is apparently different with the head environment, that is affected by the high-temperature and high-salt the South China Sea Branch of by the Kuroshio along the 3500 m water depth isoline and alone the canyon to bending. The 25% percentage content isoline of the calcium biological and 45% percentage content isoline of the light mineral show a broadband distribution along the head and upside of the PRSC, and reduces in the entrance with the water depth isolines, apparently influenced by the South China Sea Branch of the Kuroshio. A high value area of the silt, clay mineral, light

  4. Habitat heterogeneity, disturbance, and productivity work in concert to regulate biodiversity in deep submarine canyons.

    PubMed

    McClain, Craig R; Barry, James P

    2010-04-01

    Habitat heterogeneity is a major structuring agent of ecological assemblages promoting beta diversity and ultimately contributing to overall higher global diversity. The exact processes by which heterogeneity increases diversity are scale dependent and encompass variation in other well-known processes, e.g., productivity, disturbance, and temperature. Thus, habitat heterogeneity likely triggers multiple and cascading diversity effects through ecological assemblages. Submarine canyons, a pervasive feature of the world's oceans, likely increase habitat heterogeneity at multiple spatial scales similar to their terrestrial analogues. However, our understanding of how processes regulating diversity, and the potential for cascading effects within these important topographic features, remains incomplete. Utilizing remote-operated vehicles (ROVs) for coring and video transects, we quantified faunal turnover in the deep-sea benthos at a rarely examined scale (1 m-1 km). Macrofaunal community structure, megafaunal density, carbon flux, and sediment characteristics were analyzed for the soft-bottom benthos at the base of cliff faces in Monterey Canyon (northeast Pacific Ocean) at three depths. We documented a remarkable degree of faunal turnover and changes in overall community structure at scales < 100 m, and often < 10 m, related to geographic features of a canyon complex. Ultimately, our findings indicated that multiple linked processes related to habitat heterogeneity, ecosystem engineering, and bottom-up dynamics are important to deep-sea biodiversity. PMID:20462112

  5. Submarine canyon-head morphologies and inferred sediment transport processes in the Almanzora-Alías-Garrucha canyon system (SW Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durán, R.; Puig, P.; Muñoz, A.; Elvira, E.; Guillén, J.

    2015-12-01

    Submarine canyons are morphological incisions into continental margins that act as major conduits of sediment from shallow- to deep-sea regions. Different transport processes and triggering mechanisms involving various time-scales can operate through them. Canyon heads are key areas for understanding the shelf-to-canyon sedimentary dynamics and assessing the predominant hydrodynamic and sedimentary processes shaping their morphology. High-resolution multibeam bathymetries were conducted at the various heads from the Almanzora-Alías-Garrucha canyon system to recognize their specific morphological features. A direct connection from the Almanzora River was evidenced by the coalescence of cyclic steps on the prodelta deposits and their continuation towards various canyon heads. This suggests the occurrence of flood events causing hyperpycnal flows that progress directly into the canyon. A second type of canyon head results from the formation and merging of linear gullies at the southern limit of the prodelta, being interpreted as the morphological expression of the distal off-shelf transport of flood-related hyperycnal flows potentially transformed into wave-supported sediment gravity flows. These two canyon head occur at 80-90 m water depth, incising only the outer shelf. A third canyon head morphological type was found at much shallower water depths (10-20 m), being disconnected from any major river source. They cut into the infralittoral prograding wedge and some tributaries show crescent shaped bedforms (CSB) along their axis. These CSB have been observed until a water depth of 90 m and have been interpreted as the result of storm-induced sediment gravity flows. An instrumented mooring was deployed from October 2014 to April 2015 to monitor the contemporary sediment transport processes through a canyon axis with CSB. The sedimentary dynamics was governed by storms, with several down-canyon transport events, but none of the storms triggered a sediment gravity flow.

  6. A million miles from rivers: secondary flow in submarine canyon-fan systems.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dorrell, Robert; Darby, Steve; Peakall, Jeff; Parsons, Dan; Sumner, Esther; Wynn, Russell

    2013-04-01

    In both subaerial and submarine meander bends, fluid flow travels in a helical spiral, as centrifugal and hydrostatic forces balance the turbulent shear stress within the flow. Understanding the sense of the secondary flow circulation is important because the near bed orientation of the fluid flow vector strongly affects sediment transport and hence meander bend morphodynamic evolution, the patterns of surface grain size sorting and therefore the character of the sedimentary deposits produced. To evaluate the conditions favouring the onset of distinctive secondary flow circulations (and in particular, to discriminate cases when the near-bed radial flow is directed towards the inner bank ('river like') or outer bank ('river reversed'), we develop a holistic analytical model incorporating centrifugal and Coriolis forces, the radial pressure gradient and the baroclinicity of the flow. This new model is validated using experimental data and used to highlight the influence on the secondary flow of the principle physical forces acting on the flow. Previous analytical studies have considered a temporally constant, two-dimensional, rotationally invariant, framework that leads to vanishing radial material flux conditions when applied to flows within bounded channels. However, we show that a three-dimensional flow framework, with non-zero radial material fluxes resultant of flow super-elevation and overspill, is required to capture the rotational structure of flow within submarine meanders. Given this three-dimensional model, we present phase-space diagrams indicating the variation of the generic vertical structure of rotational flow within submarine meanders. Our findings highlight the importance of the radial flux boundary conditions as the primary control of secondary flow dynamics of submarine meanders. Further, the new model presented here suggests that the propensity for the occurrence of "river-reversed" secondary flow in canyon-fan networks is greater than recently

  7. Recent turbidity current activity in sediment-starved submarine canyons (Northwestern Gulf of St. Lawrence, Eastern Canada)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Normandeau, Alexandre; Lajeunesse, Patrick; St-Onge, Guillaume; Bourgault, Daniel; Neumeier, Urs

    2016-04-01

    Submarine canyons are known to be main conduits for the transport of sediments to deep-sea basins, mostly by turbidity currents. Turbidity currents flowing in submarine canyons are mostly triggered by hyperpycnal flows, small to large slope failures and advection of shelf sediment offshore. In these contexts, sediment supply is necessary to maintain canyon activity over time. In 2007, a high-resolution mapping of small-scale submarine canyons offshore Pointe-des-Monts (NW Gulf of St. Lawrence, Eastern Canada) revealed a series of incisions characterized by the presence of numerous confined crescentic bedforms. The repeat mapping of the canyons in 2012 and 2015 revealed that the bedforms migrated upslope, indicating that they are cyclic steps produced by supercritical flows. Surprisingly, the comparison of multibeam surveys did not show any evidence of slope failures that could have triggered the turbidity currents responsible for recent bedform migration. Additionally, the rocky shores and coastal shelf do not supply sediments to these canyons, thus excluding turbidity current triggers such as advection of shelf sediments or hyperpycnal flows. In this context, we suggest that hydrodynamic processes are responsible for suspending in-situ sediments, which then may flow as turbidity currents when density of the water-sediment mixture is high enough. ADCPs deployed for 3,5 months during the summer of 2015 revealed along-canyon currents following tidal cycles with speeds up to 0.4 m/s, which were not strong enough to produce bedform migration. Therefore, the currents responsible for bedforms occur during infrequent events or during winter conditions, which both require longer instrument time-series to be observed.

  8. The effects of submarine canyons and the oxygen minimum zone on deep-sea fish assemblages off Hawai'i

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Leo, Fabio C.; Drazen, Jeffrey C.; Vetter, Eric W.; Rowden, Ashley A.; Smith, Craig R.

    2012-06-01

    Submarine canyons are reported to be sites of enhanced fish biomass and productivity on continental margins. However, little is known about the effects of canyons on fish biodiversity, in particular on oceanic islands, which are imbedded in regions of low productivity. Using submersibles and high-definition video surveys, we investigated demersal fish assemblages in two submarine canyons and slope areas off the island of Moloka'i, Hawai'i, at depths ranging from 314 to 1100 m. We addressed the interactions between the abundance, species richness and composition of the fish assemblage, and organic matter input and habitat heterogeneity, testing the hypotheses that heterogeneous bottom habitats and higher organic matter input in canyons enhance demersal fish abundance, and species density, richness and diversity, thereby driving differences in assemblage structure between canyons and slopes. Sediment type, substrate inclination, water-mass properties (temperature and dissolved oxygen) and organic matter input (modeled POC flux and percent detritus occurrence) were put into multivariate multiple regression models to identify potential drivers of fish assemblage structure. A total of 824 fish were recorded during ∼13 h of video yielding 55 putative species. Macrouridae was the most diverse family with 13 species, followed by Congridae (5), Ophidiidae (4) and Halosauridae (3). Assemblage structure changed markedly with depth, with the most abrupt change in species composition occurring between the shallowest stratum (314-480 m) and intermediate and deep strata (571-719 m, 946-1100 m). Chlorophthalmus sp. dominated the shallow stratum, macrourids and synaphobranchid eels at intermediate depths, and halosaurs in the deepest stratum. Assemblages only differed significantly between canyon and slope habitats for the shallow stratum, and the deep stratum at one site. Dissolved oxygen explained the greatest proportion of variance in the multivariate data, followed by POC

  9. The summer assemblage of large pelagic Crustacea in the Gully submarine canyon: Major patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacIsaac, K. G.; Kenchington, T. J.; Kenchington, E. L. R.; Best, M.

    2014-06-01

    We describe the trawl-vulnerable crustacean micronekton and macrozooplankton of the Gully, a large, shelf-incising submarine canyon off Nova Scotia, Canada, and a Marine Protected Area. Over 68 species of pelagic crustacea were collected with an International Young Gadoid Pelagic Trawl during three annual summer surveys at one fixed station in the canyon. Depths sampled ranged from the surface to the upper bathypelagic zone, concentrated in the upper 1250 m, with a maximum depth of 1500 m. The crustacean fauna was dominated by cold temperate species typical of mid- to higher-latitudes in the North Atlantic. Meganyctiphanes norvegica and Eusergestes arcticus were particularly dominant in terms of both observed biomass and abundance above 750 m depth. At least 17 species were new records for Canadian waters. The species assemblage of the station varied primarily with depth and diel cycle, the only dominant members of the assemblage showing pronounced inter-annual variations in catch being M. norvegica and Themisto gaudichaudii, both relatively shallow living species.

  10. Slope basins, headless canyons, and submarine palaeoseismology of the Cascadia accretionary complex

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McAdoo, B.G.; Orange, D.L.; Screaton, E.; Lee, H.; Kayen, R.

    1997-01-01

    A combination of geomorphological, seismic reflection and geotechnical data constrains this study of sediment erosion and deposition at the toe of the Cascadia accretionary prism. We conducted a series of ALVIN dives in a region south of Astoria Canyon to examine the interrelationship of fluid flow and slope failure in a series of headless submarine canyons. Elevated head gradients at the inflection point of canyons have been inferred to assist in localized failures that feed sediment into a closed slope basin. Measured head gradients are an order of magnitude too low to cause seepage-induced slope failure alone; we therefore propose transient slope failure mechanisms. Intercanyon slopes are uniformly unscarred and smooth, although consolidation tests indicate that up to several metres of material may have been removed. A sheet-like failure would remove sediment uniformly, preserving the observed smooth intercanyon slope. Earthquake-induced liquefaction is a likely trigger for this type of sheet failure as the slope is too steep and short for sediment flow to organize itself into channels. Bathymetric and seismic reflection data suggest sediment in a trench slope basin between the second and third ridges from the prism's deformation is derived locally. A comparison of the amounts of material removed from the slopes and that in the basin shows that the amount of material removed from the slopes may slightly exceed the amount of material in the basin, implying that a small amount of sediment has escaped the basin, perhaps when the second ridge was too low to form a sufficient dam, or through a gap in the second ridge to the south. Regardless, almost 80% of the material shed off the slopes around the basin is deposited locally, whereas the remaining 20% is redeposited on the incoming section and will be re-accreted.

  11. Morphology of submarine canyon system and geotechnical properties of surficial sediments across the Peru-Chile forearc

    SciTech Connect

    Bergersen, D.D.; Coulbourn, W.T.; Moberly, R.

    1989-03-01

    During August 1987, a SeaMARC II side-scan and sampling survey was conducted across the Peru-Chile forearc from 17/degrees/30'S to 19/degrees/30'S. Side-scan images reveal a complex submarine canyon system. Incised canyons meander across the Arequipa basin; their sinuosity results from erosion and cutbank slumping of the basin sediments. Lenticular packets of strata visible in reprocessed digital single-channel seismic profiles are interpreted to be buried channels. Tributary canyons coalesce into a single canyon at the structural high that deviates from its north-south course to a northeast-southwest course as a result of stream piracy. A dendritic drainage basin forming on the midslope may be the rejuvenation of an abandoned channel. Sediment properties were measured on 42 free-fall cores and 7 piston cores recovered both in and around the submarine canyon. Olive-gray (5Y 3/2) hemipelagic mud is the predominant sediment across the forearc. Most cores exhibit a small degree of bioturbation and thin laminae of sand; the number of sand laminae increases as the distance away from the canyon decreases. Shear strengths, averaged over a 1-m core length, decrease slightly with water depth. Carbonate content in all samples from this area is negligible with the exception of one piston core recovered from the upper reaches of the canyon, the bottom of which is composed of gravel- and sand-size shell fragments. Bulk mineralogy, determined from semiquantitative analysis of x-ray diffraction patterns, shows a decrease in relative feldspar percent and an increase in total clay content with increasing water depth. Preliminary analysis of core tops shows a mean grain size in the medium to very fine silt class, with increasing grain size toward the canyon. Smear slide counts generally show a surprisingly low abundance of volcanic glass and biogenic material, particularly diatoms.

  12. Tidal and flood signatures of settling particles in the Gaoping submarine canyon (SW Taiwan) revealed from radionuclide and flow measurements

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Huh, C.-A.; Liu, J.T.; Lin, H.-L.; Xu, J. P.

    2009-01-01

    Sediment transport and sedimentation processes in the Gaoping submarine canyon were studied using sediment trap and current meter moorings deployed at a location during the winter (January-March) and the summer (July-September) months in 2008. At the end of each deployment, sediment cores were also collected from the canyon floor at the mooring site. Samples from sediment traps and sediment cores were analyzed for 210Pb and 234Th by gamma spectrometry. In conjunction with particle size and flow measurements, the datasets suggest that sediment transport in the canyon is tidally-modulated in the drier winter season and flood (river)-dominated in the wetter summer season. From the magnitude and temporal variation of sediment flux in the canyon with respect to the burial flux and sediment budget on the open shelf and slope region, we reaffirm that, on annual or longer timescales, the Gaoping submarine canyon is an effective conduit transporting sediments from the Gaoping River's drainage basin (the source) to the deep South China Sea (the ultimate sink). ?? 2009 Elsevier B.V.

  13. AUV Mapping and ROV Exploration of Los Frailes Submarine Canyon, Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park, Baja California Sur, Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Troni, G.; Caress, D. W.; Graves, D.; Thomas, H. J.; Thompson, D.; Barry, J. P.; Aburto-Oropeza, O.; Johnson, A. F.; Lundsten, L.

    2015-12-01

    Los Frailes submarine canyon is located at the south boundary of the Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park on the southeast tip of the Baja California Peninsula. During the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) 2015 Gulf of California expedition we used an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) to map this canyon from 50 m to 450 m depths, and then explored the canyon with a small remotely operated vehicle (ROV). This three day R/V Rachel Carson cruise was a collaboration with the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Centro para la Biodiversidad Marina y la Conservación in La Paz. The MBARI AUV D. Allan B. collected high resolution bathymetry, sidescan, and subbottom profiles of Los Frailes submarine canyon and part of the north Cabo Pulmo deep reef. In order to safely generate a 1-m lateral resolution multibeam bathymetry map in the nearshore high relief terrain, the mapping operations consisted of an initial short survey following the 100-m isobath followed by a series of short, incremental AUV missions located on the deep edge of the new AUV bathymetry. The MBARI Mini-ROV was used to explore the submarine canyon within the detailed map created by the MBARI AUV. The Mini-ROV is a 1.2-m-long, 350 kg, 1,500-m-depth-rated ROV designed and constructed by MBARI. It is controlled by six 600-watt thrusters and is equipped with a high-definition video camera and navigation sensors. This small ROV carries less accurate, lower cost navigation sensors than larger vehicles. We implemented new algorithms to localize combining Doppler velocity log sensor data and low-cost MEMS-based inertial sensor data with sporadic ultra-short baseline position measurements to provide a high accuracy position estimation. The navigation performance allowed us to colocate the ROV video imagery with the 1-m resolution bathymetric map of the submarine canyon. Upper Los Frailes Canyon is rugged and, aside from small sand pockets along

  14. Particle fluxes and their drivers in the Avilés submarine canyon and adjacent slope, central Cantabrian margin, Bay of Biscay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rumín-Caparrós, A.; Sanchez-Vidal, A.; González-Pola, C.; Lastras, G.; Calafat, A.; Canals, M.

    2016-05-01

    The Avilés Canyon in the central Cantabrian margin is one of the largest submarine canyons in Europe, extending from the shelf edge at 130 m depth to 4765 m depth in the Biscay abyssal plain. In this paper we present the results of a year-round (March 2012 to April 2013) study of particle fluxes in this canyon and the adjacent continental slope. Three mooring lines equipped with automated sequential sediment traps, high-accuracy conductivity-temperature recorders and current meters allowed measuring total mass fluxes and their major components (lithogenics, calcium carbonate, opal and organic matter) in the settling material jointly with a set of environmental parameters. The integrated analysis of the data obtained from the moorings together with remote sensing images and meteorological and hydrographical data has shed light on the sources of particles and the across- and along margin mechanisms involved in their transfer to the deep. Our results allow interpreting the dynamics of the sedimentary particles in the study area. Two factors play a critical role: (i) direct delivery of river-sourced material to the narrow continental shelf, and (ii) major resuspension events caused by large waves and near bottom currents developing at the occasion of the rather frequent severe storms that are typical of the Cantabrian Sea. Wind direction and subsequent wind-driven currents largely determine the way sedimentary particles reach the canyon. While westerly winds favour the injection of sediments into the Avilés Canyon mainly by building an offshore transport in the bottom Ekman layer, easterly winds ease the offshore advection of particulate matter towards the Avilés Canyon and its adjacent western slope principally through the surface Ekman layer. Furthermore, repeated cycles of semidiurnal tides add an extra amount of energy to the prevailing bottom currents and actively contribute to keep a permanent background of suspended particles in near-bottom waters. High

  15. Geomorphology and sediment processes on the continental shelf and the submarine Akhziv canyon offshore north Galilee, eastern Mediterranean.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ashqar, Lana; Bookman, Revital; Almogi-Labin, Ahuva; Ben-Avraham, Zvi

    2013-04-01

    The northern continental shelf of Israel is relatively steep and incised by submarine canyons. The Akhziv canyon is the largest and most developed and the southernmost in a series of canyons that formed off-shore Lebanon up to Beirut. The canyon is incised into the continental shelf 3 km from the northwestern Galilee coast to a depth of 1200 m. This study aims to understand processes responsible for the canyon morphology and the nature of sediment transport and accumulation mechanisms in the continental shelf and down the canyon to the deep sea. Moreover, the geological section in which the canyon is incised to, and the connection to the western Galilee fault system that transverse the continental shelf is explored for the regional perspective. Akhziv canyon consists of two main channels incised in cross-section V-shape at the upper part of the canyon that connect at 700m depth to produce a U-shaped main channel. The canyon's channels orientation implies a possible connection with the region's fault system. The high-resolution bathymetric map (the National Bathymetry Project) was used for the geomorphologic and morphometric analysis to define the connection between the canyon and the north- western Galilee streams that flow in a main east-west direction, parallel to the terrestrial fault system. Gaps in the submarine aeolian calcarenite ridge on the shallow shelf represent the continuation of terrestrial streams westward during low glacial sea level. Alluvial fans, mapped at 40m water depth, testify for sediment transport from land to the continental shelf toward the canyon head. Shallow high-resolution seismic lines (Sparker) were carried out along the continental shelf and canyon head to reveal the sub-surface structure. The seismic interpretation indicates the presence of channel incisions at depths of 10-15 m under the seafloor, with infill of young sediments which represents phases of deposition and erosion along the continental shelf. In addition, Piston

  16. Analysis of Submarine Landslides and Canyons along the U.S. Atlantic Margin Using Extended Continental Shelf Mapping Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaytor, J. D.; Brothers, D. S.; Ten Brink, U. S.; Hoy, S. K.; Baxter, C.; Andrews, B.

    2013-12-01

    U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) studies of the U.S. Atlantic continental slope and rise aim to understand the: 1) the role of submarine landslides in tsunami generation, and 2) the linkages between margin morphology and sedimentary processes, particularly in and around submarine canyon systems. Data from U.S. Extended Continental Shelf (ECS) and numerous subsequent mapping surveys have facilitated the identification and characterization of submarine landslides and related features in fine detail over an unprecedented spatial extent. Ongoing analysis of USGS collected piston cores, sub-bottom and multichannel seismic (MCS) reflection profiles, and an extensive suite of legacy MCS data from two landslides, the Southern New England landslide zone and the Currituck Landslide, suggest that the most recent major landslide events are pre-Holocene, but that failures were complex and most likely multi-phase, at times resulting in extensive overlapping debris deposits. Piston core records plus visual observations of the seafloor from recent TowCam deployments and NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer ROV dives reveal ongoing development of colluvial wedge-style debris aprons at the base of scarps within these landslides, showing that these regions continue to evolve long after the initial failure events. Multibeam bathymetry data and MCS profiles along the upper slope reveal evidence for vertical fluid migration and possible seabed gas expulsion. These observations underscore the need to reevaluate the sources of pore fluid overpressure in slope sediments and their role in landslide generation. ECS and more recent multibeam mapping have provided the opportunity to investigate the full extent of submarine canyon morphology and evolution from Cape Hatteras up to the US-Canadian EEZ, which has led to better understanding of the important role of antecedent margin physiography on their development. Six submarine canyon systems along the margin (Veatch, Hydrographer, Hudson, Wilmington

  17. Composition and provenance of terrigenous organic matter transported along submarine canyons in the Gulf of Lion (NW Mediterranean Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasqual, Catalina; Goñi, Miguel A.; Tesi, Tommaso; Sanchez-Vidal, Anna; Calafat, Antoni; Canals, Miquel

    2013-11-01

    Previous projects in the Gulf of Lion have investigated the path of terrigenous material in the Rhone deltaic system, the continental shelf and the nearby canyon heads. This study focuses on the slope region of the Gulf of Lion to further describe particulate exchanges with ocean’s interior through submarine canyons and atmospheric inputs. Nine sediment traps were deployed from the heads to the mouths of Lacaze-Duthiers and Cap de Creus submarine canyons and on the southern open slope from October 2005 to October 2006. Sediment trap samples were analyzed by CuO oxidation to investigate spatial and temporal variability in the yields and compositional characteristics of terrigenous biomarkers such as lignin-derived phenols and cutin acids. Sediment trap data show that the Dense Shelf Water Cascading event that took place in the months of winter 2006 (January, February and March) had a profound impact on particle fluxes in both canyons. This event was responsible for the majority of lignin phenol (55.4%) and cutin acid (42.8%) inputs to submarine canyons, with lignin compositions similar to those measured along the mid- and outer-continental shelf, which is consistent with the resuspension and lateral transfer of unconsolidated shelf sediment to the canyons. The highest lithogenic-normalized lignin derived phenols contents in sediment trap samples were found during late spring and summer at all stations (i.e., 193.46 μg VP g-1 lithogenic at deep slope station), when river flow, wave energy and total particle fluxes were relatively low. During this period, lignin compositions were characterized by elevated cinnamyl to vanillyl phenol ratios (>3) at almost all stations, high p-coumaric to ferulic acid ratios (>3) and high yields of cutin acids relative to vanillyl phenols (>1), all trends that are consistent with high pollen inputs. Our results suggest marked differences in the sources and transport processes responsible for terrigenous material export along

  18. Internal bore seasonality and tidal pumping of subthermocline waters at the head of the Monterey submarine canyon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walter, Ryan K.; Phelan, P. Joe

    2016-03-01

    This study utilizes more than a year of observations made in shallow waters (~30 m) at the head of the Monterey Submarine Canyon to assess variability in the physical environment and internal bore field. The interaction of the internal tide with the canyon rim results in a semidiurnal tidal period pumping of cold-water masses (subthermocline waters) onto the adjacent shelf (i.e., internal bores). These internal bores are shown to be significantly coherent with the local sea surface height with minimal spatial variability when comparing two sites near the canyon head region. During the summer months, and periods of strong regional wind-driven upwelling and shoaling of the offshore thermocline, the canyon rim sites display elevated semidiurnal temperature variance. This semidiurnal variability reaches its annual minimum during the winter months when the regional upwelling favorable winds subside and the offshore thermocline deepens. Additionally, the observed internal bores show a distinct asymmetry between the leading (gradual cooling with velocities directed onto the shelf) and trailing edges (sharp warming with velocities directed into the canyon). It appears that the semidiurnal internal tide at the canyon head is a first-order control on the delivery of subthermocline waters to the nearshore coastal environment at this location.

  19. Internal Bore Seasonality and Tidal Pumping of Subthermocline Waters at the Head of the Monterey Submarine Canyon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walter, R. K.; Phelan, J.

    2015-12-01

    This study utilizes more than a year of observations made in shallow waters (~30 m) at the head of the Monterey Submarine Canyon to assess variability in the physical environment and internal bore field. The interaction of the internal tide with the canyon rim results in a semidiurnal tidal period pumping of cold water intrusions (subthermocline waters) onto the adjacent shelf (i.e., internal bores). These internal bores are shown to be significantly coherent with the surface (barotropic) tide with minimal spatial variability when comparing two sites on opposite sides of the canyon head. During the summer months, and periods of strong regional wind-driven upwelling and shoaling of the offshore thermocline, the canyon rim sites display elevated semidiurnal temperature variance. The semidiurnal variability reaches its annual minimum during the winter months when the regional upwelling favorable winds subside and the offshore thermocline deepens. Additionally, the observed internal bores show a distinct asymmetry between the leading (gradual cooling with velocities directed onto the shelf) and trailing edges (sharp warming with velocities directed into the canyon). It appears that the semidiurnal internal tide at the canyon head is a first-order control on the delivery of subthermocline waters to the nearshore coastal environment at this location.

  20. Microbial communities in sunken wood are structured by wood-boring bivalves and location in a submarine canyon.

    PubMed

    Fagervold, Sonja K; Romano, Chiara; Kalenitchenko, Dimitri; Borowski, Christian; Nunes-Jorge, Amandine; Martin, Daniel; Galand, Pierre E

    2014-01-01

    The cornerstones of sunken wood ecosystems are microorganisms involved in cellulose degradation. These can either be free-living microorganisms in the wood matrix or symbiotic bacteria associated with wood-boring bivalves such as emblematic species of Xylophaga, the most common deep-sea woodborer. Here we use experimentally submerged pine wood, placed in and outside the Mediterranean submarine Blanes Canyon, to compare the microbial communities on the wood, in fecal pellets of Xylophaga spp. and associated with the gills of these animals. Analyses based on tag pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA bacterial gene showed that sunken wood contained three distinct microbial communities. Wood and pellet communities were different from each other suggesting that Xylophaga spp. create new microbial niches by excreting fecal pellets into their burrows. In turn, gills of Xylophaga spp. contain potential bacterial symbionts, as illustrated by the presence of sequences closely related to symbiotic bacteria found in other wood eating marine invertebrates. Finally, we found that sunken wood communities inside the canyon were different and more diverse than the ones outside the canyon. This finding extends to the microbial world the view that submarine canyons are sites of diverse marine life. PMID:24805961

  1. Microbial Communities in Sunken Wood Are Structured by Wood-Boring Bivalves and Location in a Submarine Canyon

    PubMed Central

    Fagervold, Sonja K.; Romano, Chiara; Kalenitchenko, Dimitri; Borowski, Christian; Nunes-Jorge, Amandine; Martin, Daniel; Galand, Pierre E.

    2014-01-01

    The cornerstones of sunken wood ecosystems are microorganisms involved in cellulose degradation. These can either be free-living microorganisms in the wood matrix or symbiotic bacteria associated with wood-boring bivalves such as emblematic species of Xylophaga, the most common deep-sea woodborer. Here we use experimentally submerged pine wood, placed in and outside the Mediterranean submarine Blanes Canyon, to compare the microbial communities on the wood, in fecal pellets of Xylophaga spp. and associated with the gills of these animals. Analyses based on tag pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA bacterial gene showed that sunken wood contained three distinct microbial communities. Wood and pellet communities were different from each other suggesting that Xylophaga spp. create new microbial niches by excreting fecal pellets into their burrows. In turn, gills of Xylophaga spp. contain potential bacterial symbionts, as illustrated by the presence of sequences closely related to symbiotic bacteria found in other wood eating marine invertebrates. Finally, we found that sunken wood communities inside the canyon were different and more diverse than the ones outside the canyon. This finding extends to the microbial world the view that submarine canyons are sites of diverse marine life. PMID:24805961

  2. The engineering and geological constraints of the intraslope basins and submarine canyons of the northwestern Gulf of Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Bryant, W.R.; Yuh Liu, J.; Ponthier, J.

    1995-10-01

    It is well realized that future hydrocarbon discoveries on the upper and lower continental slope and rise off Texas and Louisiana necessitate innovative methods for the construction of platforms and pipelines in a very difficult engineering and complex geological environment. There are 105 intraslope basins and 5 major submarine canyons on the continental slope of the northwestern Gulf of Mexico, many of which may be prime targets for hydrocarbon production. Examination of the physiographic, geophysical and geotechnical characteristics of the intraslope basins of Pigmy and Vaca basins and the Alaminos submarine canyon are used as examples to typify the various engineering and geological constraints that are most likely to be encountered on the continental slope and rise and along the Sigsbee Escarpment in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico. High-resolution bathymetry identifies such constraints as high-angle intraslope basin walls, walls that exceed 40 degrees are not uncommon. Sediment slumps and other instabilities, such as long-term sediment creep and other affects of halokenesis and contemporaneous faulting, are illustrated and evaluated from high-resolution geophysics. The small canyons and large gullies that dissect the parameter flanks of Alaminos Canyon, that may be the results of both recent and old turbidity currents and debris flows, are structures that require engineering consideration in the implement of seafloor structures in, near or down slope of these features.

  3. Spatial scale-dependent habitat heterogeneity influences submarine canyon macrofaunal abundance and diversity off the Main and Northwest Hawaiian Islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Leo, Fabio C.; Vetter, Eric W.; Smith, Craig R.; Rowden, Ashley A.; McGranaghan, Matthew

    2014-06-01

    The mapping of biodiversity on continental margins on landscape scales is highly relevant to marine spatial planning and conservation. Submarine canyons are widespread topographic features on continental and island margins that enhance benthic biomass across a range of oceanic provinces and productivity regimes. However, it remains unclear whether canyons enhance faunal biodiversity on landscape scales relevant to marine protected area (MPA) design. Furthermore, it is not known which physical attributes and heterogeneity metrics can provide good surrogates for large-scale mapping of canyon benthic biodiversity. To test mechanistic hypotheses evaluating the role of different canyon-landscape attributes in enhancing benthic biodiversity at different spatial scales we conducted 34 submersible dives in six submarine canyons and nearby slopes in the Hawaiian archipelago, sampling infaunal macrobenthos in a depth-stratified sampling design. We employed multivariate multiple regression models to evaluate sediment and topographic heterogeneity, canyon transverse profiles, and overall water mass variability as potential drivers of macrobenthic community structure and species richness. We find that variables related to habitat heterogeneity at medium (0.13 km2) and large (15-33 km2) spatial scales such as slope, backscatter reflectivity and canyon transverse profiles are often good predictors of macrobenthic biodiversity, explaining 16-30% of the variance. Particulate organic carbon (POC) flux and distance from shore are also important variables, implicating food supply as a major predictor of canyon biodiversity. Canyons off the high Main Hawaiian Islands (Oahu and Moloka'i) are significantly affected by organic enrichment, showing enhanced infaunal macrobenthos abundance, whereas this effect is imperceptible around the low Northwest Hawaiian Islands (Nihoa and Maro Reef). Variable canyon alpha-diversity and high rates of species turnover (beta-diversity), particularly for

  4. A delta-fed submarine ramp alternative to the canyon-fed depositional model of the Stevens submarine fan system, southeastern San Joaquin basin, Kern County, California

    SciTech Connect

    Harrison, C.P. )

    1996-01-01

    Deep-marine sands of the Upper Miocene Stevens Sandstone, one of the most important hydrocarbon-producing units in the United States, were deposited by sediment-gravity flows in the Bakersfield Arch area of the southern San Joaquin basin. The Stevens Sandstone has historically been considered to be a thick turbidite succession shed off the southern Sierra Nevada as four fans in a long-lived submarine fan system fed by several large submarine canyons. Access to previously unavailable proprietary 2-D and 3-D seismic data sets, carefully calibrated by well-log and core data, permits a more complete understanding of the depositional architecture of this highly petroliferous, deep-marine depositional system. This study concludes that these units were deposited in a delta-fed, line- sourced deep-sea system, whose distribution was structurally-controlled. Seismic lines examined in this study show evidence for a large fault-controlled slump feature in the area that has been referred to as [open quotes]Rosedale Canyon,[close quotes] and no evidence supports the existence of submarine canyons feeding the system. The highly progradational Stevens interval consists of thick siliciclastic units separated by thin, intervening biosiliceous shales. Seismically, the upper bounding surfaces of these biosiliceous shales represent major downlap surfaces. As sands were deposited by high-density turbidity currents, the area of the present Bakersfield Arch developed into a deep-sea braid plain. Smaller-scale linear features detected on horizon slices through the 3-D seismic data cube have been interpreted in this study as braided channelform features deposited on the deep-sea braid plain. Hydrocarbon production along these linear trends may be associated with porosity and permeability variations resulting from channelized versus non-channelized sedimentation.

  5. A delta-fed submarine ramp alternative to the canyon-fed depositional model of the Stevens submarine fan system, southeastern San Joaquin basin, Kern County, California

    SciTech Connect

    Harrison, C.P.

    1996-12-31

    Deep-marine sands of the Upper Miocene Stevens Sandstone, one of the most important hydrocarbon-producing units in the United States, were deposited by sediment-gravity flows in the Bakersfield Arch area of the southern San Joaquin basin. The Stevens Sandstone has historically been considered to be a thick turbidite succession shed off the southern Sierra Nevada as four fans in a long-lived submarine fan system fed by several large submarine canyons. Access to previously unavailable proprietary 2-D and 3-D seismic data sets, carefully calibrated by well-log and core data, permits a more complete understanding of the depositional architecture of this highly petroliferous, deep-marine depositional system. This study concludes that these units were deposited in a delta-fed, line- sourced deep-sea system, whose distribution was structurally-controlled. Seismic lines examined in this study show evidence for a large fault-controlled slump feature in the area that has been referred to as {open_quotes}Rosedale Canyon,{close_quotes} and no evidence supports the existence of submarine canyons feeding the system. The highly progradational Stevens interval consists of thick siliciclastic units separated by thin, intervening biosiliceous shales. Seismically, the upper bounding surfaces of these biosiliceous shales represent major downlap surfaces. As sands were deposited by high-density turbidity currents, the area of the present Bakersfield Arch developed into a deep-sea braid plain. Smaller-scale linear features detected on horizon slices through the 3-D seismic data cube have been interpreted in this study as braided channelform features deposited on the deep-sea braid plain. Hydrocarbon production along these linear trends may be associated with porosity and permeability variations resulting from channelized versus non-channelized sedimentation.

  6. Limited depth zonation among bathyal epibenthic megafauna of the Gully submarine canyon, northwest Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kenchington, E. L.; Cogswell, A. T.; MacIsaac, K. G.; Beazley, L.; Law, B. A.; Kenchington, T. J.

    2014-06-01

    The Gully is a large submarine canyon incised into the Scotian Shelf, in the northwest Atlantic. A submersible-mounted camera was used to collect 17 km of high resolution video imagery of the soft sediment flanks and floor of the canyon between 1000 and 2500 m depth. A depth-stratified random survey design with two transects per stratum was followed. Depth strata were drawn at 1000-1500 m, 1500-2000 m and 2000-2500 m reflecting global and regional faunal boundaries. The 47,614 individuals or colonies observed on the transects were identified into 49 unique taxa drawn from 7 phyla, while 21 additional taxa were observed between the transect lines. Cnidaria was the most diverse phylum (22 taxa) on the transects, followed by the Echinodermata (15 taxa). Most fauna were sessile or sedentary suspension feeders. A species of Xenophyophorida, likely Syringammina sp., was the most abundant taxon. Cluster analysis of transects based on a Bray-Curtis (BC) matrix of species abundance identified one cluster of five transects and one independent transect - the deepest transect (2406 m average depth). A similarity profile test indicated that this structure is not random. There was a significant change in the megafaunal assemblage with depth over scales of 10s of kilometers, accounting for 65% of the variation in the BC matrix. Both total organic carbon and labile carbon were higher in cores from the 1000-1500 m stratum than at greater depth, consistent with transport of food and sediments into the canyon from shallower waters. The first principal component calculated from species abundances separated the two transects from the 1000-1500 m depth stratum from the others indicating that sediment food supply influences community structure and composition. Over small spatial scales (≤10 m), eight groups of species associations were identified. However, the associations between the species within each group were not strong with the highest correlation between the Xenophyophorida and

  7. Submarine canyon morphologies and evolution on a modern carbonate system: the Northern Slope of Little Bahama Bank (Bahamas).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tournadour, Elsa; Mulder, Thierry; Borgomano, Jean; Hanquiez, Vincent; Ducassou, Emmanuelle; Gillet, Hervé; Sorriaux, Patrick

    2013-04-01

    The recent CARAMBAR cruise (Nov. 2010) on the northern slope of Little Bahama Bank (LBB, Bahamas) provided new seafloor and subsurface data, that improve our knowledge on carbonate slope systems. The new high-resolution multibeam bathymetry data (Kongsberg EM302 echosounder) and very high resolution (3.5 kHz/Chirp subbotom profiler) seismic data show that the upper LBB slope is dissected by 18 canyons. These canyons evolve sharply into short channels opening to depositional fan-shaped lobes. These architectural elements form a narrow carbonate gravity system extending over 40 km along the LBB slope. The features previously described as small linear canyons have a more complex morphology than originally supposed. The several architectural elements that can be distinguished share similar characteristics with siliciclastic canyons. The average morphological features of the canyons are: minimum and maximum water depths of 460 and 970 m resp., mean length = 16.3 km and sinuosity = 1.14. Canyons are floored with flat elongated morphologies interpreted as terraces. Some of these terraces are located at the toe of slide scars on canyon heads and canyon sides which suggest that they result from sediment failures. On the Chirp seismic data, wedge-shape aggrading terraces interpreted as "internal levees" can be observed. These terraces would then be formed by overbanking of the upper part of turbidity currents. Between 530 and 630 m water depth, some canyons exhibit an amphitheater-shaped head with a head wall height ranging from 80 to 100 m. The wall edges of these canyon heads consist of coalescing arcuate slump scars, which suggests that the canyons formed by retrogressive erosion. Other canyons show an amphitheater-shaped head that evolves upslope into linear valleys incising the upper slope between 460 m and 530 m water depth. The onset and the spatial distribution of these linear valleys seem to be influenced by sediments transported from oolitic shoals of Walker Cay

  8. Linking Planktonic Larval Abundance to Internal Bores at the Head of the Monterey Submarine Canyon.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phelan, J.; Walter, R. K.; Steinbeck, J. R.

    2015-12-01

    Variability in the physical coastal environment can play an important role in determining the spatio-temporal variation in abundance of planktonic organisms. Combining planktonic larval abundance estimates over the course of a year with concurrent temperature and current data, this study provides empirical data linking a locally predominant internal tidal feature to patterns of biological abundance in the very nearshore environment at the head of Monterey Submarine Canyon. The physical observations indicate the presence of seasonally-variable semidiurnal internal bores that result in the pumping of cold (subthermocline) waters onto the adjacent shelf. Analysis of the larval abundance data indicates an assemblage shift from a relatively abundant shelf assemblage of larval fishes to a reduced abundance assemblage that is concurrent with the semidiurnal cold water intrusions driven by the tidal pumping. Results suggest that the tidal period pumping of subthermocline waters by internal bores dilutes or displaces shelf waters and their associated planktonic larval community. This could have important ecological implications at these scales and may also be of interest when siting industrial facilities that require seawater for cooling or desalination, as it would potentially reduce their impact on regional planktonic communities by diluting their rates of entrainment.

  9. Epibiotic relationships on Zygochlamys patagonica (Mollusca, Bivalvia, Pectinidae) increase biodiversity in a submarine canyon in Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schejter, Laura; López Gappa, Juan; Bremec, Claudia Silvia

    2014-06-01

    The continental slope of the southern SW Atlantic Ocean has many distinguishable deep submarine canyons, varying in depth and extension. The benthic fauna within one of them, detected in April 2005 by means of a multibeam SIMRAD EM1002 sonar, and located at 43°35‧S to 59°33‧W, 325 m depth, was studied to discuss faunal affinities with the neighbouring Patagonian scallop fishing grounds located at upper slope depths. In order to add faunal information to the previous general study, we studied the epibiotic species settled on Patagonian scallops (the dominant species in the area) collected in the reference sampling site using a 2.5-m mouth-opening dredge, 10 mm mesh size. We sampled 103 scallops with shell heights between 22 and 69 mm; epibionts were recorded on both valves. We found 53 epibiotic taxa, which were most conspicuous on the upper valve. Bryozoa was the most diverse group (34 species) while Polychaeta was the most abundant group, recorded on 94% of the scallops. Stylasteridae (2 species) and Clavulariidae (Cnidaria) conform newly recorded epibionts on Z. patagonica and the sponge Tedania (Tedaniopsis) infundibuliformis also represents a new record for the SW Atlantic Ocean.

  10. Seafloor characterization and benthic megafaunal distribution of an active submarine canyon and surrounding sectors: The case of Gioia Canyon (Southern Tyrrhenian Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierdomenico, Martina; Martorelli, Eleonora; Dominguez-Carrió, Carlos; Gili, Josep Maria; Chiocci, Francesco Latino

    2016-05-01

    In this paper, we used multibeam bathymetry and backscatter, high-resolution seismic profiles, ROV video images and sediment samples to identify the principal morpho-sedimentary features and related megabenthic communities along the upper reach of the Gioia Canyon (depth < 600 m) and the surrounding shelf and slope areas. Interpretation of the multidisciplinary dataset was undertaken to evaluate the relationships between seafloor characteristics and faunal distribution along a submarine canyon in an active tectonic setting. The results from this study indicate that physical disturbance on the seafloor at the canyon head and surrounding shelf, related to high sedimentation rates and occasional turbidite flows, may limit the variability of megabenthic communities. Evidence of diffuse trawl marks over soft sedimentary bottoms indicates anthropogenic impact due to fishing activities, which could explain low abundances of megabenthic species observed locally. The canyon margins and flanks along the continental slope host octocorals Funiculina quadrangularis and Isidella elongata, species that are indicative of vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) and relevant in terms of sustainable management priorities. At the Palmi Ridge, the occurrence of outcropping rocks and bottom currents related to the presence of Levantine Intermediate Waters, provide conditions for the development of hard-bottom assemblages, including the black coral Antipathella subpinnata and deep-sea sponges fields.

  11. Increasing sediment accumulation rates in La Fonera (Palamós) submarine canyon axis and their relationship with bottom trawling activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Puig, P.; Martín, J.; Masqué, P.; Palanques, A.

    2015-10-01

    Previous studies conducted in La Fonera (Palamós) submarine canyon (NW Mediterranean) found that trawling activities along the canyon flanks cause resuspension and transport of sediments toward the canyon axis. 210Pb chronology supported by 137Cs dating applied to a sediment core collected at 1750 m in 2002 suggested a doubling of the sediment accumulation rate since the 1970s, coincident with the rapid industrialization of the local trawling fleet. The same canyon area has been revisited a decade later, and new data are consistent with a sedimentary regime shift during the 1970s and also suggest that the accumulation rate during the last decade could be greater than expected, approaching ~2.4 cm yr-1 (compared to ~0.25 cm yr-1 pre-1970s). These results support the hypothesis that commercial bottom trawling can substantially affect sediment dynamics and budgets on continental margins, eventually initiating the formation of anthropogenic depocenters in submarine canyon environments.

  12. Shelf-slope exchanges and particle dispersion in Blanes submarine canyon (NW Mediterranean Sea): A numerical study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahumada-Sempoal, M.-A.; Flexas, M. M.; Bernardello, R.; Bahamon, N.; Cruzado, A.; Reyes-Hernández, C.

    2015-10-01

    A climatological simulation performed with a fine-resolution (∼1.2 km) 3D circulation model nested in one-way to a coarse-resolution (∼4 km) 3D regional model is used to examine the cross-shelf break water exchange in the Blanes submarine canyon (∼41°00‧-41°46‧N; ∼02°24‧-03°24‧E). A Lagrangian particle-tracking model coupled to the fine-resolution 3D circulation model is used to investigate the role of the incident regional flow (i.e. the Northern Current, NC) and its seasonal variability on the dispersion and residence time of passive particles inside Blanes Canyon. The NC flows southwestward, along the slope, with the coastline to the right. Water is advected offshore/onshore at the upstream/downstream canyon walls, with a net water transport toward the slope (i.e. offshore). The amount of water moved across the shelf break of the upstream wall is approximately three times larger than the amount moved across the shelf break of the downstream wall. This preferential zone for cross-shelf break water exchange is explained by the asymmetric geometry of the canyon and the orientation of the incident current with respect to the canyon bathymetry. Passive particles released upstream Blanes Canyon between the mid-shelf and the upper-slope drift within the NC and accumulate over the shelf edge of the canyon. About half of the particles released at depths above the shelf break move towards shallower areas inside the canyon. In contrast, about two-thirds of particles released below the shelf break move to deeper areas. Particle dispersion is higher under weakly (e.g. winter) than strongly (e.g. summer) stratified conditions. The residence time of passive particles inside the canyon (∼4-6 days) is double than the residence time downstream of the canyon, indicating that the canyon acts as an efficient retention zone for passive particles.

  13. A western thalweg of the Princeton Valley submarine canyon system as a reservoir and a trap near Willows, California

    SciTech Connect

    Blake, R.G. ); Bainer, R.W.

    1990-05-01

    The Princeton Valley submarine canyon system has long been an important reservoir and trapping mechanism in the northern Sacramento Valley, California. Recently a western thalweg of the system, identified north of Willows, California, has proven to be a significant trapping mechanism for gas in truncated Kione Formation sandstones. Both Upper Cretaceous Kione Formation and Paleocene Princeton Valley sandstones are exploratory objectives in the area and are productive in existing wells. The Kione Formation, a sand-rich deltaic sequence approximately 2,000 ft thick, has been truncated to the west by the Princeton Valley submarine canyon system. The canyon (gorge) has been subsequently filed with primarily impermeable shales, providing a trap for migrating gases in the truncated sands. The trend was discovered in 1977 by Shell Oil Company based on seismic and was the first substantiated evidence of a western thalweg of the Princeton Gorge in the Willows area. To date, four wells have been completed along the trend and current exploratory efforts are attempting to follow the gorge trend.

  14. Distribution of Pasiphaea japonica larvae in submarine canyons and adjacent continental slope areas in Toyama Bay, Sea of Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nanjo, Nobuaki; Katayama, Satoshi

    2014-09-01

    The horizontal and vertical distribution of Pasiphaea japonica larvae, which included larval stages and postlarval or later stages, were investigated in Toyama Bay located in central Japan. The horizontal distributions in the inner part of the bay were investigated by oblique hauls from 10 m above the sea-bottom to the surface using a Remodeled NORPAC net (LNP net) in May, August, November 2005, January, March, April, July, September, December 2006, March-September, November-December 2007, and January-March 2008. The vertical distributions were investigated by concurrent horizontal hauls at the depths of 0, 50, 100, 150, 200, and 250 m using a Motoda net (MTD net) in January, March, April, July, September, and December 2006. Mean density of larvae was higher in submarine canyons which dissect the continental shelf and run to the mouth of river, than adjacent continental slope areas. Larvae densely aggregated in the canyon head. Vertical distribution of the larval stages concentrated in the depth range of 100-150 m in both daytime and nighttime, and larvae in the postlarval or later stages showed diel vertical distribution over a wider depth range than larval stages. Our results indicate the possibility of a larval aggregation in energy-rich habitats, and indicated two important roles of submarine canyons, which were larval retention and high food supply.

  15. Hudson submarine canyon head offshore New York and New Jersey: A physical and geochemical investigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rona, Peter; Guida, Vincent; Scranton, Mary; Gong, Donglai; Macelloni, Leonardo; Pierdomenico, Martina; Diercks, Arne-R.; Asper, Vernon; Haag, Scott

    2015-11-01

    Hudson Canyon is the largest shelf-sourced canyon system off the east coast of the United States, and hosts a productive ecosystem that supports key fisheries. Here we report the results of a multi-year interdisciplinary study of the geological, geochemical, and physical oceanographic features and processes in the canyon that underpin that ecosystem. High-resolution multi-beam bathymetric and backscatter data show that the contrasting morphology of the two perpendicularly oriented branches at the head of the Hudson Canyon is indicative of different states of geomorphological activity and sediment transport. Tightly spaced ridges and gullies extend perpendicularly towards the canyon axis from the canyon walls. Numerous depressions are found at the base of the canyon walls or along the canyon axis at depths from 300 m to 600 m. Elevated concentrations of dissolved methane in the water column, where the highest density of depressions occur, suggests that methane is actively venting there. The topography and reflective floors of circular depressions in canyon walls and their association with methane maxima suggest that these represent active methane gas release-collapse pockmarks with carbonate floors. Patterns of irregular, low-relief, reflective depressions on the canyon floor may also represent methane release points, either as gas release or cold-seep features. The presence of methane maxima in a region of strong advective currents suggests continuous and substantial methane supply. Hydrographic observations in the canyon show that multiple layers of distinct inter-leaved shelf (cold, fresh) and slope (warm, salty) water masses occupy the head of the canyon during the summer. Their interactions with the canyon and with each other produce shifting fronts, internal waves, and strong currents that are influenced by canyon topography. Strong tidal currents with along-canyon-axis flow shear help to drive the advection, dispersion and mixing of dissolved materials in the

  16. Internal geometry, seismic facies, and petroleum potential of canyons and inner fan channels of the Indus submarine fan

    SciTech Connect

    McHargue, T.R.; Webb, J.E.

    1986-02-01

    The Indus Fan, the second largest submarine fan in the world, covers 1,250,000 km/sup 2/ (500,000 mi/sup 2/) and contains sediment more than 7 km (23,000 ft) thick. Multichannel (24-fold) CDP seismic data provide the bases for evaluating the Indus Fan and consist of four seismic facies. Of these, only the high-amplitude, discontinuous (H-D) facies is thought to contain reservoir-quality sandstones. The H-D facies is confined to the axes of leveed channels. Canyon-channel systems that fed the fan in the past can be divided into three zones. The degradational zone is composed of an erosional canyon complex filled by prodelta mud. The transitional zone, located near the canyon mouth, consists of superimposed channels that initially were erosional but eventually aggraded and developed levees. The headward termination of the H-D facies occurs in this zone. The aggradational zone consists of superimposed leveed channels confined solely by their own levees. The proximal termination of the H-D facies near canyon mouths implies the presence of reservoir-quality sandstone surrounded by source/seal mudstone in the transitional zone. This stratigraphic trapping geometry and structural leads may represent a vast, untapped petroleum province.

  17. Vertical stratification in the distribution of demersal fishes along the walls of the La Jolla and Scripps submarine canyons, California, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Joshua G.; Lindholm, James

    2016-08-01

    The geographic distributions of many coastal marine fish assemblages are strongly driven by habitat features, particularly among demersal fishes that live along the seafloor. Ecologists have long recognized the importance of characterizing fish habitat associations, especially where spatial management is under consideration. However, little is known about fish distributions and habitat suitability in unique demersal habitats such as submarine canyons. The active continental margin of the California coast is cut by eight submarine canyons, several of which extend from the shore to the deep abyssal plain. We sampled the demersal fish assemblages in two of those canyons: (1) the Scripps submarine canyon in the San-Diego-Scripps State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) and (2) the La Jolla canyon in the Matlahuayl State Marine Reserve (SMR) to gain insight into both the distributions and habitat associations of demersal fishes in canyons. A remotely operated vehicle was used to conduct 21 vertically oriented transects along the canyon walls in depths ranging from 20 to 300 m. Species composition was assessed in three depth-stratified zones (100 m per zone) along the canyon walls. Species richness, abundance, and attributes of the surrounding canyon habitat structure (slope and benthic terrain ruggedness) were quantified. Three distinct assemblage groupings were identified, which comprised 35 species of demersal fishes from 17 families. Among all factors analyzed in this study, depth, slope, and ruggedness were strong explanatory variables of patterns of species richness and abundance; however, the relationship between depth and assemblage structure was non-linear. The greatest number of species was observed in the mid depth-stratified zone. These trends suggest that variation in canyon dynamics across depth strata may facilitate distinct assemblage groupings of demersal fishes, which can in turn be used to better manage these unique habitats.

  18. External forcings, oceanographic processes and particle flux dynamics in Cap de Creus submarine canyon, NW Mediterranean Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rumín-Caparrós, A.; Sanchez-Vidal, A.; Calafat, A.; Canals, M.; Martín, J.; Puig, P.; Pedrosa-Pàmies, R.

    2013-06-01

    Particle fluxes (including major components and grain size), and oceanographic parameters (near-bottom water temperature, current speed and suspended sediment concentration) were measured along the Cap de Creus submarine canyon in the Gulf of Lions (GoL; NW Mediterranean Sea) during two consecutive winter-spring periods (2009-2010 and 2010-2011). The comparison of data obtained with the measurements of meteorological and hydrological parameters (wind speed, turbulent heat flux, river discharge) have shown the important role of atmospheric forcings in transporting particulate matter through the submarine canyon and towards the deep sea. Indeed, atmospheric forcing during 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 winter months showed differences in both intensity and persistence that led to distinct oceanographic responses. Persistent dry northern winds caused strong heat losses (14.2 × 103 W m-2) in winter 2009-2010 that triggered a pronounced sea surface cooling compared to winter 2010-2011 (1.6 × 103 W m-2 lower). As a consequence, a large volume of dense shelf water formed in winter 2009-2010, which cascaded at high speed (up to ∼1 m s-1) down Cap de Creus Canyon as measured by a current-meter in the head of the canyon. The lower heat losses recorded in winter 2010-2011, together with an increased river discharge, resulted in lowered density waters over the shelf, thus preventing the formation and downslope transport of dense shelf water. High total mass fluxes (up to 84.9 g m-2 d-1) recorded in winter-spring 2009-2010 indicate that dense shelf water cascading resuspended and transported sediments at least down to the middle canyon. Sediment fluxes were lower (28.9 g m-2 d-1) under the quieter conditions of winter 2010-2011. The dominance of the lithogenic fraction in mass fluxes during the two winter-spring periods points to a resuspension origin for most of the particles transported down canyon. The variability in organic matter and opal contents relates to seasonally

  19. Accumulation of dioxins in deep-sea crustaceans, fish and sediments from a submarine canyon (NW Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castro-Jiménez, Javier; Rotllant, Guiomar; Ábalos, Manuela; Parera, Jordi; Dachs, Jordi; Company, Joan B.; Calafat, Antoni; Abad, Esteban

    2013-11-01

    Submarine canyons are efficient pathways transporting sediments and associated pollutants to deep sea. The objective of this work was to provide with the first assessment of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDD) and dibenzofurans (PCDF) levels and accumulation in deep-sea megafauna (crustacean and fish) and sediments in the Blanes submarine canyon (North-Western Mediterranean Sea). The influence of the selected species habitats (pelagic, nektobenthic, and benthic) and the trophic chain level on the accumulation of dioxins was also investigated. Bottom sediment and biota samples were collected at different depths and locations inside the canyon and in the adjacent slope outside the canyon influence. ∑2,3,7,8-PCDD/F concentrations in sediments varied from 102 to 680 pg g-1 dry weight (d.w.) (1-6 WHO98-TEQ pg g-1 d.w.). Dioxins are enriched in bottom sediments at higher depths inside the canyon and in particular in the deepest parts of the canyon axis (1700 m depth), whereas no enrichment of dioxins was verified at the deepest sediments from the adjacent open slope outside the canyon influence. The proportion of ∑2,3,7,8-PCDF (furans) to ∑2,3,7,8-PCDD (dioxins) increased for sediments with higher soot carbon content consistent with the higher affinity of PCDF for sorption onto soot carbon. Higher ∑2,3,7,8-PCDD/F levels were found in crustaceans than in fish, ranging from 220 to 795 pg g-1 lipid weight (l.w.) (13-90 WHO98-TEQ pg g-1 l.w.) and 110 to 300 pg g-1 l.w. (22-33 WHO98-TEQ pg g-1 l.w.) in crustaceans and fish, respectively. Dioxin highest concentrations were found in nektobenthic organisms, i.e., benthic organism with swimming capabilities (both fish and crustaceans). These higher levels are consistent with the higher trophic level and predicted biomagnification factors (BMFs) of nektobenthic species. The reduced availability of sediment-bound PCDD/F for benthic species mainly due to soot and organic carbon sorption of these contaminants most

  20. Trawling-induced daily sediment resuspension in the flank of a Mediterranean submarine canyon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martín, Jacobo; Puig, Pere; Palanques, Albert; Ribó, Marta

    2014-06-01

    Commercial bottom trawling is one of the anthropogenic activities causing the biggest impact on the seafloor due to its recurrence and global distribution. In particular, trawling has been proposed as a major driver of sediment dynamics at depths below the reach of storm waves, but the issue is at present poorly documented with direct observations. This paper analyses changes in water turbidity in a tributary valley of the La Fonera (=Palamós) submarine canyon, whose flanks are routinely exploited by a local trawling fleet down to depths of 800 m. A string of turbidimeters was deployed at 980 m water depth inside the tributary for two consecutive years, 2010-2011. The second year, an ADCP profiled the currents 80 m above the seafloor. The results illustrate that near-bottom water turbidity at the study site is heavily dominated, both in its magnitude and temporal patterns, by trawling-induced sediment resuspension at the fishing ground. Resuspended sediments are channelised along the tributary in the form of sediment gravity flows, being recorded only during working days and working hours of the trawling fleet. These sediment gravity flows generate turbid plumes that extend to at least 100 m above the bottom, reaching suspended sediment concentrations up to 236 mg l-1 close to the seafloor (5 m above bottom). A few hours after the end of daily trawling activities, water turbidity progressively decreases but resuspended particles remain in suspension for several hours, developing bottom and intermediate nepheloid layers that reach background levels ˜2 mg l-1 before trawling activities resume. The presence of these nepheloid layers was recorded in a CTD+turbidimeter transect conducted across the fishing ground a few hours after the end of a working day. These results highlight that deep bottom trawling can effectively replace natural processes as the main driving force of sediment resuspension on continental slope regions and generate increased near-bottom water

  1. The Nankai OOST zone exposed along the Shionomisaki Submarine Canyon - Dive results of YK05-08 Leg 2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anma, R.; Ogawa, Y.; Moore, G.; Kawamura, K.

    2005-12-01

    The Shionomisaki submarine canyon cuts EW-trending five major ridges developed in the Plio-Pleistocene Nankai accretionary prism. The fifth ridge (numbered from the accretion toe in the south) is an extension of the Omine ridge where the out-of-sequence thrust (Nankai OOST zone) were detected through CDEX seismic profiles. We observed structures developed around the Nankai OOST zone along the canyon slope using submersible Shinkai 6500 during JAMSTEC cruise YK05-08 Leg 2. Three dives in addition to two previous dives (one include transect along the third ridge) verified that Shionomisaki Canyon exposes typical accretionary prism features in sandstone dominant thick turbidite sequences, including regular repetition of offscraping and underplating structure. Only near the Nankai OOST zone, extensive activities of fluid seepages were observed demarcated by the presence of chemosynthetic biocommunities, such as Calyptogena and Vesicomyid clams and Vestimentiferan tube worm. Each dive was designed to start from the canyon bottom, climbing up the canyon slope and end in EW-trending gully developed in the fifth ridge, to obtain a 3D images of the Nankai OOST ridge. Distributions of the chemosynthetic biocommunities were observed in the north of the Nankai OOST ridge suggesting a development of antithetic fault system. The ridge itself was disrupted by numerous EW-trending gullies where Calyptogena colonies were widely distributed. These gullies must correspond to spray faults that were bifurcated form the main OOST fault. Detailed observations on collected specimens revealed developments of web and vein structures together with black seams. Needle test indicated that the rocks in the middle part of the OOST ridge is more consolidated compared to those of the north and south exposures.

  2. Transport and fluxes of terrestrial polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in a small mountain river and submarine canyon system.

    PubMed

    Lin, Bing-Sian; Lee, Chon-Lin; Brimblecombe, Peter; Liu, James T

    2016-08-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) concentrations in the Gaoping River were investigated in the wet and dry seasons. PAH characteristics allowed us to trace the particulate matter transported in a river-sea system containing a small mountain river, continental shelf, and submarine canyon. PAH signatures of the Gaoping River showed that particles were rapidly transported from the high mountain to the Gaoping coastal areas in the wet season, even arriving at the deep ocean via the Gaoping Submarine Canyon. By contrast, in the dry season, the particles were delivered quite slowly and included mostly pyrogenic contaminants. The annual riverine flux estimates for PAHs were 2241 kg in the Gaoping river-sea system. Only 18.0 kg were associated with the dissolved phase; the rest was bound onto particles. The fluxes caused by typhoons and their effects accounted for 20.2% of the dissolved and 68.4% of the particulate PAH fluxes from the river. Normalized partition coefficients for organic carbon suggested that PAHs were rigid on the particles. Distinct source characteristics were evident for PAHs on riverine suspended particles and coastal surface sediments: the particles in the wet season (as background signals) were similar to petrogenic sources, whereas the particles in the dry season had characteristics of coal burning and vehicular emissions. The sediments in the northwestern shelf were similar to pyrogenic sources (including vehicular emissions and coal and biomass burning), whereas the sediments in the canyon and southeastern shelf arose from mixed sources, although some diesel signature was also evident. PMID:27131955

  3. On vertical advection truncation errors in terrain-following numerical models: Comparison to a laboratory model for upwelling over submarine canyons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allen, S. E.; Dinniman, M. S.; Klinck, J. M.; Gorby, D. D.; Hewett, A. J.; Hickey, B. M.

    2003-01-01

    Submarine canyons which indent the continental shelf are frequently regions of steep (up to 45°), three-dimensional topography. Recent observations have delineated the flow over several submarine canyons during 2-4 day long upwelling episodes. Thus upwelling episodes over submarine canyons provide an excellent flow regime for evaluating numerical and physical models. Here we compare a physical and numerical model simulation of an upwelling event over a simplified submarine canyon. The numerical model being evaluated is a version of the S-Coordinate Rutgers University Model (SCRUM). Careful matching between the models is necessary for a stringent comparison. Results show a poor comparison for the homogeneous case due to nonhydrostatic effects in the laboratory model. Results for the stratified case are better but show a systematic difference between the numerical results and laboratory results. This difference is shown not to be due to nonhydrostatic effects. Rather, the difference is due to truncation errors in the calculation of the vertical advection of density in the numerical model. The calculation is inaccurate due to the terrain-following coordinates combined with a strong vertical gradient in density, vertical shear in the horizontal velocity and topography with strong curvature.

  4. New High-Resolution Mapping of Submarine Canyons in the Mid-Atlantic Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    ten Brink, U. S.; Chaytor, J. D.; Brothers, D. S.; Twichell, D. C.; Ross, S. W.; Brooke, S.

    2011-12-01

    During June 2011, a BOEMRE/NOAA/USGS -funded multibeam bathymetry survey mapped the upper reaches (<900-m depths) of the Norfolk, Washington, and Baltimore canyons. Combined with existing multibeam bathymetry of the continental slope and rise, the new data provide a detailed view of the sedimentary processes that shaped the mid-Atlantic margin. The shelf-breaching canyon heads are surrounded by two terraces at depths of 95-100 m and 115-125 m in the Norfolk and Washington canyons and at depths of 115-125 m and 135-145 m in the Baltimore canyon. These terraces may represent paleo-shorelines formed during sea level stillstands. The canyon thalwegs within the shelf appear to be filled with sand in accord with old core results. The gradient of their thalweg profile is variable and relatively low across the shelf, slope, and upper rise, in contrast to the concave gradient of most non-shelf breaching canyons in the region. A few of the non-shelf breaching canyons in the mid-Atlantic margin also have relatively low and variable gradients suggesting that they once breached the shelf but are now completely filled. The seaward extensions of the Norfolk, Washington, and Baltimore canyons onto the continental rise are characterized by channels bordered by 100-200 m high levees. In places, these channels meander tightly. The extensions of other canyons onto the rise are either defined by subtle, linear depressions or cannot be traced. Channel-capture by adjacent canyons and channel abandonment originate in the lower slope and were prompted by either landslides or levee breaching. These observations indicate dynamic outer shelf deltas fed by large rivers, which were active at the last glacial maximum (LGM). The river channels on the shelf have been progressively filled during the Holocene. The clear expression of levied channels on the continental rise that extend from shelf-breaching canyons suggests that these canyons were the last ones to deliver turbidity flows to the rise

  5. Megafauna of vulnerable marine ecosystems in French mediterranean submarine canyons: Spatial distribution and anthropogenic impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fabri, M.-C.; Pedel, L.; Beuck, L.; Galgani, F.; Hebbeln, D.; Freiwald, A.

    2014-06-01

    Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VME) in the deep Mediterranean Sea have been identified by the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean as consisting of communities of Scleractinia (Lophelia pertusa and Madrepora oculata), Pennatulacea (Funiculina quadrangularis) and Alcyonacea (Isidella elongata). This paper deals with video data recorded in the heads of French Mediterranean canyons. Quantitative observations were extracted from 101 video films recorded during the MEDSEACAN cruise in 2009 (Aamp/Comex). Qualitative information was extracted from four other cruises (two Marum/Comex cruises in 2009 and 2011 and two Ifremer cruises in 1995 and 2010) to support the previous observations in the Cassidaigne and Lacaze-Duthiers canyons. All the species, fishing impacts and litter recognized in the video films recorded from 180 to 700 m depth were mapped using GIS. The abundances and distributions of benthic fishing resources (marketable fishes, Aristeidae, Octopodidae), Vulnerable Marine Species, trawling scars and litter of 17 canyons were calculated and compared, as was the open slope between the Stoechades and Toulon canyons. Funiculina quadrangularis was rarely observed, being confined for the most part to the Marti canyon and, I. elongata was abundant in three canyons (Bourcart, Marti, Petit-Rhône). These two cnidarians were encountered in relatively low abundances, and it may be that they have been swept away by repeated trawling. The Lacaze-Duthiers and Cassidaigne canyons comprised the highest densities and largest colony sizes of scleractinian cold-water corals, whose distribution was mapped in detail. These colonies were often seen to be entangled in fishing lines. The alcyonacean Callogorgia verticillata was observed to be highly abundant in the Bourcart canyon and less abundant in several other canyons. This alcyonacean was also severely affected by bottom fishing gears and is proposed as a Vulnerable Marine Species. Our studies on anthropogenic

  6. Marine litter on the floor of deep submarine canyons of the Northwestern Mediterranean Sea: The role of hydrodynamic processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tubau, Xavier; Canals, Miquel; Lastras, Galderic; Rayo, Xavier; Rivera, Jesus; Amblas, David

    2015-05-01

    Marine litter represents a widespread type of pollution in the World's Oceans. This study is based on direct observation of the seafloor by means of Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) dives and reports litter abundance, type and distribution in three large submarine canyons of the NW Mediterranean Sea, namely Cap de Creus, La Fonera and Blanes canyons. Our ultimate objective is establishing the links between active hydrodynamic processes and litter distribution, thus going beyond previous, essentially descriptive studies. Litter was monitored using the Liropus 2000 ROV. Litter items were identified in 24 of the 26 dives carried out in the study area, at depths ranging from 140 to 1731 m. Relative abundance of litter objects by type, size and apparent weight, and distribution of litter in relation to depth and canyon environments (i.e. floor and flanks) were analysed. Plastics are the dominant litter component (72%), followed by lost fishing gear, disregarding their composition (17%), and metal objects (8%). Most of the observed litter seems to be land-sourced. It reaches the ocean through wind transport, river discharge and after direct dumping along the coastline. While coastal towns and industrial areas represent a permanent source of litter, tourism and associated activities relevantly increase litter production during summer months ready to be transported to the deep sea by extreme events. After being lost, fishing gear such as nets and long-lines has the potential of being harmful for marine life (e.g. by ghost fishing), at least for some time, but also provides shelter and a substrate on which some species like cold-water corals are capable to settle and grow. La Fonera and Cap de Creus canyons show the highest mean concentrations of litter ever seen on the deep-sea floor, with 15,057 and 8090 items km-2, respectively, and for a single dive litter observed reached 167,540 items km-2. While most of the largest concentrations were found on the canyon floors at

  7. Macrofaunal Patterns in and around du Couedic and Bonney Submarine Canyons, South Australia.

    PubMed

    Conlan, Kathleen E; Currie, David R; Dittmann, Sabine; Sorokin, Shirley J; Hendrycks, Ed

    2015-01-01

    Two South Australian canyons, one shelf-incising (du Couedic) and one slope-limited (Bonney) were compared for macrofaunal patterns on the shelf and slope that spanned three water masses. It was hypothesized that community structure would (H1) significantly differ by water mass, (H2) show significant regional differences and (H3) differ significantly between interior and exterior of each canyon. Five hundred and thirty-one species of macrofauna ≥ 1 mm were captured at 27 stations situated in depth stratified transects inside and outside the canyons from 100 to 1500 m depth. The macrofauna showed a positive relationship to depth in abundance, biomass, species richness and community composition while taxonomic distinctness and evenness remained high at all depths. Biotic variation on the shelf was best defined by variation in bottom water primary production while sediment characteristics and bottom water oxygen, temperature and nutrients defined biotic variation at greater depth. Community structure differed significantly (p<0.01) among the three water masses (shelf-flowing South Australian current, upper slope Flinders current and lower slope Antarctic Intermediate Water) (H1). Although community differences between the du Couedic and Bonney regions were marginally above significance at p = 0.05 (H2), over half of the species captured were unique to each region. This supports the evidence from fish and megafaunal distributions that the du Couedic and Bonney areas are in different bioregions. Overall, the canyon interiors were not significantly different in community composition from the exterior (H3). However, both canyons had higher abundance and/or biomass, increased species dominance, different species composition and coarser sediments near the canyon heads compared to outside the canyons at the same depth (500 m), suggestive of heightened currents within the canyons that influence community composition there. At 1000-1500 m, the canyon interiors were

  8. Macrofaunal Patterns in and around du Couedic and Bonney Submarine Canyons, South Australia

    PubMed Central

    Dittmann, Sabine; Sorokin, Shirley J.; Hendrycks, Ed

    2015-01-01

    Two South Australian canyons, one shelf-incising (du Couedic) and one slope-limited (Bonney) were compared for macrofaunal patterns on the shelf and slope that spanned three water masses. It was hypothesized that community structure would (H1) significantly differ by water mass, (H2) show significant regional differences and (H3) differ significantly between interior and exterior of each canyon. Five hundred and thirty-one species of macrofauna ≥1 mm were captured at 27 stations situated in depth stratified transects inside and outside the canyons from 100 to1500 m depth. The macrofauna showed a positive relationship to depth in abundance, biomass, species richness and community composition while taxonomic distinctness and evenness remained high at all depths. Biotic variation on the shelf was best defined by variation in bottom water primary production while sediment characteristics and bottom water oxygen, temperature and nutrients defined biotic variation at greater depth. Community structure differed significantly (p<0.01) among the three water masses (shelf-flowing South Australian current, upper slope Flinders current and lower slope Antarctic Intermediate Water) (H1). Although community differences between the du Couedic and Bonney regions were marginally above significance at p = 0.05 (H2), over half of the species captured were unique to each region. This supports the evidence from fish and megafaunal distributions that the du Couedic and Bonney areas are in different bioregions. Overall, the canyon interiors were not significantly different in community composition from the exterior (H3). However, both canyons had higher abundance and/or biomass, increased species dominance, different species composition and coarser sediments near the canyon heads compared to outside the canyons at the same depth (500 m), suggestive of heightened currents within the canyons that influence community composition there. At 1000–1500 m, the canyon interiors were

  9. Muscular and hepatic pollution biomarkers in the fishes Phycis blennoides and Micromesistius poutassou and the crustacean Aristeus antennatus in the Blanes Submarine Canyon (NW Mediterranean).

    PubMed

    Solé, Montserrat; Hambach, Bastian; Cortijo, Verónica; Huertas, David; Fernández, Pilar; Company, Joan B

    2009-07-01

    Submarine canyons are regarded as a sink for pollutants. In order to determine if this theory applied to deep-sea species from an important fishing ground (the Blanes submarine canyon) located in the NW Mediterranean, we sampled the commercial fish Phycis blennoides and Micromesistius poutassou and the crustacean Aristeus antennatus. Specimens were sampled inside and outside (in the open continental slope) the submarine canyon; both are regarded as potentially affected by exposure to different anthropogenic chemicals. Several pollution biomarkers in muscle (activity of cholinesterases) and liver/hepatopancreas (catalase, glutathione S-transferases, carboxylesterases, ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase in fish or mixed function oxygenase (MFO)-related reductases in crustacean, and lipid peroxidation levels) were measured. Chemical analysis of the persistent organic pollutants, namely polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes (DDTs) and hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs) was also performed on the fish and crustacean muscle. Biomarker activities and levels were discussed in relation to pollutant exposure, habitat, and parameters including sex, size, and species. Biochemical responses and chemical analysis of PCBs evidenced interspecies differences as well as sex and size-related ones, mainly in A. antennatus. An indication of higher exposure to pollutants inside the canyon was observed, which was more clearly reflected in the fish than in the crustacean. However, further research is required to confirm this observation. PMID:18941829

  10. Cold-Water Corals and Anthropogenic Impacts in La Fonera Submarine Canyon Head, Northwestern Mediterranean Sea

    PubMed Central

    Canals, Miquel; Ballesteros, Enric; Gili, Josep-Maria; Sanchez-Vidal, Anna

    2016-01-01

    We assess the occurrence and extent of cold-water coral (CWC) species Madrepora oculata and Dendrophyllia cornigera, as well as gorgonian red coral Corallium rubrum, in La Fonera canyon head (Northwestern Mediterranean Sea), as well as human impacts taking place in their habitats. Occurrence is assessed based on Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) video imaging. Terrain classification techniques are applied to high-resolution swath bathymetric data to obtain semi-automatic interpretative maps to identify the relationship between coral distribution patterns and canyon environments. A total of 21 ROV immersions were carried out in different canyon environments at depths ranging between 79 and 401 m. Large, healthy colonies of M. oculata occur on abrupt, protected, often overhanging, rocky sections of the canyon walls, especially in Illa Negra branch. D. cornigera is sparser and evenly distributed at depth, on relatively low sloping areas, in rocky but also partially sedimented areas. C. rubrum is most frequent between 100 and 160 m on highly sloping rocky areas. The probable extent of CWC habitats is quantified by applying a maximum entropy model to predict habitat suitability: 0.36 km2 yield M. oculata occurrence probabilities over 70%. Similar predictive models have been produced for D. cornigera and C. rubrum. All ROV transects document either the presence of litter on the seafloor or pervasive trawling marks. Nets and longlines are imaged entangled on coral colonies. Coral rubble is observed at the foot of impacted colonies. Some colonies are partially covered by sediment that could be the result of the resuspension generated by bottom trawling on neighbouring fishing grounds, which has been demonstrated to be responsible of daily increases in sediment fluxes within the canyon. The characteristics of the CWC community in La Fonera canyon are indicative that it withstands high environmental stress of both natural and human origin. PMID:27182776

  11. Cold-Water Corals and Anthropogenic Impacts in La Fonera Submarine Canyon Head, Northwestern Mediterranean Sea.

    PubMed

    Lastras, Galderic; Canals, Miquel; Ballesteros, Enric; Gili, Josep-Maria; Sanchez-Vidal, Anna

    2016-01-01

    We assess the occurrence and extent of cold-water coral (CWC) species Madrepora oculata and Dendrophyllia cornigera, as well as gorgonian red coral Corallium rubrum, in La Fonera canyon head (Northwestern Mediterranean Sea), as well as human impacts taking place in their habitats. Occurrence is assessed based on Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) video imaging. Terrain classification techniques are applied to high-resolution swath bathymetric data to obtain semi-automatic interpretative maps to identify the relationship between coral distribution patterns and canyon environments. A total of 21 ROV immersions were carried out in different canyon environments at depths ranging between 79 and 401 m. Large, healthy colonies of M. oculata occur on abrupt, protected, often overhanging, rocky sections of the canyon walls, especially in Illa Negra branch. D. cornigera is sparser and evenly distributed at depth, on relatively low sloping areas, in rocky but also partially sedimented areas. C. rubrum is most frequent between 100 and 160 m on highly sloping rocky areas. The probable extent of CWC habitats is quantified by applying a maximum entropy model to predict habitat suitability: 0.36 km2 yield M. oculata occurrence probabilities over 70%. Similar predictive models have been produced for D. cornigera and C. rubrum. All ROV transects document either the presence of litter on the seafloor or pervasive trawling marks. Nets and longlines are imaged entangled on coral colonies. Coral rubble is observed at the foot of impacted colonies. Some colonies are partially covered by sediment that could be the result of the resuspension generated by bottom trawling on neighbouring fishing grounds, which has been demonstrated to be responsible of daily increases in sediment fluxes within the canyon. The characteristics of the CWC community in La Fonera canyon are indicative that it withstands high environmental stress of both natural and human origin. PMID:27182776

  12. Subaqueous grain flows at the head of Carmel Submarine Canyon, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dingler, J.R.; Anima, R.J.

    1989-01-01

    Very coarse sand is the predominate material on the beach, adjacent shelf, and upper canyon-head slopes, while silt and clay cover the surface below a water depth at about 35 m. On angle-of-repose slopes in the upper canyon head, downslope-coarsening deposits are similar to a type of sediment gravity flow deposit formed by grain flows (sand avalanches). Using three sand fractions that were dyed different fluorescent colors, scuba divers generated sand avalanches that produced deposits similar to the natural deposits. -from Authors

  13. Characterization of submarine canyon bathymetries in northern Ionian Sea, Italy, using sediment geochemical variation induced by transportation distance and basin depth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Francesco, Perri; Tohru, Ohta; Salvatore, Critelli

    2015-07-01

    Geochemical data of marine mud sediments collected from the Esaro, Neto and Corigliano canyons in the northern Ionian Sea (southern Italy) were investigated in order to characterize canyon bathymetry types. Mud sample compositions analyzed by the principal component analysis (PCA) provided useful information for the morphology of the depositional area of the northern Ionian Sea. The use of sediment geochemical data as well as transportation distance and depth as input variables for PCA enabled the extraction of following latent variables: basin depth (PC1), sedimentation rate (PC2) and transportation distance (PC3). Based on these results, we further developed geochemical indices that can estimate basin depth (F1), sedimentation rate (F2) and transportation distance (F3); these functions can be solely calculated from the elemental concentration data of the mud samples. Since these F1, F2 and F3 functions are mathematically independent variables, they facilitate more precise characterization of individual canyon types. That is, the Esaro Canyon is regarded as a sediment-starved deep canyon characterized by a single source area; the Neto Canyon can be seen as a deeply sloped submarine apron system and sediments are mainly supplied by the sediment gravity flows; the Corigliano Canyon is characterized by multiple sources and moderately sloped system, whose sediments disperse mainly by traction currents. These interpretations are concordant with the basin bathymetry of the studied area. Therefore, F1, F2 and F3 functions might be applicable to any oceanic basins.

  14. Slope-confined submarine canyons in the Baiyun deep-water area, northern South China Sea: variation in their modern morphology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, X. S.; Zhou, Q. J.; Su, T. Y.; Liu, L. J.; Gao, S.; Zhou, S. W.

    2016-05-01

    On the basis of newly collected multibeam bathymetric data, chirp profiles and existing seismic data, we presented a detailed morphological interpretation of a series of slope-confined canyons in water depths of 300-2000 m in the Baiyun deep-water area, northern margin of the South China Sea. Although these canyons are commonly characterized by regular spacing and a straight-line shape, they vary in their lengths, starting and ending water depths, canyon relief, slope gradients, wall slope gradients and depth profiles along the axis. The eastern canyons (C1-C8) have complex surface features, low values in their slope gradient, canyon relief and wall slope gradient and high values in their length and starting and ending depth contrasting to the western ones (C9-C17). From the bathymetric data and chirp profiles, we interpret two main processes that have controlled the morphology and evolution of the canyons: axial incision and landsliding. The western part of the shelf margin where there were at least four stages of submerged reefs differs from the eastern part of the shelf margin where sedimentary undulations occurred at a water depth of ~650 m. We consider that the variation in morphology of submarine canyons in the study area is the result of multiple causes, with the leading cause being the difference in stability of the upper slope which is related to the submerged reefs and sedimentary undulations.

  15. Slope-confined submarine canyons in the Baiyun deep-water area, northern South China Sea: variation in their modern morphology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, X. S.; Zhou, Q. J.; Su, T. Y.; Liu, L. J.; Gao, S.; Zhou, S. W.

    2016-06-01

    On the basis of newly collected multibeam bathymetric data, chirp profiles and existing seismic data, we presented a detailed morphological interpretation of a series of slope-confined canyons in water depths of 300-2000 m in the Baiyun deep-water area, northern margin of the South China Sea. Although these canyons are commonly characterized by regular spacing and a straight-line shape, they vary in their lengths, starting and ending water depths, canyon relief, slope gradients, wall slope gradients and depth profiles along the axis. The eastern canyons (C1-C8) have complex surface features, low values in their slope gradient, canyon relief and wall slope gradient and high values in their length and starting and ending depth contrasting to the western ones (C9-C17). From the bathymetric data and chirp profiles, we interpret two main processes that have controlled the morphology and evolution of the canyons: axial incision and landsliding. The western part of the shelf margin where there were at least four stages of submerged reefs differs from the eastern part of the shelf margin where sedimentary undulations occurred at a water depth of ~650 m. We consider that the variation in morphology of submarine canyons in the study area is the result of multiple causes, with the leading cause being the difference in stability of the upper slope which is related to the submerged reefs and sedimentary undulations.

  16. Geological exploration in an East Coast submarine canyon from a research submersible

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Trumbull, J.V.A.; McCamis, M.J.

    1967-01-01

    Large talus blocks litter the flat floor of Oceanographer Canyon at a depth of 1460 meters; they indicate down-axis mass transport of floor sediment at an unknown time and rate. From 1460 to 1310 meters the sidewall is covered by unconsolidated sediment lying at 35?? to 40?? from the horizontal. An outcrop of Pleistocene or younger sediment at 1460 meters is probably a remnant of a former fill.

  17. A picture on the wall: innovative mapping reveals cold-water coral refuge in submarine canyon.

    PubMed

    Huvenne, Veerle A I; Tyler, Paul A; Masson, Doug G; Fisher, Elizabeth H; Hauton, Chris; Hühnerbach, Veit; Le Bas, Timothy P; Wolff, George A

    2011-01-01

    Cold-water corals are azooxanthellate species found throughout the ocean at water depths down to 5000 m. They occur in patches, reefs or large mound structures up to 380 m high, and as ecosystem engineers create important habitats for a diverse fauna. However, the majority of these habitats are now within reach of deep-sea bottom trawling. Many have been severely damaged or are under threat, despite recent protection initiatives. Here we present a cold-water coral habitat type that so far has been overlooked--quite literally--and that has received minimal impact from human activities. Vertical and overhanging cliffs in deep-sea canyons, revealed using an innovative approach to marine habitat mapping, are shown to provide the perfect substratum for extensive cold-water coral-based communities. Typical canyon-related processes, including locally enhanced internal tides and focussed downslope organic carbon transport, provide favourable environmental conditions (current regime, food input) to sustain the communities, even outside the optimal depth and density envelopes reported elsewhere in the NE Atlantic. Our findings show that deep-sea canyons can form natural refuges for faunal communities sensitive to anthropogenic disturbance, and have the potential to fulfil the crucial role of larval sources for the recolonisation of damaged sites elsewhere on the margin. PMID:22194903

  18. A Picture on the Wall: Innovative Mapping Reveals Cold-Water Coral Refuge in Submarine Canyon

    PubMed Central

    Huvenne, Veerle A. I.; Tyler, Paul A.; Masson, Doug G.; Fisher, Elizabeth H.; Hauton, Chris; Hühnerbach, Veit; Le Bas, Timothy P.; Wolff, George A.

    2011-01-01

    Cold-water corals are azooxanthellate species found throughout the ocean at water depths down to 5000 m. They occur in patches, reefs or large mound structures up to 380 m high, and as ecosystem engineers create important habitats for a diverse fauna. However, the majority of these habitats are now within reach of deep-sea bottom trawling. Many have been severely damaged or are under threat, despite recent protection initiatives. Here we present a cold-water coral habitat type that so far has been overlooked – quite literally – and that has received minimal impact from human activities. Vertical and overhanging cliffs in deep-sea canyons, revealed using an innovative approach to marine habitat mapping, are shown to provide the perfect substratum for extensive cold-water coral-based communities. Typical canyon-related processes, including locally enhanced internal tides and focussed downslope organic carbon transport, provide favourable environmental conditions (current regime, food input) to sustain the communities, even outside the optimal depth and density envelopes reported elsewhere in the NE Atlantic. Our findings show that deep-sea canyons can form natural refuges for faunal communities sensitive to anthropogenic disturbance, and have the potential to fulfil the crucial role of larval sources for the recolonisation of damaged sites elsewhere on the margin. PMID:22194903

  19. 3D Chirp Sonar Images on Fluid Migration Pathways and Their Implications on Seafloor Stability East of the Fangliao Submarine Canyon Offshore SW Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Y. W.; Liu, C. S.; Su, C. C.; Hsu, H. H.; Chen, Y. H.

    2015-12-01

    This study utilizes both chirp sonar images and coring results to investigate the unstable seafloor strata east of the Fangliao Submarine Canyon offshore southwestern Taiwan. We have constructed 3D chirp sonar images from a densely surveyed block to trace the attitude of an acoustic transparent layer and features caused by fluid activities. Based on the distribution of this transparent layer and fluid-related features, we suggest that this transparent layer forms a pathway for fluid migration which induces fluid-related characters such as acoustic blanking and fluid chimneys in the 3D chirp sonar images. Cored seafloor samples are used in this study to investigate the sediment compositions. The 210Pb activity profiles of the cores show oscillating and unsteady values at about 20~25 cm from core top. The bulk densities of the core samples in the same section (about 20~25 cm from core top) give values lower than those at deeper parts of the cores. These results indicate that the water content is much higher in the shallow sediments than in the deeper strata. From core sample analyses, we deduce that the local sediments are disturbed by liquefaction. From the analyses of 3D chirp sonar images and core data, we suggest that the seafloor east of the Fangliao Submarine Canyon is in an unstable condition, if disturbed by earthquakes, submarine landslides and gravity flows could be easily triggered and cause some geohazards, like breaking submarine cables during the 2006 Pingtung earthquake event.

  20. Deep Submarine Tailings Disposal (DSTP) the Proposed Use of Submarine Canyons and Artificial Turbidity Currents for the Disposal of Mine Waste: Current Practice, Future Plans, and Cumulative Impacts.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, R.; Moran, R.

    2015-12-01

    The wastes from mining operations ( tailings) have been disposed of in the fluvial environment (riverine disposal) and in nearshore marine environments for much of the last century. The scale of modern mining operations has led to increasing use of steep slopes and submarine canyons for deposition of these wastes at depths of 2000m - 4000m. Current mine disposal operations in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea which use Deep Sea Tailings Placement (DSTP) release volumes between 5000 tpd and 160,000 tpd. Planning is underway by the"Consortium," an industry and government group in Chile which would deposit mine waste of 1M tpd into the Humbolt Current Large Marine Ecosystem (HCLME) which provides nearly 20% of the fish biomass harvested on a sustainable basis worldwide. Underwater pipelines discharge tailings as a slurry to create a continuous artificial turbidity current with particle size distribtions (PSD's) ranging from sand to clay sized fractions. Potential problems arise from benthic smothering, angular particulate uptake by benthic organisms, and from the bioaccumulation of a complex of heavy metals by both benthic and pelagic species. While much is known about the binding of copper and other toxic heavy metals in a reducing environment, little has been done to consider the implications of ocean dumping where 1% of tailings discharged may consist of unrecovered heavy metals. Synergistic cumulative impacts to just the HCLME from the dumping of the more than 3M tpy of reactive metals in these tailings sediments remains unknown and poses substantial risks. DSTP assumes a stable deep sea depositional environment but upwelling currents and plume shear may make this hard to accomplish.

  1. Impact of Bottom Trawling on Deep-Sea Sediment Properties along the Flanks of a Submarine Canyon

    PubMed Central

    Martín, Jacobo; Puig, Pere; Masqué, Pere; Palanques, Albert; Sánchez-Gómez, Anabel

    2014-01-01

    The offshore displacement of commercial bottom trawling has raised concerns about the impact of this destructive fishing practice on the deep seafloor, which is in general characterized by lower resilience than shallow water regions. This study focuses on the flanks of La Fonera (or Palamós) submarine canyon in the Northwestern Mediterranean, where an intensive bottom trawl fishery has been active during several decades in the 400–800 m depth range. To explore the degree of alteration of surface sediments (0–50 cm depth) caused by this industrial activity, fishing grounds and control (untrawled) sites were sampled along the canyon flanks with an interface multicorer. Sediment cores were analyzed to obtain vertical profiles of sediment grain-size, dry bulk density, organic carbon content and concentration of the radionuclide 210Pb. At control sites, surface sediments presented sedimentological characteristics typical of slope depositional systems, including a topmost unit of unconsolidated and bioturbated material overlying sediments progressively compacted with depth, with consistently high 210Pb inventories and exponential decaying profiles of 210Pb concentrations. Sediment accumulation rates at these untrawled sites ranged from 0.3 to 1.0 cm y−1. Sediment properties at most trawled sites departed from control sites and the sampled cores were characterized by denser sediments with lower 210Pb surface concentrations and inventories that indicate widespread erosion of recent sediments caused by trawling gears. Other alterations of the physical sediment properties, including thorough mixing or grain-size sorting, as well as organic carbon impoverishment, were also visible at trawled sites. This work contributes to the growing realization of the capacity of bottom trawling to alter the physical properties of surface sediments and affect the seafloor integrity over large spatial scales of the deep-sea. PMID:25111298

  2. Impact of bottom trawling on deep-sea sediment properties along the flanks of a submarine canyon.

    PubMed

    Martín, Jacobo; Puig, Pere; Masqué, Pere; Palanques, Albert; Sánchez-Gómez, Anabel

    2014-01-01

    The offshore displacement of commercial bottom trawling has raised concerns about the impact of this destructive fishing practice on the deep seafloor, which is in general characterized by lower resilience than shallow water regions. This study focuses on the flanks of La Fonera (or Palamós) submarine canyon in the Northwestern Mediterranean, where an intensive bottom trawl fishery has been active during several decades in the 400-800 m depth range. To explore the degree of alteration of surface sediments (0-50 cm depth) caused by this industrial activity, fishing grounds and control (untrawled) sites were sampled along the canyon flanks with an interface multicorer. Sediment cores were analyzed to obtain vertical profiles of sediment grain-size, dry bulk density, organic carbon content and concentration of the radionuclide 210Pb. At control sites, surface sediments presented sedimentological characteristics typical of slope depositional systems, including a topmost unit of unconsolidated and bioturbated material overlying sediments progressively compacted with depth, with consistently high 210Pb inventories and exponential decaying profiles of 210Pb concentrations. Sediment accumulation rates at these untrawled sites ranged from 0.3 to 1.0 cm y-1. Sediment properties at most trawled sites departed from control sites and the sampled cores were characterized by denser sediments with lower 210Pb surface concentrations and inventories that indicate widespread erosion of recent sediments caused by trawling gears. Other alterations of the physical sediment properties, including thorough mixing or grain-size sorting, as well as organic carbon impoverishment, were also visible at trawled sites. This work contributes to the growing realization of the capacity of bottom trawling to alter the physical properties of surface sediments and affect the seafloor integrity over large spatial scales of the deep-sea. PMID:25111298

  3. Defining biological assemblages (biotopes) of conservation interest in the submarine canyons of the South West Approaches (offshore United Kingdom) for use in marine habitat mapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davies, Jaime S.; Howell, Kerry L.; Stewart, Heather A.; Guinan, Janine; Golding, Neil

    2014-06-01

    In 2007, the upper part of a submarine canyon system located in water depths between 138 and 1165 m in the South West (SW) Approaches (North East Atlantic Ocean) was surveyed over a 2 week period. High-resolution multibeam echosounder data covering 1106 km2, and 44 ground-truthing video and image transects were acquired to characterise the biological assemblages of the canyons. The SW Approaches is an area of complex terrain, and intensive ground-truthing revealed the canyons to be dominated by soft sediment assemblages. A combination of multivariate analysis of seabed photographs (184-1059 m) and visual assessment of video ground-truthing identified 12 megabenthic assemblages (biotopes) at an appropriate scale to act as mapping units. Of these biotopes, 5 adhered to current definitions of habitats of conservation concern, 4 of which were classed as Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems. Some of the biotopes correspond to descriptions of communities from other megahabitat features (for example the continental shelf and seamounts), although it appears that the canyons host modified versions, possibly due to the inferred high rates of sedimentation in the canyons. Other biotopes described appear to be unique to canyon features, particularly the sea pen biotope consisting of Kophobelemnon stelliferum and cerianthids.

  4. From Kings Peak to the Delgado submarine canyon: Tracking littoral inputs to the deep sea at the Mendocino Triple Junction, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davidson, C. J.; Di Fiori, R. V.; Smith, M. E.; Mueller, E. R.

    2011-12-01

    Gravel coarse enough to overcome viscous damping and impact bedrock underwater is thought prerequisite for incision of submarine canyons, yet with few exceptions, canyons off the California coast have headwalls >2 km offshore at the shelf edge and below storm wave base. This suggests effective disconnection from modern coarse littoral sediment fluxes, and implies they are relict Pleistocene features only actively incised during glacial periods. North of the Transverse Ranges only five submarine canyons approach shore closer than 500 m, and are coincident areas of rapid uplift. Although canyons occur adjacent to major upland-draining streams that transport coarse sediment, submarine canyon headwalls are often laterally offset from stream mouths by ~1-2 km. Coarse stream sediment thus requires littoral transport to enter canyon heads and induce incision. To better understand the evolution of coarse sediment through the littoral system, we measured the texture and composition of coarse sediment in streams and beaches directly onshore of the Delgado submarine canyon, which lies offshore of the fastest uplifting segment of the King Range and onshore the Mendocino Triple Junction. Adjacent to the Delgado Canyon inlet, coarse (d50 > 360 mm) sediment enters the littoral zone from three streams, and is transported alongshore in a predominantly southeast direction. Stream-derived alluvium is comprised of a poorly to moderately sorted mixture of angular to subrounded clasts of well-cemented sandstone (d50 = 256-725 mm) and fissile siliciclastic mudstone (d50 = 90-256 mm). Well sorted and rounded beach gravels adjacent to stream mouths are similarly coarse, and clasts larger than 1 m diameter extend 200-400 meters eastward from stream mouths. In contrast, sediment entering the littoral zone from hillslope erosion between streams is finer (d50 ~16 mm) and is exclusively comprised of pervasively-folded siliciclastic mudstone. Immediately adjacent the Delgado canyon headwall

  5. Observation of internal tide-induced nutrient upwelling in Hungtsai Trough, a submarine canyon in the northern South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pai, Su-Cheng; Wei, Ching-Ling; Lin, Saulwood; Wen, Liang-Saw; Tseng, Chun-Mao

    2016-06-01

    Temporal variations in hydrographic parameters and nutrients were observed in a 300 m deep submarine canyon (Hungtsai Trough) near the southern tip of Taiwan. A vigorous oscillation below the surface layer has been observed which relates closely to an internal tidal wave generated from the nearby Luzon Strait. The vertical movement can be measured by monitoring an 18 °C isothermal depth which shows an up-and-down oscillation between 90 and 240 m with an average displacement of 110 m within a tidal cycle, a scale significantly larger than has been reported elsewhere. The frequency of this oscillation coincides with the surface tide but in an almost opposite phase. All hydrographic and chemical parameters (oxygen, density, fluorescence, transmittance and nutrients including nitrate, phosphate and silicate) synchronize with the tidal movement, as judged by normalized plots against temperature. When the nutrient-rich deep water upwells and becomes an outcrop over the trough rim at 100 m deep, it is swept horizontally by the strong alongshore tidal current. Consequently, the trough acts as a source point to supply extra nutrients to the coastal ecosystem.

  6. Megalodicopia hians in the Monterey submarine canyon: Distribution, larval development, and culture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Havenhand, Jon. N.; Matsumoto, George I.; Seidel, Ed

    2006-02-01

    The exclusively deep-sea ascidian family Octacnemidae comprises several genera in which the oral siphon has hypertrophied to form two large lips which create an "oral hood" capable of capturing motile prey. Megalodicopia hians is typical of this carnivorous family and has been reported to prey upon small epibenthic crustaceans. Distribution of M. hians in the Monterey Canyon system (36°45'N, 122°00'W) (California) was determined with remotely operated vehicles. M. hians was found sparsely to depths of at least 3800 m throughout the canyon; however, abundance was greatest within the oxygen-minimum zone (400-800 m). Eggs, sperm, and recently fertilized embryos were obtained repeatedly from adults returned to the laboratory in vivo, indicating that this species free-spawns routinely. Overall egg diameter (ovum plus chorion, plus follicle cells) was 175-190 μm—considerably smaller than previously reported for this species. Embryonic development at temperature and oxygen concentrations equivalent to the oxygen-minimum zone was 2-4 d and, embryos gave rise to typical phlebobranch "simple" tadpole larvae. Larval period was extremely variable, and settlement/metamorphosis occurred up to 3 months post-hatching. These results are discussed within the context of settlement-site selection and fertilization ecology of the species.

  7. Swept away by a turbidity current in Mendocino submarine canyon, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sumner, E. J.; Paull, C. K.

    2014-11-01

    We present unique observations and measurements of a dilute turbidity current made with a remotely operated vehicle in 400 m water depth near the head of Mendocino Canyon, California. The flow had a two-layer structure with a thin (0.5 to 30 m), relatively dense (<0.04 vol %) and fast (up to ~1.7 m/s) wedge-shaped lower layer overlain by a thicker (up to 89 m) more dilute and slower current. The fast moving lower layer lagged the slow moving, dilute flow front by 14 min, which we infer resulted from the interaction of two initial pulses. The two layers were strongly coupled, and the sharp interface between the layers was characterized by a wave-like instability. This is the first field-scale data from a turbidity current to show (i) the complex dynamics of the head of a turbidity current and (ii) the presence of multiple layers within the same event.

  8. Delivery of Terrigenous Material to Submarine Fans: Biological Evidence of Local, Staged, and Possibly Full Canyon Sediment Transport Down the Ascension-Monterey Canyon System Off Central California, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGann, M.

    2014-12-01

    Submarine canyons are instrumental in transporting sediment from coastal regions to deep-sea fans. Mean grain size, distribution, and sorting have been used to characterize these deposits, but they provide little information on where sediment transport was initiated or the delivery processes involved. Fortunately, the entrained biological constituents have unique environmental signatures that are more precise proxies for source areas than are mineral grains alone. They may identify a single biofacies deposit (SBD) resulting from local sediment transport such as storm waves, peak river discharge, breaking of internal waves, canyon wall sloughing, or hemipelagic deposition, or a displaced, multiple biofacies deposit (MBD) containing several biofacies where sediment is transported from one biofacies to another, is caught behind a slump that acts as a dam, remains there long enough for the local fauna to become established, and then this combined assemblage is transported further downslope when the dam breaks. Multiple episodes of this "staged" storage-and-release process occur sequentially so as to move the sediment progressively down the canyon. Rarely, exceptionally large triggers such as earthquakes, intense storm disturbances, and catastrophic failure of canyon walls result in full canyon flushing events, entraining numerous biofacies during a single rapid descent. These events can be differentiated in recent deposits by the presence of living specimens representing distinct biofacies or in historic records by dating individual biofacies within a turbidite. A 19,000 year record from the Ascension-Monterey Canyon system (core S3-15G, 36°23.53'N, 123°20.52'W; 3491 m) captured hemipelagic mud interspersed with turbiditic sand and silt transported to lower bathyal depths. The relative abundance of displaced benthic foraminifera was found to correlate positively with grain size (75% in cross-bedded turbiditic sands, 39% in laminated turbiditic sands, and 15% in

  9. Spatial and temporal infaunal dynamics of the Blanes submarine canyon-slope system (NW Mediterranean); changes in nematode standing stocks, feeding types and gender-life stage ratios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ingels, Jeroen; Vanreusel, Ann; Romano, Chiara; Coenjaerts, Johan; Mar Flexas, M.; Zúñiga, Diana; Martin, Daniel

    2013-11-01

    Despite recent advances in the knowledge of submarine canyons ecosystems, our understanding of the faunal patterns and processes in these environments is still marginal. In this study, meiobenthic nematode communities (from 300 m to 1600 m depth) obtained in November 2003 and May 2004 at eight stations inside and outside Blanes submarine canyon were analysed for nematode standing stocks (SSs), feeding types and gender-life stage distributions. Environmental data were obtained by sediment traps and current meters, attached to moorings (April 2003-May 2004), and sediments samples analysed for biogeochemistry and grain size (May 2004). In November 2003, nematode SSs decreased with increasing depth (367.2 individuals and 7.31 μg C per 10 cm2 at 388 m water depth to 7.7 individuals and 0.18 μg C per 10 cm2 at 1677 m water depth), showing a significant negative relation (abundance: R2 = 0.620, p = 0.020; biomass: R2 = 0.512, p = 0.046). This was not the case in May 2004 (283.5 individuals and 3.53 μg C per 10 cm2 at 388 m water depth to 490.8 individuals and 4.93 μg C per 10 cm2 at 1677 m water depth; abundance: R2 = 0.003, p = 0.902; biomass: R2 = 0.052, p = 0.587), suggesting a temporal effect that overrides the traditional decrease of SSs with increasing water depth. Both water depth and sampling time played a significant role in explaining nematode SSs, but with differences between stations. No overall differences were observed between canyon and open slope stations. Nematode standing stock (SS) patterns can be explained by taking into account the interplay of phytodetrital input and disturbance events, with station differences such as topography playing an important role. Individual nematode size decreased from November 2003 to May 2004 and was explained by a food-induced genera shift and/or a food-induced transition from a ‘latent’ to a ‘reproductive’ nematode community. Our results suggest that size patterns in nematode communities are not solely

  10. Demography and movement patterns of leopard sharks (Triakis semifasciata) aggregating near the head of a submarine canyon along the open coast of southern California, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nosal, D.C.; Cartamil, D.C.; Long, J.W.; Luhrmann, M.; Wegner, N.C.; Graham, J.B.

    2013-01-01

    The demography, spatial distribution, and movement patterns of leopard sharks (Triakis semifasciata) aggregating near the head of a submarine canyon in La Jolla, California, USA, were investigated to resolve the causal explanations for this and similar shark aggregations. All sharks sampled from the aggregation site (n=140) were sexually mature and 97.1 % were female. Aerial photographs taken during tethered balloon surveys revealed high densities of milling sharks of up to 5470 sharks ha-1. Eight sharks were each tagged with a continuous acoustic transmitter and manually tracked without interruption for up to 48 h. Sharks exhibited strong site-fidelity and were generally confined to a divergence (shadow) zone of low wave energy, which results from wave refraction over the steep bathymetric contours of the submarine canyon. Within this divergence zone, the movements of sharks were strongly localized over the seismically active Rose Canyon Fault. Tracked sharks spent most of their time in shallow water (≤2 m for 71.0 % and ≤10 m for 95.9 % of time), with some dispersing to deeper (max: 53.9 m) and cooler (min: 12.7 °C) water after sunset, subsequently returning by sunrise. These findings suggest multiple functions of this aggregation and that the mechanism controlling its formation, maintenance, and dissolution is complex and rooted in the sharks' variable response to numerous confounding environmental factors.

  11. Paleocene Sepultura Formation: submarine canyon at La Mesa, Baja California, Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Tellez-Duarte, M.A.; Navarro-Fuentes, J.C.; Valdez-Noriega, M.A.

    1988-03-01

    The Paleocene Sepultura Formation has been interpreted as the result of both deposition in a basin that varied in depth from strandline to at least 30-40 fathoms, and to widely distributed fluvial deposition. At La Mesa, east of Puerto Santa Catarina, Baja California, an excellent exposure exhibits canyon-fed sediments not reported in other places for this formation. The sediments at La Mesa consist of a sequence of alternating clastics and resedimented carbonate materials. The sequence begins with fine sandstone cut by channels, which indicates gravity-induced catastrophic sedimentation, such as debris flows. The channels are filled with massive nodular algal limestone with rip-up clasts of sandstone, some of them 1 m wide, with abundant Turritella pachecoensis and Venericardia sp. The massive limestone is overlain by clastic sediments that, in places, exhibit slumping and laminar bedding with limestone rip-ups. Apparently this unit is an upper-fan deposit. The nodular limestone grades laterally into thin-bedded calcarenites. These allodapic limestones exhibit A and B divisions of the Bouma sequence, similar to overbank levee deposits.

  12. Swept Away by a Turbidity Current in Mendocino Submarine Canyon, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sumner, E.; Paull, C. K.

    2015-12-01

    Direct observations of turbidity currents in the ocean are rare, yet essential for validating and developing conceptual models of these enigmatic flows. We present a novel set of observations and measurements collected by a remotely operated vehicle entrained within a turbidity current in Mendocino Canyon, California. The flow had a two layer structure with a thin (0.5 to 30 m), relatively dense (<0.04 vol %) and fast (up to ~1.7 m/s) wedge-shaped lower layer overlain by a thicker (up to 89m) more dilute and slower current. The fast moving lower layer lagged the slow moving, dilute flow front by 14 min, which we infer resulted from the interaction of two initial pulses. The two layers were strongly coupled, and the sharp interface between the layers was characterized by a wave-like instability. This is the first field-scale data from a turbidity current to show (i) the complex dynamics of the head of a turbidity current and (ii) the presence of multiple layers within the same event. This data set provides a new perspective on the character of turbidity currents in the ocean. The data pose challenges not simply for understanding the dynamics of turbidity currents but also for how we interpret existing data based on cable breaks and how we might measure similar flows in the future.

  13. The End of Monterey Submarine Canyon Incision and Potential River Source Areas-Os, Nd, and Pb Isotope Constraints from Hydrogenetic Fe-Mn Crusts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conrad, T. A.; Nielsen, S.; Ehrenbrink, B. P. E.; Blusztajn, J.; Hein, J. R.; Paytan, A.

    2015-12-01

    The Monterey Canyon off central California is the largest submarine canyon off North America and is comparable in scale to the Grand Canyon. The age and history of the Monterey Canyon are poorly constrained due to thick sediment cover and sediment disruption from turbidity currents. To address this deficit we analyzed isotopic proxies (Os, Pb, Nd) from hydrogenetic ferromanganese (Fe-Mn) crusts, which grow over millions of years on elevated rock surfaces by precipitation of metals from seawater. Fe-Mn crusts were studied from Davidson Seamount near the base of the Monterey submarine fan, the Taney Seamount Chain, and from Hoss Seamount, which serves as a regional control (Fig.). Fe-Mn crusts were dated using Os isotope ratios compared to those that define the Cenozoic Os isotope seawater curve. Four Fe-Mn crust samples from Davidson and Taney Seamounts deviate from the Os isotopic seawater curve towards radiogenic values after 4.5±1 Ma. Osmium is well mixed in the global ocean and is not subject to significant diffusive reequilibration in Fe-Mn crusts. We therefore attribute deviations from the Os isotope seawater curve to large-scale terrestrial input that ended about 4.5±1 Ma. The two Davidson samples also show more radiogenic Nd isotope values from about 4.5±1 Ma. Lead isotopes in one Davidson Seamount crust, measured by LA-ICPMS, deviate from regional values after 4.5±1 Ma for about 500 ka towards terrestrial sources. The Taney Seamount Fe-Mn crust does not deviate from regional Nd nor Pb isotope values due to its greater distance from Monterey Canyon and the shorter marine residence times of Nd and Pb. Isotope plots of our crust data and compiled data for potential source rocks indicate that the river that carved Monterey Canyon carried sediment with values closer to the Sierra Nevada than to a Colorado Plateau source, with cessation of major riverine input occurring approximately 4.5±1 Ma, an age that we interpret as the end of the Monterey Canyon

  14. Multibeam Bathymetric Survey of the Ipala Submarine Canyon, Jalisco. Mexico (20°N): The Southern Boundary of the Banderas Forearc Block?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urias Espinosa, J.; Bandy, W. L.; Mortera-Gutierrez, C. A.; Nuñez-Cornu, F. J.; Mitchell, N. C.

    2015-12-01

    The Middle America Trench bends sharply northward at 20°N. This, along with the close proximity of the Rivera-North America Euler pole (e.g., Suárez et al., 2103) to the northern end of the Middle American trench (the Jalisco Subduction Zone), produces a sharp increase in the obliquity of subduction at 20°N. By analogy with other subduction zones where this situation occurs,a significant trench parallel extensional stress field is expected to exist in the forearc region near the bend. Given the poor bathymetric coverage previously existing in this area, to verify that such stresses are present in the forearc area of the Jalisco Subduction Zone, multibeam bathymetric, seafloor backscatter and sub-bottom seismic reflection data were collected during the MORTIC08 campaign of the B.O. EL PUMA using the Kongsberg EM300 multibeam system and TOPAS sub-bottom profiler. Consistent with the analogy, these data image in detail a large submarine canyon extending from the coast at 20°05'N to the Middle America Trench at 19°50'N. This canyon, which we call the Ipala canyon (the canyon head lies offshore of the town of Ipala, Jalisco) is approximately 120km in length and is most likely fed by two, possibly three, small rivers, namely: the Ipala, Tecolotlán and Maria Garza rivers. . The seafloor and subbottom seismic reflection images also expose the tectonic processes that are actively influencing the present day geomorphology of the canyon region. Specifically, the new information indicates that much of the physical geography of seafloor is the result of active tectonic deformation of the plate margin, including uplift, erosion along structural lineaments and faulting. Of particular interest, the canyon is deflected by almost 90° at three locations, the deflections all having a similar azimuth of between 125° and 130°. Given the prominence and geometry of this canyon, along with its tectonic setting, we propose that this canyon is the result of extensional stresses

  15. Hazard assessment for a submarine landslide generated local-source tsunami from Kaikoura Canyon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DuBois, J.

    2012-04-01

    The Kaikoura Canyon, sediment sink for the Canterbury rivers north of Christchurch, comes to within 500 meters of shore at Goose Bay and accumulates approximately 1.5x106 m3 of sediment each year (Lewis and Barnes, 1999). This sediment, which has accumulated to about seventy meters in thickness (Walters et al., 2006), exhibits tensional fractures, is located in a tectonically active area and could result in catastrophic failure and potentially a local-source tsunami (Lewis and Banes, 1999; Lewis, 1998; Walters et al, 2006). Evidence suggests that this may have happened in the last two hundred years (Lewis, 1998; Lewis and Barnes 1999) and with a return period on the nearby Alpine and Hope faults also in the range of a one to two hundred years (Walters et al, 2006) could happen again relatively soon. A review of the historical record and oral traditions for Kaikoura shows that historically Kaikoura has been affected by 11 events of which 10 are from distant sources and one, though debatable, is possibly from a local source. There are some preserved traditions for the Kaikoura area. These taniwha stories from near Oaro and from the Lyell Creek have been repeated and changed though time though the general essence remains the same. These taniwha legends, though not conclusive, indicate a dangerous shoreline where people have been killed in the past, possibly by flooding or tsunami. Archaeological investigations at Kaikoura found evidence of a Maori occupational layers interrupted by water-worn stones, a "lens of clean gravel between occupation layers" and in other areas of the excavation, the gravels separate discontinuous periods of occupation (Fomison 1963; Foster, 2006). Additionally "pea-gravel" sized greywacke pebbles were found dispersed throughout sections of the South Bay shore platforms, though they were attributesd to slopewash (Duckmanton, 1974) this is less likely since the nearby hills are limestone. A geological investigation along the Kaikoura Coast, at

  16. Seismic Analysis across the Deformation Front: implications for channel migration in the upper reach of the Penghu Submarine Canyon, Offshore Southwestern Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Wei-Chung; Liu, Char-Shine; Chi, Wu-Cheng; Wang, Yun-shuen

    2014-05-01

    This study analyzes both 2D and 3D seismic images in the upper reach of the Penghu Submarine Canyon to investigate sedimentary and structural processes in this tectonically active zone. The study area lies across the deformation front which separates the rifted South China Sea (SCS) continental slope to the west from the submarine Taiwan accretionary wedge to the east. Using 3D seismic images, several structural and sedimentary features have been identified: in the rifted SCS slope domain, besides the paleo-slope surface, buried submarine channels and mass transport deposits (MTDs), a reverse reactivated normal fault system is recognized, while in the accretionary wedge domain, the fold and thrust structures are dominate. The reverse fault system we interpreted in the rifted SCS slope domain was a normal fault in the past, and then reactivated to become a reverse fault through the arc-continent collision processes. Since the deformation front is defined as the location of the most frontal contractional structures along a convergent plate boundary, no contractional structures should appear west of it. We thus suggest to move the location of the previously mapped deformation front further west to where the reactivated fault lies. High resolution 2D seismic and bathymetry data reveal that the directions of the paleo-submarine channels ran in an across-slope direction, while the present submarine channels head down slope in the study area. The channel migration model we proposed suggests that this might be the result of the fault reactivation. The interactions of down-slope processes and active structural controls affect the channel paths in our study area.

  17. Terrigenous organic matter signals in submarine canyons along the southwestern Gulf of Lion margin during Dense Shelf Water Cascading and quiescent conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasqual, Catalina; Tesi, Tomasso; Sanchez-Vidal, Anna; Goñi, Miguel; Calafat, Antoni; Lee, Cindy; Canals, Miquel

    2010-05-01

    Previous projects in the Gulf of Lion have analyzed the path of terrigenous compounds in the Rhone deltaic system, the continental shelf and the canyon heads. In this study we present results from the HERMES project, focused on the GoL slope to further assess the particulate exchange with the interior ocean. Experimental design consisted in nine sediment traps deployed along the Lacaze-Duthiers and Cap de Creus submarine canyons (from the canyon heads to the canyon mouth) and the southern open slope during 1 year. Sediment trap materials were analyzed by CuO oxidation to investigate spatial and temporal variability in the yields and compositional characteristics of lignin-derived phenols. These organic biomarkers are uniquely synthesized by vascular plants, most of which inhabit the aerial ecosystems, and have been used extensively to trace the contribution and source of terrigenous organic matter in many environments. Sediment trap data indicate that the Dense Shelf Water Cascading event that took place in winter 2006 dominates overall particle fluxes in both canyons. During the deployment, fluxes of biogeochemical parameters were positively correlated with the total mass flux. Lignin fluxes were also highly correlated with mass fluxes, but the ratio of lignin to lithogenic material and lignin composition varied significantly indicating significant changes in the composition and nature of land-derived materials mobilized along both canyons. For example, during the DSWC period land-derived material is not significantly enriched in lignins and main changes in lignin composition are the enrichment in vanillyn phenols respect to syringyl and cinamyl phenols in the middle Cap de Creus canyon and upper open slope samples. Lithogenic-normalized lignin contents were higher during late spring and summer at all stations, when overall particle fluxes are relatively low. During these periods, lignin compositions were characterized by elevated cinnamyl to vanillyl phenol

  18. Structure-Forming Corals and Sponges and Their Use as Fish Habitat in Bering Sea Submarine Canyons

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Robert J.; Hocevar, John; Stone, Robert P.; Fedorov, Dmitry V.

    2012-01-01

    Continental margins are dynamic, heterogeneous settings that can include canyons, seamounts, and banks. Two of the largest canyons in the world, Zhemchug and Pribilof, cut into the edge of the continental shelf in the southeastern Bering Sea. Here currents and upwelling interact to produce a highly productive area, termed the Green Belt, that supports an abundance of fishes and squids as well as birds and marine mammals. We show that in some areas the floor of these canyons harbors high densities of gorgonian and pennatulacean corals and sponges, likely due to enhanced surface productivity, benthic currents and seafloor topography. Rockfishes, including the commercially important Pacific ocean perch, Sebastes alutus, were associated with corals and sponges as well as with isolated boulders. Sculpins, poachers and pleuronectid flounders were also associated with corals in Pribilof Canyon, where corals were most abundant. Fishes likely use corals and sponges as sources of vertical relief, which may harbor prey as well as provide shelter from predators. Boulders may be equivalent habitat in this regard, but are sparse in the canyons, strongly suggesting that biogenic structure is important fish habitat. Evidence of disturbance to the benthos from fishing activities was observed in these remote canyons. Bottom trawling and other benthic fishing gear has been shown to damage corals and sponges that may be very slow to recover from such disturbance. Regulation of these destructive practices is key to conservation of benthic habitats in these canyons and the ecosystem services they provide. PMID:22470486

  19. Structure-forming corals and sponges and their use as fish habitat in Bering Sea submarine canyons.

    PubMed

    Miller, Robert J; Hocevar, John; Stone, Robert P; Fedorov, Dmitry V

    2012-01-01

    Continental margins are dynamic, heterogeneous settings that can include canyons, seamounts, and banks. Two of the largest canyons in the world, Zhemchug and Pribilof, cut into the edge of the continental shelf in the southeastern Bering Sea. Here currents and upwelling interact to produce a highly productive area, termed the Green Belt, that supports an abundance of fishes and squids as well as birds and marine mammals. We show that in some areas the floor of these canyons harbors high densities of gorgonian and pennatulacean corals and sponges, likely due to enhanced surface productivity, benthic currents and seafloor topography. Rockfishes, including the commercially important Pacific ocean perch, Sebastes alutus, were associated with corals and sponges as well as with isolated boulders. Sculpins, poachers and pleuronectid flounders were also associated with corals in Pribilof Canyon, where corals were most abundant. Fishes likely use corals and sponges as sources of vertical relief, which may harbor prey as well as provide shelter from predators. Boulders may be equivalent habitat in this regard, but are sparse in the canyons, strongly suggesting that biogenic structure is important fish habitat. Evidence of disturbance to the benthos from fishing activities was observed in these remote canyons. Bottom trawling and other benthic fishing gear has been shown to damage corals and sponges that may be very slow to recover from such disturbance. Regulation of these destructive practices is key to conservation of benthic habitats in these canyons and the ecosystem services they provide. PMID:22470486

  20. Biophysical Factors Affecting the Distribution of Demersal Fish around the Head of a Submarine Canyon Off the Bonney Coast, South Australia

    PubMed Central

    Currie, David R.; McClatchie, Sam; Middleton, John F.; Nayar, Sasi

    2012-01-01

    We sampled the demersal fish community of the Bonney Canyon, South Australia at depths (100–1,500 m) and locations that are poorly known. Seventy-eight species of demersal fish were obtained from 12 depth-stratified trawls along, and to either side, of the central canyon axis. Distributional patterns in species richness and biomass were highly correlated. Three fish assemblage groupings, characterised by small suites of species with narrow depth distributions, were identified on the shelf, upper slope and mid slope. The assemblage groupings were largely explained by depth (ρw = 0.78). Compared to the depth gradient, canyon-related effects are weak or occur at spatial or temporal scales not sampled in this study. A conceptual physical model displayed features consistent with the depth zonational patterns in fish, and also indicated that canyon upwelling can occur. The depth zonation of the fish assemblage was associated with the depth distribution of water masses in the area. Notably, the mid-slope community (1,000 m) coincided with a layer of Antarctic Intermediate Water, the upper slope community (500 m) resided within the core of the Flinders Current, and the shelf community was located in a well-mixed layer of surface water (<450 m depth). PMID:22253907

  1. The controlling factors on the submarine canyon system: a case study of the Central Canyon System in the Qiongdongnan Basin, northern South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, Ming; Zhang, Cheng; Xie, Xinong; Wang, Zhenfeng; Jiang, Tao; He, Yunlong; Zhang, Cuimei

    2013-04-01

    Based on the integrated analysis of the high-resolution 2D-3D seismic data and the drilling data, this study analyzed the tectonic-sedimentary evolution since Late Miocene, and discussed the controlling factors on the formation and development of the CCS. The sediment failure caused by the relative sea level falling could discharge the deposits from the slope to the canyon. The two suits of the infillings, the turbidite and the mass transport complex, were derived the northwestern source and northern source respectively. The distinct different sediment supplies from the different areas, would lead to the variation of the internal architectures. The tectonic transformation around 11.6 Ma provided the tectonic setting for the CCS and formed an axial sub-basin in the central part of the Changchang Depression, which could be suggested as the rudiment of the CCS. The tectonic activity of the Red River Fault at 5.7 Ma could strengthen the hydrodynamics of the deposits at the junction of the Yinggehai Basin and the Qiongdongnan Basin, and trigger the high energy turbidite current. The mass transport complex from the northern continental slope system would be constrained by the Southern Uplift, which played as the barrier for the infillings of the CCS. Due to the sufficient sediment supply during the Holocene period and the paleo-seafloor morphology, the relief of modern central canyon with the starving shaped in the eastern Changchang Depression may be accentuated by deposition of sediments and vertical growth along the canyon flanks, where the collapse deposits were widely developed. Corresponding to the segmentation of the CCS, the forming mechanisms of the canyon between the three segments would be different. The turbidite channel in the head area was triggered by the abundant sediment supply from northwestern source together with the fault activity at 5.7 Ma of the Red River Fault. The formation and evolution of the canyon in the western segment should be the combined

  2. Architecture and development of a multi-stage Baiyun submarine slide complex in the Pearl River Canyon, northern South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Lei; Wu, Shi-Guo; Li, Qing-Ping; Wang, Da-Wei; Fu, Shao-Ying

    2014-08-01

    The Baiyun submarine slide complex (BSSC) along the Pearl River Canyon of the northern South China Sea has been imaged by multibeam bathymetry and 2D/3D seismic data. By means of maximum likelihood classification with slope aspect and gradient as inputs, the BSSC is subdivided into four domains, denoted as slide area I, II, III and IV. Slide area I is surrounded by cliffs on three sides and has been intensely reshaped by turbidity currents generated by other kinds of mass movement outside the area; slide area II incorporates a shield volcano with a diameter of approximately 10 km and unconfined slides possibly resulting from the toe collapse of inter-canyon ridges; slide area III is dominated by repeated slides that mainly originated from cliffs constituting the eastern boundary of the BSSC; slide area IV is distinguished by a conical seamount with a diameter of 6.5 km and a height of 375 m, and two slides probably having a common source that are separated from each other by a suite of residual strata. The BSSC is interpreted to be composed of numerous slide events, which occurred in the period from 10.5 to 5.5 Ma BP. Six specific factors may have contributed to the development of the BSSC, i.e., gas hydrate dissociation, gas-bearing sediments, submarine volcanic activity, seismicity, sedimentation rate and seafloor geomorphology. A 2D conceptual geological model combining these factors is proposed as a plausible mechanism explaining the formation of the BSSC. However, the BSSC may also have been affected by the Dongsha event (10 Ma BP) as an overriding factor.

  3. Mechanisms of vegetation-induced channel narrowing of an unregulated canyon river: Results from a natural field-scale experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manners, Rebecca B.; Schmidt, John C.; Scott, Michael L.

    2014-04-01

    The lower Yampa River in Yampa Canyon, western Colorado serves as a natural, field-scale experiment, initiated when the invasive riparian plant, tamarisk (Tamarix spp.), colonized an unregulated river. In response to tamarisk's rapid invasion, the channel narrowed by 6% in the widest reaches since 1961. Taking advantage of this unique setting, we reconstructed the geomorphic and vegetation history in order to identify the key mechanisms for which, in the absence of other environmental perturbations, vegetation alters fluvial processes that result in a narrower channel. From our reconstruction, we identified a distinct similarity in the timing and magnitude of tamarisk encroachment and channel change, albeit with a lag in the channel response, thus suggesting tamarisk as the driving force. Within a decade of establishment, tamarisk effectively trapped sediment and, as a result, increased floodplain construction rates. Increasing tamarisk coverage over time also reduced the occurrence of floodplain stripping. Tamarisk recruitment was driven by both hydrologic and hydraulic variables, and the majority of tamarisk plants (84%) established below the stage of the 2-year flood. Thus, upon establishment nearly all plants regularly interact with the flow and sediment transport field. Our analyses were predicated on the hypothesis that the flow regime of the Yampa River was stationary, and that only the riparian vegetation community had changed. While not heavily impacted by water development, we determined that some aspects of the flow regime have shifted. However, this shift, which involved the clustering in time of extremely wet and dry years, did not influence fluvial processes directly. Instead these changes directly impacted riparian vegetation and changes in vegetation cover, in turn, altered fluvial processes. Today, the rate of channel change and new tamarisk recruitment is small. We believe that the rapid expansion of tamarisk and related floodplain construction

  4. Morphology, sedimentary features and evolution of a large palaeo submarine canyon in Qiongdongnan basin, Northern South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Xiangquan; Fairweather, Luke; Wu, Shiguo; Ren, Jianye; Zhang, Hongjie; Quan, Xiayun; Jiang, Tao; Zhang, Cheng; Su, Ming; He, Yunlong; Wang, Dawei

    2013-01-01

    The large Miocene-aged palaeo canyon that extents through the Qiongdongnan basin (QDNB) and Yinggehai basin (YGHB) of Northern South China Sea has been of considerable interest both economically and scientifically over the past decade. Stemmed from this, significant research has been employed into understanding the mechanism for its existence, incision, and sedimentary fill, yet debate remains. In the first case the canyon itself is actually quite anomalous. Alone from the size (over 570 km in length and more than 8 km in width (Yuan et al., 2009)), which is considerably more than most ancient deep-water channels (REFS), the canyon's sedimentary fill is also distinctly different. Some explanations have been given to explain the canyon's origin and existence, these include increased sediment supply from the Red River which is genetically linked to uplift of the Tibetan Plateau, lowstand turbidite and mass-transport activity, reactivation and dextral displacement of the Red River Fault zone inducing erosive gravity-flows, regional tilt of the QDNB and YGHB, paleo-seafloor morphology and seal-level fluctuations. With the application of new data obtained from interpretations of a large number of 2D seismic profiles, core and well log data, and tectonic and sedimentary analysis this contribution aims to: (1) Present models to explain the Canyon's sedimentary fill and basin plain deposits, which provided significant understanding of processes pre-, syn- and post-incision and; (2) review the plausibility and likelihood of each of the controlling mechanisms, hoping to shed light on this controversial aspect. We conclude that the final erosive event that shaped the canyon is dated at 5.5 Ma. The Canyon's unusual fill is a product of variation in the interaction between turbidity currents and MTD that blocked the canyon's axis, and the reduction in gravity flow energy through time; and therefore the complete succession represents one major erosive and cut event at 5.5 Ma and

  5. Are deep-sea organisms dwelling within a submarine canyon more at risk from anthropogenic contamination than those from the adjacent open slope? A case study of Blanes canyon (NW Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koenig, Samuel; Fernández, Pilar; Company, Joan B.; Huertas, David; Solé, Montserrat

    2013-11-01

    Due to their geomorphological structure and proximity to the coastline, submarine canyons may act as natural conduit routes for anthropogenic contaminants that are transported from surface waters to the deep-sea. Organisms dwelling in these canyon environments might thus be at risk of experiencing adverse health effects due to higher pollution exposure. To address this question, chemical and biochemical analyses were conducted on two of the most abundant deep-sea fish species in the study area, namely Alepocephalus rostratus and Lepidion lepidion, and the most abundant deep-sea commercial decapod crustacean Aristeus antennatus sampled inside Blanes canyon (BC) and on the adjacent open slope (OS). Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) levels, including polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and derivatives, hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs) and hexachlorobenzene (HCB) were determined in muscle tissue of selected samples from 900 m and 1500 m depth. Potential effects resulting from contaminant exposure were determined using hepatic biomarkers such as ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD), pentoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (PROD), catalase (CAT), carboxylesterase (CbE), glutathione-S-transferase (GST), total glutathione peroxidase (GPX), glutathione reductase (GR) and superoxide-dismutase (SOD) enzyme activities and lipid peroxidation levels (LP). L. lepidion and A. antennatus tissues exhibited higher POP levels inside BC compared to the OS at 900 m depth. These findings were consistent with biomarker data (i.e. enzymatic response to presence of contaminant agents). Elevated xenobiotic-metabolizing (EROD and PROD) and antioxidant enzymes (CAT and GPX) indicated higher contaminant exposure in both species caught within BC. No difference in POP accumulation between sites was observed in L. lepidion at 1500 m depth, nor in biomarker data, suggesting that the pollution gradient was less pronounced at greater depths. This trend was further corroborated

  6. Marine litter in the upper São Vicente submarine canyon (SW Portugal): Abundance, distribution, composition and fauna interactions.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Frederico; Monteiro, Pedro; Bentes, Luis; Henriques, Nuno Sales; Aguilar, Ricardo; Gonçalves, Jorge M S

    2015-08-15

    Marine litter has become a worldwide environmental problem, tainting all ocean habitats. The abundance, distribution and composition of litter and its interactions with fauna were evaluated in the upper S. Vicente canyon using video images from 3 remote operated vehicle exploratory dives. Litter was present in all dives and the abundance was as high as 3.31 items100m(-1). Mean abundance of litter over rock bottom was higher than on soft substrate. Mean litter abundance was slightly higher than reported for other canyons on the Portuguese margin, but lower in comparison to more urbanized coastal areas of the world. Lost fishing gear was the prevalent type of litter, indicating that the majority of litter originates from maritime sources, mainly fishing activity. Physical contact with sessile fauna and entanglement of specimens were the major impacts of lost fishing gear. Based on the importance of this region for the local fishermen, litter abundance is expected to increase. PMID:26051154

  7. Submarine canyon, slope, and shelf sedimentation in an upper Eocene-Oligocene progradational system (Limnos Island, north Aegean Sea, Greece)

    SciTech Connect

    Roussos, N.

    1988-08-01

    The only well-exposed outcrops of a post-Alpine late Eocene-Oligocene basin in the north Aegean Sea are at Limnos Island. These mostly consist of typical slope deposits overlain by remnants of shallow marine shelf and continental (braided-river) deposits. Three main slope lithofacies are distinguished. Canyon deposits consist of thick-bedded, massive, and pebbly sandstones (facies B), conglomerates (facies A), pebbly mudstone where the matrix shows flow (facies F), rock falls (nummulitic limestones), and zones of slump folds in sandstones (facies F). Channelized facies of massive sandstones, classical turbidites, and thin interbeds of sandstone and mudstone (facies E - probably overbank or levee deposits) are associated with canyon deposits. Pelagic and hemipelagic slope deposits consist of mudstone (facies G) and thin-bedded sandstone (facies D) with occasional small to medium-scale slump folds. These mud-rich slope deposits are incised by several channels filled with conglomerates, thick massive sandstones with well-developed dish structures, and turbidites interbedded with thin layers of mudstone (facies C). This unit composes a typical thinning and fining-upward sequence.

  8. Initiation and evolution processes of submarine instabilities and canyons: insights from the Northern margin of the Gulf of Aden.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baurion, Céline; Gorini, Christian; Leroy, Sylvie; Lucazeau, Francis; Bache, François; Al-Toubi, Khalfan

    2010-05-01

    The study of turbiditic systems and their interactions (sea-level falls, floods, earthquakes) are not well known and require the comparison of observations in various geological contexts. On young continental margins, it provides informations on sedimentological processes during early phases of rifting, for which vertical movements (subsidence, uplift) can be more important. The understanding of facies and depositional sequences is a major challenge for the knowledge of the post-rift tectono-sedimentological evolution of the Gulf of Aden, rare current example of young passive margin. The data were acquired during oceanographic cruises (ENCENS-SHEBA (Leroy et al 2004; and ENCENS; Leroy et al 2006). The Northern margin has been studied by both a stratigraphic (seismic reflection data) and a semi-quantitative geomorphologic approach (acoustic imagery, bathymetry and ground DEM) leading firstly to a morphologies classification. This "seismic geomorphology" study let us to distinguish three sedimentological domains, which match to the structural segmentation inherited from the formation of margin in oblique rifting context. All the incision/erosion stages of continental slope (from slope instabilities set up to the formation of mature canyon) observed on the eastern part of the margin lead to an incision shaping model on a steep continental slope. The sedimentary record is strongly controlled by a recent tectonic phase. Vertical movements lead to the formation of numerous instabilities on the continental slope and Mass-Transport Deposits (MTDs) on the lower slope and deep basin. The drainage network extraction shows the sporadic connexion between some of rivers and noticed deep sea fans (which extending canyons with axial incision). Links with the continental drainage network are probably interfered with the recent vertical movements. The quaternary uplift rate increase eastward, toward the Socotra-Hadbeen transform fault zone. The recurrence of the gravitational events

  9. The community of deep-sea decapod crustaceans between 175 and 2600 m in submarine canyons of a volcanic oceanic island (central-eastern Atlantic)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pajuelo, José G.; Triay-Portella, Raül; Santana, José I.; González, José A.

    2015-11-01

    The community structure and faunal composition of deep-sea decapod crustaceans in submarine canyons on the slope off Gran Canaria Island (Canary Islands, central-eastern Atlantic) were investigated. Samples were collected during five research cruises (115 stations) at depths between 175 and 2554 m. A total of 26387 decapod specimens, belonging to 24 families and 38 species, were collected with traps. A cluster analysis of the stations showed four distinct assemblages: (i) in the transition area between shelf and slope (175-302 m); (ii) on the upper slope (361-789 m); (iii) on the middle slope (803-1973 m); and iv) on the lower slope (2011-2554 m). The deep-sea decapod fauna of the Canary Islands is dominated by shrimp of the family Pandalidae, which make up more than 23% of the species. Within the Pandalidae, species of the genus Plesionika stand out as those of greatest abundance on the island slope. The greatest diversity of species was located on the upper slope. The standardized mean abundance and mean biomass for the transition zone between the shelf and slope and for the upper slope were nearly 5 times greater in abundance and 4 times greater in biomass than those estimated for the middle slope, and nearly 53 and 29 times greater for the lower slope, indicating a lower abundance and biomass at the shallower part of the insular slope. The mean weight per individual showed an increasing pattern with depth and an inverse pattern with the bottom temperature and salinity. The existence of depth boundaries around the Canary Islands is known to be closely linked to oceanographic conditions, determined by the water masses present in this archipelago explaining the discontinuities observed at depths of 800 and 2000 m. The boundary observed inside the bathymetric region of the Eastern North Atlantic Central Water can be related with the transition zone between the shelf and the slope of the island.

  10. Initiation and evolution processes of submarine instabilities and canyons: Insights from the Northern margin of the Gulf of Aden

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Céline, B.; Christian, G.; Leroy, S.; Francis, L.; François, B.; Al-Toubi, K. I.

    2010-12-01

    The study of turbiditic systems and their interactions (climate, tectonic) are not well known in monsoon-influenced areas and on young margins. The Gulf of Aden is a good example of young stretched margin (35-18 Ma), where post-rift sediments are recording the intensification of the Asian monsoon (~7-8 Ma). Therefore the understanding of facies and depositional sequences on this margin is a major challenge for the knowledge of the interactions between sedimentological processes and the dynamic of a young stretched margin. In this paper, the Northern margin of the Gulf of Aden (South Sultanate of Oman; Dhofar) has been studied by both a stratigraphic (seismic reflection data) and a semi-quantitative geomorphologic approach (acoustic imagery, bathymetry and ground DEM) leading firstly to a morphology classification. Three morphological domains have been defined, which match to the structural segmentation inherited from the Oligocene-Miocene margin formation in an oblique rifting context. On the eastern part of the margin, the quaternary to current sedimentary record is strongly controlled by a late uplift. Vertical movements lead to the formation of numerous gravitational instabilities on the continental slope and Mass-Transport Complexes (MTCs) on the lower slope and deep basin. All the incision/erosion stages of the continental slope, from slope instabilities to the formation of mature canyon, are observed on the eastern part of the margin and lead to an incision shaping model on a tectonically controlled steep slope. A main sedimentological switch at least 10 Ma affects the eastern basin of the Gulf of Aden and is characterized by the first occurrence and evolution of deep sea fans and associated MTCs. This supersequence can be divided in two sequences: the first occurrences of MTCs and deep sea fans on the whole margin in the sedimentological record, and only on the eastern part of the margin, the second MTCs event linked to the rising mean slope value. Two

  11. Subinertial canyon resonance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clarke, Allan J.; Van Gorder, Stephen

    2016-04-01

    Near the bottom of a narrow canyon currents that oscillate back and forth along the bottom slope hx in a stratified ocean of buoyancy frequency N do so with a natural internal gravitational frequency Nhx. From May 2012 to May 2013 Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler measurements were made at 715 m depth in the deep narrow part of the DeSoto Canyon south of Pensacola, Florida, in water with 2π/Nhx ≈ 2.5 days. Above the canyon the flow follows the large-scale isobaths, but beneath the canyon rim the current oscillates along the canyon axis with 2-3 day periodicity, and is much stronger than and uncorrelated with the overlying flow. A simple theoretical model explains the resonant response. Published observations from the Hudson and Gully canyons suggest that the strong subinertial current oscillations observed in these canyons occur close to the relevant local frequency Nhx, consistent with the proposed simple model physics.

  12. Impact of Submarine Geohazards on Organic Carbon Burial Offshore Southwestern Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, C. C.; Tsai, P. H.; Liu, J. T.; Hsu, S. K.; Chiu, S. D.

    2015-12-01

    The tectonically active setting and climatic conditions give Taiwan a high exposure to severe natural hazards. After the Pingtung Earthquake and Morakot Typhoon which occurred in 2006 and 2009, the turbidity currents caused a series of submarine cable breaks along the Gaoping and Fangliao Submarine Canyons off SW Taiwan. Large amounts of terrestrial sediments were fast transported bypass the narrow continental shelf and rapidly moved southward through submarine canyons to the deep sea. Two piston cores which were taken from the Tsangyao Ridge and its adjacent area (OR5-1302-2-MT7 and MT6) might shed light on understanding the export of terrestrial organic carbon to the abyss by submarine geo-hazards. The 210Pb profile of MT7 in conjunction with the grain size data indicates the existence of the Pingtung Earthquake and Morakot Typhoon related deposits. The sedimentation rate of these two cores which derived from 210Pb is approximately 0.05 cm/yr. The cores collected from the Gaoping Submarine Canyon, Gaoping Slope and Fangliao Submarine Canyon are used for analyzing TOC, organic C/N and δ13C ratios. The concentrations of total organic carbon are ~0.5%, and C/N rations almost remain between 4 and 8. The high TOC (~1%) and C/N ratio (>10) are observed in the samples with plant debris. The fluctuation of TOC and C/N ratios in near-shore samples is higher than deep sea. In terms of δ13C-values, it progressively decreases with distances from coastal zone to the deep sea. Due to the larger proportions of land-derived organic carbon, the δ13C-values in the surface sediment of upper Gaoping Submarine Canyon, Gaoping Slope, and the turbidite layers at the head of Fangliao Submarine Canyon are lighter. Furthermore, we use the TOC concentrations and δ13C-values to estimate the fractional contributions of terrestrial organic carbon by a simple two component mixing model, and integrate with the 210Pb-derived sediment accumulation rates to evaluate the organic carbon burial

  13. Unusual occurrence and stratigraphic significance of the Glossifungites ichnofacies in a submarine paleo-canyon — Example from a Pliocene shelf-edge delta, Southeast Trinidad

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dasgupta, Sudipta; Buatois, Luis A.

    2012-08-01

    Sedimentary rocks belonging to the upper-slope shelf-margin delta of the Paleo-Orinoco River are present at the southeast coastline of Trinidad in the Columbus Basin. The Pliocene Mayaro Formation, exposed as foreshore cliffs, represents the wave-influenced delta front and mouth bar of this system. These deposits consist of thick to very thick hummocky cross-stratified sandstone beds and thin-bedded to laminated heterolithic sediments. They also contain abundant soft-sediment deformation structures and sparse well-preserved softground burrows (e.g. Ophiomorpha nodosa). Towards the north-central part of the outcrop, the delta front deposits are cut across by a paleo-canyon filled with younger mud-dominated prodeltaic sediments. The rare exposure of the canyon-wall exhibits an unusual occurrence of Glossifungites ichnofacies. Contrastingly distinct from archetypal examples, this monospecific suite contains a low abundance of firmground Thalassinoides filled with mud rather than sand. The tracemakers burrowed into a firm medium-grained sandy substrate of the delta front, and the burrows were subsequently passively filled by the mud from the overlying prodeltaic sediments filling the canyon. The deep-tier firmground Thalassinoides suite crosscuts the pre-existing softground trace fossils. Integration of ichnologic, sedimentologic and sequence-stratigraphic datasets indicates that the older delta front sediments are separated from the prodeltaic deposits by distinct episodes of fluctuating relative sea-level controlled by the basin-bounding growth-fault activities and the development of the canyon. Whereas the entire shelf-margin megasequence might have been deposited through a regional scale sea-level lowstand, the local fluctuations in accommodation space resulting from the growth-fault movements and the incision of the canyon were responsible for the shifting positions of the depositional architectural elements of the shelf-edge delta.

  14. High occurrence of the elasipodid holothurian Penilpidia ludwigi (von Marenzeller, 1893) in bathyal sediment traps moored in a western Mediterranean submarine canyon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pagès, F.; Martín, J.; Palanques, A.; Puig, P.; Gili, J.-M.

    2007-12-01

    One hundred and fifty specimens of the elasipod holothurian Penilpidia ludwigi (von Marenzeller, 1893) were collected in sediment traps moored near the seabed in the La Fonera Canyon (Catalan Sea, north-western Mediterranean) and on the adjacent continental slope. These provide the third record of this apparently endemic Mediterranean species and the first record from the western Mediterranean. This was the only holothurian species trapped and the most abundant macroscopic organism found in the traps between 1200 and 1700 m depth over the whole sampling period (March-November 2001). It was particularly abundant in spring during the main flux of organic particles in the canyon. This coupling suggests that Penilpidia may aggregate at the seafloor during these events, making food availability a plausible explanation of the seasonal occurrence. Lateral transport of material re-suspended locally or up-canyon by near bottom currents appear to be the mechanism behind this uncommon occurrence, although in situ observations have recently been made on the swimming capability of this holothurian. The occurrence of benthic organisms in sediment traps set close to the seabed can provide information on bathyal benthic and benthopelagic populations.

  15. Circulation in Vilkitsky Canyon in the eastern Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janout, Markus; Hölemann, Jens

    2016-04-01

    The eastern Arctic Ocean is characterized by steep continental slopes and vast shallow shelf seas that receive a large amount of riverine freshwater from some of the largest rivers on earth. The northwestern Laptev Sea is of particular interest, as it is a freshwater transport pathway for a swift surface-intensified current from the Kara Sea toward the Arctic Basin, as was recently highlighted by high-resolution model studies. The region features complex bathymetry including a narrow strait and a large submarine canyon, strong tides, polynyas and severe sea ice conditions throughout much of the year. A year-long mooring record as well as detailed hydrographic shipboard measurements resulted from summer expeditions to the area in 2013 and 2014, and now provide a detailed picture of the region's water properties and circulation. The hydrography is characterized by riverine Kara Sea freshwater near the surface in the southern part of the canyon, while warmer (~0°C) saline Atlantic-derived waters dominate throughout the canyon at depths >150m. Cold shelf-modified waters near the freezing point are found along the canyon edges. The mean flow at the 300 m-deep mooring location near the southern edge of the canyon is swift (30 cm/s) and oriented eastward near the surface as suggested by numerical models, while the deeper flow follows the canyon topography towards the north-east. Wind-driven deviations from the mean flow coincide with sudden changes in temperature and salinity. This study characterizes the general circulation in Vilkitsky Canyon and investigates its potential as a conduit for upwelling of Atlantic-derived waters from the Arctic Basin to the Laptev Sea shelf.

  16. Let's Bet on Sediments! Hudson Canyon Cruise--Grades 9-12. Focus: Sediments of Hudson Canyon.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (DOC), Rockville, MD.

    These activities are designed to teach about the sediments of Hudson Canyon. Students investigate and analyze the patterns of sedimentation in the Hudson Canyon, observe how heavier particles sink faster than finer particles, and learn that submarine landslides are avalanches of sediment in deep ocean canyons. The activity provides learning…

  17. The segmentations and the significances of the Central Canyon System in the Qiongdongnan Basin, northern South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, Ming; Xie, Xinong; Xie, Yuhong; Wang, Zhenfeng; Zhang, Cheng; Jiang, Tao; He, Yunlong

    2014-01-01

    The submarine canyons as the important element of the source to sink have attracted the widespread interests in studying their morphologic features, stratigraphic frames, depositional architectures, as well as the related depositional model, hydrodynamic simulation, and hydrocarbon exploration. The Central Canyon System, a large axial submarine canyon, in the Qiongdongnan Basin is developed in Neogene passive continental margin of northern South China Sea, which is paralleled to the shelf break with an "S-shaped" geometry and an NE-NEE orientation. Based on the integrated analysis of high-resolution 2D/3D seismic data and well log data, the whole canyon could be divided into three segments from west to east through its distinct morphological and depositional architecture characteristics, the head area, the western segment and the eastern segment. The canyon shows the classical U-shaped morphology in seismic profiles, and the infillings are composed of a suit of turbidite channel complex in the head area. In the western segment, the canyon demonstrates the sinuous geometry and multiple-shaped morphology in seismic profiles. Four complexes of turbidite channel and mass transport complex (MTC) are observed, which could constitute into two stratigraphic cycles. The canyon in the eastern segment shows V-shaped morphology with steep flanks and a narrow and straight course, which is composed of collapse deposits in the flanks and the sheet sand-MTC complex. The sediment supply, northern continental slope system, paleo-geomorphic characteristics and tectonic setting in the Qiongdongnan Basin are considered as the controlling factors on the development and evolution of the Central Canyon System, each of them have different influences in the three segments. The turbidite channel in the head area was triggered by the abundant sediment supply from western source together with the fault activity at 5.7 Ma of the Red River Fault. The evolution of the canyon in the western

  18. Linking subaerial erosion wih submarine geomorphology in the northern Ionian Sea, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goswami, Rajasmita; Mitchell, Neil C.; Argnani, Andrea

    2014-05-01

    The supply of sediment from continental sources is commonly suspected to have exerted a strong influence on the development of canyons and other morphological features on the continental slopes, but rarely is the sediment supply known quantitatively to make this link. Here, we outline an area where offshore morphology, in the northern Ionian Sea, may be linked to supply of sediment from subaerial erosion in NE Sicily and SW Calabria. Shelves in this area are very narrow (< 1 km), and the bathymetry shows that rivers and adjacent submarine channels are almost directly connected. Integrated topographic analyses were performed on a merged digital evelation model (DEM) of ASTER data for subaerial topography and multibeam sonar data for submarine bathymetry. Spatial variations in onshore erosion were assesed using a variety of methods, namely: long-term sediment flux from Pleistocene uplift rates, decadal sediment flux from landslides; published long-term exhumation rates from 10Be cosmogenic nuclide concentrations and published recent sediment yields determined using the Gavrilovic Method. Submarine channels associated with rivers delivering larger sediment fluxes have broad channels, high relief and smooth concave-upward longitudinal profiles. Conversely, submarine channels that lie offshore small-flux rivers have straight longitudinal profiles, low relief and steep gradients. Where river catchments supply a greater sediment flux offshore, shelves tend to be wider (~400 m) and submarine channels have gentler gradients. In contrast, where catchments supply less sediment flux, shelves are narrow (250-300 m) and offshore channel gradients are steeper. How morphology varies with tectonic uplift rate was also studied, but we find that, unlike onshore terrains where tectonics is commonly an important factor influencing channel morphology, in the submarine landscapes, sediment flux appears to dominate.

  19. Transport of typhoon-induced submarine sediment-laden flows off southwestern Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, C.; Cheng, Y.

    2012-12-01

    Since 2006, southern Taiwan experienced destructive typhoons and earthquakes which triggered large scale submarine landslides and turbidity currents and devastated many submarine cables off southwestern Taiwan. Most of cable breakages were located in the Gaoping (GPSC) and Fangliao (FLSC) submarine canyons which indicate submarine canyon is an important pathway for underwater gravity flows that induced by natural hazards. A series of investigations were conducted before and after Morakot typhoon, the sub-bottom profiler and core analysis results revealed the GPSC and FLSC may play different roles in transport sediment from coastal seas to the abyssal ocean during the typhoon invaded period. Off southwestern Taiwan, the GPSC and FLSC are incising from continental shelf to deep sea floor and both of them transport considerable amounts of sediment to the South China Sea. GPSC is directly connected to the Gaoping River on land. The hyperpycnal flows, formed during Typhoon Morakot, delivered coarse sands, gravels and branches of trees into GPSC and deposited at the upper reach. On the contrary, the FLSC, which is smaller, younger and confined to the slope, does not associate with any river on land. A series of turbidites and debrites, which composed by coarse slates, fractal shells, wood fragments and fresh leaves, were observed in cores collected from the head of FLSC through Gaoping slope to the lower reach of GPSC. It implies the torrential rains induced landslides at the southernmost Central Mountain Range may directly delivered large amount of slate fragments through narrow Gaoping shelf into the deep sea. Furthermore, according to Water Resources Agency's groundwater level monitoring data, during Typhoon Morakot, the groundwater level raised significantly at the coastal area of Pingtung Plain. The increased groundwater pressure may lead to high flux of submarine groundwater discharge and induced liquefaction on seafloor. From sub-bottom profiles, the liquefaction

  20. Grand Canyon

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2014-05-15

    article title:  The Grand Canyon     View Larger Image Northern Arizona and the Grand Canyon are captured in this pair of Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer ... formats available at JPL December 31, 2000 - Grand Canyon and Lake Powell. project:  MISR ...

  1. Development of the Astoria Canyon-Fan physiography and comparison with similar systems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nelson, C.H.; Carlson, P.R.; Byrne, J.V.; Alpha, T.R.

    1970-01-01

    A detailed bathymetric study of Astoria Canyon and Astoria Fan provides a model for typical submarine canyon-fan systems. The present canyon head is 9 miles (17 km) west of the Columbia River mouth but buried Pleistocene channels appear to have connected the two features in the past. The canyon, which is distinguished by its relief, V-shaped profiles, and numerous tributaries, winds sinuously and is coincident with apparent structural trends across the continental shelf and slope. At the fan apex, the canyon mouth merges smoothly into Astoria Channel, which is characterized by its U-shaped profiles, lower walls of even height, and levee development. Astoria Channel and the fan valley at the base of the continental slope are the most recently active of a series of main fan valleys that appear to have: (1) progressively "hooked left"; (2) migrated from north to south across the fan during its formation; and (3) been partly responsible for the asymmetrical shape of the fan. The deep, narrow upper fan valleys that characterize the steep (> 1:100, or 0??35???) and rough (10-30 fathoms, or 18-55 m) upper fan surface break into distributaries on the middle fan, where there is the sharpest change in gradient. The main valleys become broader and shallower down the fan, while the generally concave fan surface grades to nearly a flat seafloor (to gradients < 1:1000, or 0??0.5???), (< 10 fathoms, or 18 m relief). Similarity of Astoria Canyon-Fan system with other deep-sea fan and alluvial fan systems, suggests the hypothesis that size of drainage basin, sediment size, and sediment load control the size, gradient, and valley development of any fan system. Data from bathymetry, seismic refraction stations, and sediment load of the Columbia River indicate that the cutting of Astoria Canyon and the deposition of the unconsolidated sediment layer forming Astoria Fan could have been accomplished during the Pleistocene. A similar history can be suggested for other major submarine

  2. Genotype, soil type, and locale effects on reciprocal transplant vigor, endophyte growth, and microbial functional diversity of a narrow sagebrush hybrid zone in Salt Creek Canyon, Utah

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miglia, K.J.; McArthur, E.D.; Redman, R.S.; Rodriguez, R.J.; Zak, J.C.; Freeman, D.C.

    2007-01-01

    When addressing the nature of ecological adaptation and environmental factors limiting population ranges and contributing to speciation, it is important to consider not only the plant's genotype and its response to the environment, but also any close interactions that it has with other organisms, specifically, symbiotic microorganisms. To investigate this, soils and seedlings were reciprocally transplanted into common gardens of the big sagebrush hybrid zone in Salt Creek Canyon, Utah, to determine location and edaphic effects on the fitness of parental and hybrid plants. Endophytic symbionts and functional microbial diversity of indigenous and transplanted soils and sagebrush plants were also examined. Strong selection occurred against the parental genotypes in the middle hybrid zone garden in middle hybrid zone soil; F1 hybrids had the highest fitness under these conditions. Neither of the parental genotypes had superior fitness in their indigenous soils and habitats; rather F1 hybrids with the nonindigenous maternal parent were superiorly fit. Significant garden-by-soil type interactions indicate adaptation of both plant and soil microorganisms to their indigenous soils and habitats, most notably in the middle hybrid zone garden in middle hybrid zone soil. Contrasting performances of F1 hybrids suggest asymmetrical gene flow with mountain, rather than basin, big sagebrush acting as the maternal parent. We showed that the microbial community impacted the performance of parental and hybrid plants in different soils, likely limiting the ranges of the different genotypes.

  3. White submarine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    While not everyone gets to live in a yellow submarine, the scientific community may get to have a decommissioned U.S. Navy nuclear submarine dedicated to it. The Sturgeon class of submarines, which scientists say are the ideal choice for the project, will be coming up for decommissioning in this next decade. So the time is ripe, scientists say. Two weeks ago, oceanographers, submarine specialists, marine biologists, and geophysicists, among others met at AGU headquarters in Washington to discuss how to get the project in the water. If all goes well, the project would be the "biggest thing that ever happened in ocean and Earth science," according to Lloyd Keigwin of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, who convened the meeting. For example, the submarine could make many types of "compelling" research possible that can not be done now by other means, such as studies in the Arctic that may have significant bearing on global change research, Keigwin says. However, the imposing hurdles that the project must overcome are as big as the opportunities it offers. Foremost, there is a question as to who will pick up the tab for such an endeavor.

  4. Canyon-related undulation structures in the Shenhu area, northern South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qiao, Shaohua; Su, Ming; Kuang, Zenggui; Yang, Rui; Liang, Jinqiang; Wu, Nengyou

    2015-09-01

    The characteristics and origin of seafloor and subsurface undulations were studied in the Shenhu area, northern South China Sea using high-precision multibeam bathymetric map and high-resolution 2D seismic data. Two undulation structure fields associated with submarine canyons have been identified. One structure field is developed in canyon head areas and shows waveform morphology on the bathymetric map. The waves display wavelengths and wave heights of 1-2 km and 20-50 m, respectively, generally occur on slopes from 1° to 5°, and extend for about 15 km approximately parallel to the canyon's orientation. The other structure field is developed in the lower segment or mouth area of submarine canyons. In general, the waves display wavelengths and wave heights of 1.3-3.6 km and 50-80 m, respectively, occur on slopes of approximately 2°, and extend for more than 20 km. Sediment cores from crests between submarine canyons in the lower segment include predominantly silts and clayey silts. Since undulations in the two fields show differences in morphology and internal architectures, two different formation mechanisms are suggested. Seafloor undulations in the head area of submarine canyons are interpreted as creep folds induced by soft sediment deformation. Undulation structures in the lower segment or the mouth area of submarine canyons are sediment waves constructed by turbidity currents overflows along the submarine canyons.

  5. Canyon-confined pockmarks on the western Niger Delta slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benjamin, Uzochukwu; Huuse, Mads; Hodgetts, David

    2015-07-01

    Fluid flow phenomena in the deepwater Niger Delta are important for the safe and efficient exploration, development and production of hydrocarbons in the area. Utilizing 3D seismic data from the western Niger Delta slope, we have identified pockmarks that are confined within a NE-SW oriented submarine canyon system that has been active since the early Quaternary. The pockmarks, subdivided into 'canyon-margin' pockmarks and 'intra-canyon' pockmarks, on the basis of their plan-form distribution patterns, are found to be spatially and stratigraphically related to stratigraphic discontinuities created by erosion cuts associated with the submarine canyon system. We infer that stratigraphic discontinuities provided pathways for fluid migration within the buried canyon system, allowing fluids from deeper parts of the basin to reach the seafloor as indicated by abundant pockmarks above the partly buried canyon. The transportation of fluids from deeper parts of the basin into the buried segment of the canyon system was facilitated by carrier beds expressed as high amplitude reflection packages and by extensional normal faults. The prevalence of the 'canyon margin' pockmarks over the 'intra-canyon' pockmarks is attributed to the direct connection of the buried canyon margins with truncated reservoir facies in hydraulic connection with deeper reservoir facies. The formation of the 'intra-canyon' pockmarks is interpreted to have been limited by fluid flow disconnection often caused by stratigraphic alternation of sand-rich and shale-rich channel deposits that constitute the canyon fill. Muddy canyon fill units act as baffles to fluid flow, while connected sandy infill units constitute pathways for fluid migration. Occurrence of pockmarks throughout the length of the submarine canyon system is an indication of shallow fluid flow within buried reservoir facies. Systematic alignment of seafloor pockmarks are clues to buried reservoirs and provide insights into reservoir

  6. Pleistocene entrenched valley/canyon systems, Gulf of Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Steffens, G.S.

    1986-09-01

    The Mississippi Submarine Canyon is the seaward extension of the late Wisconsin entrenched alluvial valley. Geophysical and geologic data provide evidence for the continuity of the Mississippi entrenched valley, the Timbalier channel, and the submarine canyon. The Mississippi entrenched valley/canyon system is one of several systems recognized in the Pleistocene section of offshore Louisiana. Most of these systems were produced by the ancestral Mississippi River. They typically exhibit a three-gradient profile with their maximum erosional relief at the preexisting shelf margin. The canyons extend onto the pre-existing shelf for 20 to 50 mi, with erosion commonly exceeding 1000 ft. All of these systems delivered large quantities of sediment to the Pleistocene slope and abyssal plain. The fan deposits are the products of sediment passing through and being removed from the entrenched valley/canyon systems.

  7. North Atlantic slope and canyon study. Volume 1. Executive summary

    SciTech Connect

    Butman, B.

    1986-12-01

    A field program to investigate the currents and sediment transport along the outershelf and upper slope along the southern flank of Georges Bank was conducted between 1980 and 1984. A major part of the field experiment was conducted in Lydonia Canyon, a large submarine canyon which cuts northward about 20 km into the continental shelf from the shelfbreak. A smaller experiment was conducted in Oceanographer Canyon to compare the currents in these two major canyons. The long-term current observations made in Lydonia and Oceanographer Canyons show that the current regime in these topographic features differs from the adjacent slope, and between canyons. Sediments near the head (depths shallower than about 600 m) in both Lydonia and Oceanographer are frequently resuspended. This frequent resuspension may allow the sediments to strip pollutants from the water column. Currents in Oceanographer Canyon are stronger and the sediments coarser than in Lydonia at comparable depths.

  8. Hot Canyon

    ScienceCinema

    None

    2013-03-01

    This historical film footage, originally produced in the early 1950s as part of a series by WOI-TV, shows atomic research at Ames Laboratory. The work was conducted in a special area of the Laboratory known as the "Hot Canyon."

  9. Hot Canyon

    SciTech Connect

    2012-01-01

    This historical film footage, originally produced in the early 1950s as part of a series by WOI-TV, shows atomic research at Ames Laboratory. The work was conducted in a special area of the Laboratory known as the "Hot Canyon."

  10. Potential for SGD induced submarine geohazard off southwestern Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, C.; Lin, C.; Cheng, Y.; Chiu, H.

    2013-12-01

    The submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) is not only play important roles on material exchange between land and sea, it may also trigger liquefaction process and induce further submarine geohazards in coastal zone. Since 2006, Southern Taiwan was experienced a series of natural hazards including earthquakes and typhoon that induced severe landslides and flooding and caused huge human lives and economics losses. These natural hazards also touched off submarine cable-break incidents off southwestern Taiwan from Gaoping Slope to the northern terminus of the Manila Trench. After the 2006 Pingtung Earthquake, the local fishermen reported disturbed waters at the Fangliao submarine canyon head. Although many researches conjectured the disturbed waters may caused by the eruption of submarine volcanoes which has been widely discovered off the southwestern Taiwan. The subbottom profiles reveal a series of faults and liquefaction strata exist near the head of Fanliao submarine canyon and acoustically transparent sediments with doming structures also observed at the adjacent area. Moreover, we also found pockmarks with acoustic blanking under it on the Gaoping Shelf and a series of gaseous pluming gushed from the seafloor was also observed in the shallow waters. Integrate all these data, we may reasonably infer the disturbed waters which reported by the fishermen may caused by the liquefaction process on the seafloor. In addition to geophysical observations, natural geochemical tracers (radon and radium) in conjunction with side-scan sonar were used to evaluate the distribution of SGD system in the study area. All the evidences indicate that the large earthquake in conjunction with high pore fluid pressures in the surface sediment might have easily triggered liquefaction process and generated large debris flow and swept the submarine cables away from the Fangliao submarine canyon head to the abyss.

  11. The Initiation of Submarine Debris Flow after 2006 Pingtung Earthquake Offshore Southwestern Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, C. C.; Liu, J. T.; Chiu, H. T.; Li, S. J.

    2014-12-01

    On 26-27 December 2006, a series of submarine cables were damaged offshore southwestern Taiwan from Gaoping Slope to the northern terminus of the Manila Trench. The cable breakages were caused by gravity flows which triggered by the Pingtung earthquake doublet occurred on 26 December 2006 at 20:26 (21.9°N, 120.6°E; ML 7.0) and 20:34 (21.97°N, 120.42°E; ML 7.0) offshore of Fangliao Twonship and meanwhile the local fishermen reported disturbed waters at the head of Fangliao submarine canyon. Although many researchers conjectured the disturbed waters may cause by the eruption of submarine volcanoes which has been widely discovered off the southwestern Taiwan, the actual mechanism is still unclear. In previous studies, a series of faults, liquefaction strata, pockmarks and acoustically transparent sediments with doming structures were observed at the head of Fanliao submarine canyon and may highly related to the submarine groundwater discharge off southwestern Taiwan. Recently, further multi-beam surveys were conducted at the east of Fangliao submarine canyon head and the result shows large area of seafloor subsidence after Pingtung Earthquake. The area of subsidence is over 60 km2 with maximum depth around 5 meters. The north end of the subsidence is connected to the Fangliao submarine canyon where the first cable was failed (CH-US CN-W2-1: 22°13.287'N, 120°33.722'E) after Pingtung Earthquake. All the evidences point out the large earthquake might triggered liquefaction process and generated large debris flow and swept the submarine cables away from the Fangliao submarine canyon head to the abyss.

  12. North Atlantic slope and canyon study. Volume 2. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Butman, B.

    1986-12-01

    A field program to investigate the currents and sediment transport along the outershelf and upper slope along the southern flank of Georges Bank was conducted between 1980 and 1984. A major part of the field experiment was conducted in Lydonia Canyon, a large submarine canyon which cuts northward about 20 km into the continental shelf from the shelfbreak. A smaller experiment was conducted in Oceanographer Canyon to compare the currents in these two major canyons. Long-term current observations were made at 20 locations in or adjacent to Lydonia Canyon, and at 9 stations on the continental slope. Detailed semi-synoptic hydrographic observations were made on 9 cruises. The currents associated with Gulf Stream warm core rings (WCR's) strongly affect the flow along the outer shelf and upper slope; eastward currents in excess of 75cm/s were associated with WCR's.

  13. Tectonic control of Cretaceous gravity deposits and submarine Valleys in the subalpine basin, French western Alps

    SciTech Connect

    Philippe, J.; Beaudoin, B.; Fries, G.; Parize, O.

    1988-08-01

    The Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous series of the French subalpine basin is characterized by alternating limestones and marls with numerous, thick gravity-flow deposits (carbonate debris flows and slumps, siliciclastic grain flows, turbidites). These gravity deposits originate from platforms and slopes and come through the basin via several parallel canyons and submarine valleys. Some carbonate (Berriasian) and siliciclastic (Aptian) deep-sea fans are built at the canyon mouth during intense activity of the canyons and reworking of the sediments. The tectonic control of the gravity deposits is demonstrated by the position and filling of the submarine valleys all along the Cretaceous. The submarine valleys correspond systematically to the lower part of extensional tilted blocks; the gravity deposits come along the main syn-sedimentary normal faults delimiting these tilted blocks. The gravity deposits go from one tilted block to another through some synsedimentary passes which are induced by slight folding, perhaps related to an early diapirism at some nodes of extensional faults. The canyon-like valleys are due to very strong erosion when a submarine valley cuts of the higher part of a tilted block. The gravity deposits are stacked atop each other and progressively fill the valleys. Thus the cutting and filling of the submarine valleys and canyons on occasions during the Early Cretaceous are explained by a permanent synsedimentary activity. These Jurassic and Cretaceous extensional structures are later reactivated by inversion during Tertiary compressional movements.

  14. Holocene canyon activity under a combination of tidal and tectonic forcing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mountjoy, Joshu; Micallef, Aaron; Stevens, Craig; Stirling, Mark

    2013-04-01

    The majority of submarine canyon systems that are active during sea level highstands are coupled to terrestrial or littoral sediment transport systems (e.g. high sediment-yield rivers, wave-base sediment disturbance). However, non-coupled canyon systems can also exhibit sedimentary activity. Characterising the nature, origin, and spatial and temporal influence of the processes responsible for this sedimentary activity is important to understand the extent of sediment and carbon transfer to the deep sea, the impact of sedimentary flows on biological colonisation and diversity, and the control of recent seafloor processes on canyon morphology. The Cook Strait canyon system, between the North and South islands of New Zealand, is a large (1800 km2), multi-branching, shelf-indenting canyon on an active subduction margin. The canyon comes within 1 km of the coast, but does not intercept fluvial or littoral sediment systems and is therefore defined as a non-terrestrially-coupled system. Sediment transport on the continental shelf, associated with a strong tidal stream, and seafloor disturbance related to numerous high-activity faults is known from previous studies. Little is known, however, about the rates of sedimentary activity in the canyon and the processes driving it. The canyon system therefore provides an excellent study area for understanding sediment transport in a non-coupled submarine canyon system. Analysis of EM300 multibeam bathymetry, gravity cores, 3.5 kHz seismic reflection profiles, camera and video transects and current meter data reveals a system where oceanographic (tidal) and tectonic (earthquake) processes are moving sediment from the continental shelf, through the upper canyon, and finally to the deep ocean. Sediment accumulation rates may reach several mm/yr in the upper canyons, with data suggesting minimum rates of 0.5 mm/yr. We demonstrate that tidal currents are sufficient to mobilise fine to medium sand around and within the upper canyon

  15. Bioavailability of sinking organic matter in the Blanes canyon and the adjacent open slope (NW Mediterranean Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lopez-Fernandez, P.; Bianchelli, S.; Pusceddu, A.; Calafat, A.; Sanchez-Vidal, A.; Danovaro, R.

    2012-12-01

    Submarine canyons are sites of intense energy and material exchange between the shelf and the deep adjacent basins. To test the hypothesis that active submarine canyons represent preferential conduits of available food for the deep-sea benthos, two mooring lines were deployed at 1200 m depth from November 2008 to November 2009 inside the Blanes canyon and on the adjacent open slope (Catalan Margin, NW Mediterranean Sea). We investigated the fluxes, biochemical composition and food quality of sinking organic carbon (OC). OC fluxes in the canyon and the open slope varied among sampling periods, though not consistently in the two sites. In particular, while in the open slope the highest OC fluxes were observed in August 2009, in the canyon the highest OC fluxes occurred in April-May 2009. For almost the entire study period, the OC fluxes in the canyon were significantly higher than those in the open slope, whereas OC contents of sinking particles collected in the open slope were consistently higher than those in the canyon. This result confirms that submarine canyons are effective conveyors of OC to the deep sea, particles transferred are predominantly of inorganic origin, significantly higher than that reaching the open slope at a similar water depth. Using multivariate statistical tests, two major clusters of sampling periods were identified: one in the canyon that grouped trap samples collected in December 2008, concurrently with the occurrence of a major storm at the sea surface, and associated with increased fluxes of nutritionally available particles from the upper shelf. Another cluster grouped samples from both the canyon and the open slope collected in March 2009, concurrently with the occurrence of the seasonal phytoplankton bloom at the sea surface, and associated with increased fluxes of total phytopigments. Our results confirm the key ecological role of submarine canyons for the functioning of deep-sea ecosystems, and highlight the importance of canyons

  16. Canyon Dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Context image for PIA03682 Canyon Dust

    These dust slides are located on the wall of Thithonium Chasma.

    Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude -4.1N, Longitude 275.7E. 17 meter/pixel resolution.

    Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation is led by Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the Odyssey project, and developed and built the orbiter. Mission operations are conducted jointly from Lockheed Martin and from JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

  17. Canyon Variety

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Context image for PIA03281 Canyon Variety

    This image shows paret of the west end of Melas Chasma. Landslide deposits are visible at the top of the image, with dark dunes appearing at the bottom.

    Image information: VIS instrument. Latitude -8.2N, Longitude 281.0E. 17 meter/pixel resolution.

    Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation is led by Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University. Lockheed Martin Astronautics, Denver, is the prime contractor for the Odyssey project, and developed and built the orbiter. Mission operations are conducted jointly from Lockheed Martin and from JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

  18. Sediment-laden flow induced submarine cable failures off southwestern Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Y.; Su, C. C.

    2012-04-01

    Taiwan is located on the convergent boundary between the Eurasian and Philippine Sea plates, where has a highly frequency of earthquakes. Furthermore, the interaction between the largest continent (Eurasia Continent) and ocean (Pacific Ocean) leads to torrential-rain-induced flooding in the plume rain (May-June) and typhoon seasons (July-October). According to statistics from Water Resources Agency, in the last few decades, the mean annual sediment load was 384 million tons from the island of Taiwan into the sea. Off southwestern Taiwan, two major submarine canyons, the Gaoping submarine canyon (GPSC) and Fangliao submarine canyon (FLSC), are incising from continental shelf to deep sea floor and both of them transport considerable amounts of sediment to the South China Sea. In contrast to the GPSC which is directly connected to the Gaoping River, the FLSC which is smaller, younger and confined to the slope, does not associate with any river on land. Since 2006, southern Taiwan has been through several big typhoons and earthquakes which triggered submarine landslides and turbidity currents and damaged many submarine cables. The analytical results from sediment cores which taken from the GPSC and FLSC during 2005 to 2010 show these submarine cable break events may caused by different processes. In the upper GPSC, hyperpycnal flow might be the major process which caused the cable damages. On the contrary, cable failures in FLSC are due to sediment liquefaction.

  19. Submarine cable route survey

    SciTech Connect

    Herrouin, G.; Scuiller, T.

    1995-12-31

    The growth of telecommunication market is very significant. From the beginning of the nineties, more and more the use of optical fiber submarine cables is privileged to that of satellites. These submarine telecommunication highways require accurate surveys in order to select the optimum route and determine the cable characteristics. Advanced technology tools used for these surveys are presented along with their implementation.

  20. Paint-Stirrer Submarine

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Young, Jocelyn; Hardy, Kevin

    2007-01-01

    In this article, the authors discuss a unique and challenging laboratory exercise called, the paint-stir-stick submarine, that keeps the students enthralled. The paint-stir-stick submarine fits beautifully with the National Science Education Standards Physical Science Content Standard B, and with the California state science standards for physical…

  1. Submarine fans in a sequence stratigraphic framework

    SciTech Connect

    Posamentier, H.W.; Erskine, R.D.; Mitchum, R.M.; Vail, P.R.

    1987-05-01

    Submarine fans are fan- or cone-shaped turbiditic deposits formed in upper bathyal or deeper water depths. Within a sequence stratigraphic framework, these basin-floor turbidites can occur during lowstand-fan or lowstand-wedge systems tract time. During lowstand fan time, streams are rejuvenated and depocenters shift from the coastal plain to the upper slope, causing retrogradational slope failure and canyon formation. The sediment delivered here bypasses the canyon and continues down the slope as a succession of gravity flows and is deposited as fan-shaped turbiditic deposits at the base of the slope. Seismic and outcrop evidence suggest that these sand-prone deposits are abruptly introduced into the basin and are generally characterized by subtle external mounding and internal bidirectionally down lapping seismic reflections where seismically resolvable. Deep-water sediment deposited during this interval has no coeval shelf equivalent. During lowstand wedge time, streams cease down cutting and valleys which have been freshly incised begin to fill. Because coarse sediment will preferentially be deposited within these incised valleys, the sand-to-mud ratio delivered to the upper slope will be decreased and, consequently, there is an inherent difference between submarine fans deposited at this time and those deposited during lowstand fan time. Deposition during lowstand wedge time is characterized seismically by slope front fill or wedge-shaped geometries down lapping the earlier submarine fan (i.e., deposited during lowstand fan time). These shale-prone deposits are largely comprised of thinner-bedded turbidites as well as the occasional leveed channel.

  2. Distinct Benthic Community Trends Driven by Particle Transport and Deposition in Mid-Atlantic Bight Canyons, NW Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demopoulos, A. W.; Robertson, C. M.; Bourque, J. R.; Mienis, F.; Duineveld, G.; Ross, S.; Brooke, S.; Davies, A. J.

    2014-12-01

    The Mid-Atlantic Bight (MAB) is a well-studied region of the U.S. East coast continental margin, rich in submarine canyons. Baltimore and Norfolk canyons were studied during the multidisciplinary Atlantic Deepwater Canyons project through funding from BOEM, NOAA, and USGS. Sediment and water column properties were assessed in the context of canyon physical dynamics and ecosystem ecology. Sediment samples were collected by NIOZ box corer in 2012 and 2013 along canyon axes and comparative adjacent slopes at standardized depths. Sediments were analyzed for grain size, organic content, stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes, chlorophyll a, and benthic infauna. Water column properties were sampled using CTD transects, and benthic landers and moorings positioned along canyon axes. Significant differences in sediment transport regimes were found for each canyon where observed nepheloid layers corresponded to shifts in infaunal community structure. Significant community shifts were observed in stations at depths > 900m in Baltimore Canyon, coinciding with higher organic matter concentrations at depths below the nepheloid layer. In contrast, adjacent slope communities exhibited a more uniform infaunal assemblage where distinct zonation patterns by depth were observed. Preliminary data for Norfolk Canyon suggest very different sediment deposition rates in the canyon and also show clear differences between canyon and slope benthic communities. Geological processes and canyon topography coupled with organic inputs and disturbance events are clear factors in determining benthic infaunal diversity and standing stock dynamics in and around these canyons.

  3. Nomograms for calculating pollution within street canyons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buckland, A. T.; Middleton, D. R.

    The Environment Act 1995 has introduced the notion of local air quality management which requires that air quality in towns be reviewed and assessed. There is a need to identify those streets that are worst affected by vehicular pollutants. Such worst cases are likely to be narrow congested streets with tall buildings on each side. A nomogram presented here allows rapid screening of pollution in congested street canyons. The strong dependence on wind direction is reduced to the two extremes, namely wind along and wind across the canyon. Then canyon concentrations are estimated according to street geometry and traffic flow. The nomogram is designed for use by local authorities, is quick and easy to use, and paper or computer versions are available. It is suggested that detailed monitoring or modelling may only be required when simple screening methods predict high air pollution.

  4. 4. DARK CANYON SIPHON VIEW ACROSS DARK CANYON AT ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    4. DARK CANYON SIPHON - VIEW ACROSS DARK CANYON AT LOCATION OF SIPHON. VIEW TO NORTHWEST - Carlsbad Irrigation District, Dark Canyon Siphon, On Main Canal, 1 mile South of Carlsbad, Carlsbad, Eddy County, NM

  5. Erosion of the submarine flanks of the Canary Islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitchell, Neil C.; Dade, W. Brian; Masson, Douglas G.

    2003-12-01

    Surveying with multibeam echo sounders around old (≫1 Ma) volcanic ocean islands reveals that their submarine flanks contain a strong downslope-oriented ridge-and-valley corrugation, which modifies the original volcanic morphology of lava terraces and cones. By analogy with canyons in other settings, this corrugation was probably caused by channel incision by erosive sedimentary mass flows such as turbidity currents and debris flows. We adapt a method first used in subaerial geomorphology to isolate the erosion depth (exhumation) and apply it to the eroded flanks of the 6-8 Ma Anaga massif of Tenerife. The channels formed around this massif divert around local topographic highs. These highs, which are probably original volcanic cones, are therefore preferentially preserved during erosion, so that their elevations can be used to construct an artificial reference surface. Terrain depth was calculated by subtracting this reference surface from measured bathymetry. Comparison of the terrain depth of the old, eroded submarine flank of Anaga with that of the young, mostly unaltered submarine flank of El Hierro allows us to infer the mean depth of Anaga's submarine erosion, which is ˜100 m. Volcanic terrains can be dated by radiometric methods, so they also provide a way of quantifying long-term denudation rates. We infer that submarine denudation of Anaga has occurred at comparable rates to that of subaerial lowlands and much slower than denudation of highlands, illustrated locally by the more extensive erosion of the subaerial Anaga edifice.

  6. Inter-bed fluid triggered slope failures of the Kaoping Canyon upstream area: Results from memorial R/V Ocean Researcher 5

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yeh, Yi-Ching; Shen, Tsung-Fu; Liu, Shao-Yung; Yu, Pai-Sen

    2015-04-01

    As a major pathway of the sediment transportation, the submarine canyons sculpture the seafloor then deposit sediments at the deep ocean. The submarine canyons could be classified to two categories: erosive or deposition based on geological environment or fluid flow down to the canyon. The erosive canyons often 'attack' the levee which may result in submarine landslides or mass transportations due to slope failure. Once slope failure occurs at geological weakness area such as gas hydrate dissociation zone, giant mass slumping will be triggered. These kinds of mass transportations will further develop turbidity current or hyperpycnal flow, which could damage the submarine cables or pipes. The giant mass transportation even triggers devastated tsunami. In this study, a latest swath bathymetric map was compiled by comprising seven cruises between December, 2012 and March 2013. The result shows that regressive erosion may take a place north of 500 meters contour (gas hydrate dissociation region), southwest off Taiwan. Moreover, high resolution seismic image (acquired by Edgetech SB-424 sub-bottom profiler) show that gas rich sediments co-exist with submarine landslide deposits in the edge of the upstream of Kaoping submarine canyon. It implies that slope failures in the study area might be caused by weaken sediment collapse.

  7. Supercritical Submarine Channel Morphodynamics from Integrated Investigation of the Western North American Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Covault, J. A.; Fildani, A.; Hubbard, S. M.; Hughes Clarke, J. E.; Kostic, S.; Paull, C. K.; Sylvester, Z.

    2015-12-01

    Submarine channels are conduits through which turbidity currents and related mass movements transport sediment into the deep sea, thereby playing important roles in the development of continental margins and biogeochemical cycles. To gain a better understanding of submarine channel morphodynamic evolution we explore a variety of channel systems from the western North American continental margin with varying sinuosity and levee geometry, terraces, channel cut-offs, and sediment waves in incipient channels, along thalwegs of well-developed channels, and on levees. Repeat bathymetric surveys of submarine channels in fjords of British Columbia and the Monterey canyon underscore the transience of fine-scale detail in channelized geomorphology, and multi-phase bed reworking, local deposition, and bypass of turbidity currents. Numerical modeling is combined with interpretations of channel geomorphology and strata in the Monterey and San Mateo canyon-channel systems to demonstrate that some of the sediment waves are likely to be cyclic steps. Submarine cyclic steps are long-wave, upstream-migrating bedforms in which each bedform in the series is bounded by a hydraulic jump in an overriding turbidity current, which is Froude-supercritical over the lee side of the bedform and Froude-subcritical over the stoss side. Submarine turbidity currents are susceptible to supercritical flow because of the reduced gravitational acceleration of dilute suspensions. Higher submarine slopes common to the North American continental margin also promote supercritical flow, which might not be as common across lower slopes of large passive margins such as the Amazon, Indus, and Bengal submarine fans. We posit that cyclic steps are a common morphodynamic expression in many continental margins. Continued integration of high-resolution data, such as repeat geophysical surveys, acoustic doppler current profiler measurements, and turbidite outcrops, which provide insights into the longer

  8. Bathymetric map of Lydonia Canyon, U.S. Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Butman, Bradford; Moody, John A.

    1984-01-01

    Lydonia Canyon is one of several large submarine canyons that indent the eastern U.S. Continental Shelf along the southern flank of Georges Bank (Index map).  This bathymetric map of the upper part of Lydonia Canyon (water depths shallower than about 2,00 m) was prepared as part of a study of the physical oceanography and geology of Lydonia Canyon (Butman and others, 1983; Twichell, 1983).  An accurate map of the canyon at a scale of at least 1:50,000 was needed for placement of current-meter morrings, for location of hydrographic and sediment sampling stations, and for interpretation of current-meter and geologic data. The map covers the area from 40°10'N. to 40°40'N. and from 67°28'W. to 67°50'W. 

  9. The marine soundscape of the Perth Canyon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erbe, Christine; Verma, Arti; McCauley, Robert; Gavrilov, Alexander; Parnum, Iain

    2015-09-01

    The Perth Canyon is a submarine canyon off Rottnest Island in Western Australia. It is rich in biodiversity in general, and important as a feeding and resting ground for great whales on migration. Australia's Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) has moorings in the Perth Canyon monitoring its acoustical, physical and biological oceanography. Data from these moorings, as well as weather data from a near-by Bureau of Meteorology weather station on Rottnest Island and ship traffic data from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority were correlated to characterise and quantify the marine soundscape between 5 and 3000 Hz, consisting of its geophony, biophony and anthrophony. Overall, biological sources are a strong contributor to the soundscape at the IMOS site, with whales dominating seasonally at low (15-100 Hz) and mid frequencies (200-400 Hz), and fish or invertebrate choruses dominating at high frequencies (1800-2500 Hz) at night time throughout the year. Ships contribute significantly to the 8-100 Hz band at all times of the day, all year round, albeit for a few hours at a time only. Wind-dependent noise is significant at 200-3000 Hz; winter rains are audible underwater at 2000-3000 Hz. We discuss how passive acoustic data can be used as a proxy for ocean weather. Passive acoustics is an efficient way of monitoring animal visitation times and relative densities, and potential anthropogenic influences.

  10. The Probable Whole of Slope Submarine Landslides of Southeast Queensland, Australia.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubble, T.

    2015-12-01

    A research cruise aboard the RV Southern Surveyor (SS2013-V01) conducted in January 2013 offshore east Australia collected regional bathymetric data for the seabed of the continental margin of southern Queensland for the seabed bounded by Noosa Heads in the south and Indian Head, Fraser Island in the north. This newly mapped area presents a particularly steep portion of continental slope (5o to 10 o) that presents numerous submarine landslides, including two 'whole-of-slope' features (The Wide Bay Canyon, and Inskip Slides. The slope is also dissected by three large submarine canyons offshore northern Fraser Island, Wide Bay and Noosa Heads (i.e. the Fraser Canyons, the Wide Bay Canyon and the Noosa Canyon). Dredge and core samples were collected from slide scars in the northern, central and southern areas of the bathymetric survey area. The initial examination of the area's bathymetry, the core and dredge sample sedimentology, and determination of biostratigraphic ages for these sediment samples indicates that the larger, submarine slides present in this study area have probably been shed from the slope since the late Pliocene and that canyon incision is currently active on this portion of the slope. In one case, canyon incision is partly responsible for generating slides due to undercutting and removal of the toe of the slope. Slope sediments are dominantly comprised of hemipelagic muds but the presence of massive coarse sands and graded sands in some cores above erosion surfaces that cut into slope mud units is interpreted to indicate that areas of the southern Queensland continental slope are probably subjected to abrasion by grain-flows and turbidites comprised of shelf-derived sands and upper slope sediment. The results from this voyage confirms and extends previous work on the southeastern Australian continental margin that indicates that sediment transport from the shelf to deep water on this margin is dominated by gravity mass transport and that the margin

  11. Bioavailability of sinking organic matter in the Blanes canyon and the adjacent open slope (NW Mediterranean Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lopez-Fernandez, P.; Bianchelli, S.; Pusceddu, A.; Calafat, A.; Sanchez-Vidal, A.; Danovaro, R.

    2013-05-01

    Submarine canyons are sites of intense energy and material exchange between the shelf and the deep adjacent basins. To test the hypothesis that active submarine canyons represent preferential conduits of available food for the deep-sea benthos, two mooring lines were deployed at 1200 m depth from November 2008 to November 2009 inside the Blanes canyon and on the adjacent open slope (Catalan Margin, NW Mediterranean Sea). We investigated the fluxes, biochemical composition and food quality of sinking organic carbon (OC). OC fluxes in the canyon and the open slope varied among sampling periods, though not consistently in the two sites. In particular, while in the open slope the highest OC fluxes were observed in August 2009, in the canyon the highest OC fluxes occurred in April-May 2009. For almost the entire study period, the OC fluxes in the canyon were significantly higher than those in the open slope, whereas OC contents of sinking particles collected in the open slope were consistently higher than those in the canyon. This result confirms that submarine canyons are effective conveyors of OC to the deep sea. Particles transferred to the deep sea floor through the canyons are predominantly of inorganic origin, significantly higher than that reaching the open slope at a similar water depth. Using multivariate statistical tests, two major clusters of sampling periods were identified: one in the canyon that grouped trap samples collected in December 2008, concurrently with the occurrence of a major storm at the sea surface, and associated with increased fluxes of nutritionally available particles from the upper shelf. Another cluster grouped samples from both the canyon and the open slope collected in March 2009, concurrently with the occurrence of the seasonal phytoplankton bloom at the sea surface, and associated with increased fluxes of total phytopigments. Our results confirm the key ecological role of submarine canyons for the functioning of deep-sea ecosystems

  12. Making a Submarine.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cornacchia, Deborah J.

    2002-01-01

    Describes Archimedes principle and why a ship sinks when it gets a hole in it. Suggests an activity for teaching the concept of density and water displacement through the construction of a simple submarine. Includes materials and procedures for this activity. (KHR)

  13. Stresses in a submarine topography under ocean waves

    SciTech Connect

    Mei, C.C.; McTigue, D.F.

    1984-09-01

    The problem of submarine slope stability is of interest to both offshore engineering and geology. In an uneven topography, the weight above a horizontal plane induces two-dimensional variation in the static stress field. The action of wave pressure, which changes with depth, further introduces excess pore pressure and dynamic stresses in the sea bottom. In the present paper, we combine a simple analytical theory for the static stress by the present authors, and the recent solution by Mei and Foda for wave-induced stresses in a plane poro-elastic sea bed to account for mild bottom slope and wave shoaling, and obtain the effective stress field in a submarine topography under sea waves. Sample results are given for a ridge and a canyon. In particular, the dynamic pore pressure and the combined static and dynamic effective stresses are presented.

  14. Stresses in a submarine topography under ocean waves

    SciTech Connect

    Mei, C.C.; McTigue, D.F.

    1984-01-01

    The problem of submarine slope stability is of interest to both offshore engineering and geology. In an uneven topography, the weight above a horizontal plane induces two-dimensional variation in the static stress field. The action of wave pressure, which changes with depth, further introduces excess pore pressure and dynamic stresses in the sea bottom. In the present paper, we combine a simple analytical theory for the static stress by the present authors, and the recent solution by Mei and Foda for wave-induced stresses in a plane poro-elastic sea bed to account for mild bottom slope and wave shoaling, to obtain the effective stress field in a submarine topography under sea waves. Sample results are given for a ridge and a canyon. In particular the dynamic pore pressure and the combined static and dynamic effective stresses are presented. 10 references, 11 figures.

  15. Superelevation and overspill control secondary flow dynamics in submarine channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dorrell, R. M.; Darby, S. E.; Peakall, J.; Sumner, E. J.; Parsons, D. R.; Wynn, R. B.

    2013-08-01

    In subaerial and submarine meander bends, fluid flow travels downstream in a helical spiral, the structure of which is determined by centrifugal, hydrostatic, baroclinic, and Coriolis forces that together balance frictional stresses generated by the flow. The sense of rotation of this helical flow, and in particular, whether the near bed flow is directed toward the inner bank, e.g., "river-normal," or outer bank, e.g., "river-reversed," is crucial to the morphodynamic evolution of the channel. However, in recent years, there has been a debate over the river-normal or river-reversed nature of submarine flows. Herein, we develop a novel three-dimensional closure of secondary flow dynamics, incorporating downstream convective material transport, to cast new light on this debate. Specifically, we show that the presence of net radial material transport, arising from flow superelevation and overspill, exerts a key control on the near bed orientation of secondary flow in submarine meanders. Our analysis implies that river-reversed flows are likely to be much more prevalent throughout submarine-canyon fan systems than prior studies have indicated.

  16. Coastal and submarine instabilities distribution in the tectonically active SW margin of the Corinth Rift (Psathopyrgos, Achaia, Greece)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simou, Eirini; Papanikolaou, Dimitrios; Lykousis, Vasilios; Nomikou, Paraskevi; Vassilakis, Emmanuel

    2014-05-01

    The Corinth Rift, one of the most active rifts in the world as local extension trending NE-SW reaches the amount of 14±2 mm/yr, corresponds to one of the largest zones of seismically active normal faulting. The formation, growth and migration southwards of the prevailing fault systems, which evolve simultaneously with the intense morphogenetic processes, are overprinted in the age, facies and thickness of the Plio-Pleistocene sequences constructing the south margin of the western Gulf of Corinth. The dominant fault blocks, defined by east-west trending, north dipping normal faults, are accompanied by several morphological features and anomalies, noticed in both the terrestrial and the marine environment. Our main aim has been to examine how the tectonic evolution, in combination with the attendant fierce erosional and sedimentary processes, has affected the morphology through geodynamic processes expressed as failures in the wider coastal area. High resolution multibeam bathymetry in combination with the available land surface data have contributed to submarine and subaerial morphological mapping. These have been used as a basis for the detection of all those geomorphic features that indicate instabilities probably triggered, directly or indirectly, by the ongoing active tectonic deformation. The interpretation of the combined datasets shows that the southwestern margin of the Corinth Rift towards Psathopyrgos fault zone is characterized by intense coastal relief and a narrow, almost absent, continental shelf, which passes abruptly to steep submarine slopes. These steep slope values denote the effects of the most recent brittle deformation and are related to coastal and submarine instabilities and failures. High uplift rates and rapid sedimentation, indicative of the regional high-energy terrestrial and submarine environment, are subsequently balanced by the transportation of the seafloor currents, especially where slope gradients decrease, disintegrating the

  17. Newly recognized submarine slide complexes in the southern California Bight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conrad, J. E.; Lee, H. J.; Edwards, B. D.; McGann, M.; Sliter, R. W.

    2012-12-01

    New high-resolution bathymetric and seismic-reflection surveys have imaged large (<0.5 km3) submarine landslides offshore southern California that have not been previously recognized in the Borderland. The new data show several large slides or slide complexes that include: 1) a slide complex consisting of numerous (>7) individual overlapping slides along the western margin of Santa Cruz Basin (SCB slide); 2) a series of slumps and slide scars on the slope south of San Pedro shelf (SPS slide); and 3) a slope failure along the shelf edge in northern San Diego County, termed the Del Mar slide. The SCB slide complex extends for 30 km along the western slope of Santa Cruz Basin, with debris lobes extending 5-8 km into the basin. Head scarps of some of these slides are 50-75 m high. The SPS slide complex also appears to consist of multiple slides, which roughly parallel the Palos Verdes Fault and the San Gabriel Canyon submarine channel on the shelf edge and slope south of San Pedro shelf. Slide deposits associated with this complex are only partially mapped due to limited high-resolution bathymetric coverage, but extend to the south in the area SW of Lasuen Knoll. Seismic-reflection profiles show that some of these deposits are up to 20 m thick. The Del Mar slide is located about 10 km north of La Jolla Canyon and extends about 6 km along the shelf edge. The head scarp lies along the trend of a branch of the Rose Canyon Fault Zone. Radiocarbon ages of sediment overlying this slide indicate the Del Mar slide is approximately 12-16 ka. These large slide complexes have several characteristics in common. Nearly all occur in areas of tectonic uplift. All of the complexes show evidence of recurrent slide activity, exhibiting multiple headwall scarps and debris lobes, and where available, high-resolution seismic-reflection profiles of these slide areas provide evidence of older, buried mass transport deposits. Assuming typical sedimentation rates, the recurrence interval of

  18. Distribution and transport of suspended particulate matter in Monterey Canyon, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Xu, J. P.; Noble, M.; Eittreim, S.L.; Rosenfeld, L.K.; Schwing, F.B.; Pilskaln, C.H.

    2002-01-01

    From August 1993 to August 1994, six moorings that measure current, temperature, salinity, and water clarity were deployed along the axis of Monterey Canyon to study the circulation and transport of water and suspended particulate matter through the canyon system. The moorings occupied three sites that are morphologically different: a narrow transverse section (axis width 900 m) at 1450 m water depth, a wide transverse section at 2837 m, and a third site in the fan valley axis farther offshore at 3223 m that recorded for 3 yr. In addition, CTD/transmissometer casts were conducted within and near the Monterey Canyon during four cruises. Our data show a mainly biogenic, surface turbid layer, a limited intermediate nepheloid layer, and a bottom nepheloid layer. There is a consistent presence of a turbid layer within the canyon at a water depth of about 1500 m. Tidal flow dominates at all sites, but currents above the canyon rim and within the canyon appear to belong to two distinct dynamic systems. Bottom intensification of currents plays an important role in raising the near-bottom shear stress high enough that bottom sediments are often, if not always, resuspended. Mean flow pattern suggests a convergence zone between the narrow and wide site: the near-bed (100 m above bottom where the lowest current meter was located) mean transport is down-canyon at the 1450-m site, while the near-bottom transport at the 2837-m site is up-canyon, at a smaller magnitude. Transport at the 3223-m site is dominantly NNW, cross-canyon, with periods of up-canyon flow over 3 yr. A very high-turbidity event was recorded 100 m above the canyon bottom at the narrow site. The event started very abruptly and lasted more than a week. This event was not detected at either of the deeper sites. A canyon head flushing event is likely the cause. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Arctic Submarine Slope Stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winkelmann, D.; Geissler, W.

    2010-12-01

    Submarine landsliding represents aside submarine earthquakes major natural hazard to coastal and sea-floor infrastructure as well as to coastal communities due to their ability to generate large-scale tsunamis with their socio-economic consequences. The investigation of submarine landslides, their conditions and trigger mechanisms, recurrence rates and potential impact remains an important task for the evaluation of risks in coastal management and offshore industrial activities. In the light of a changing globe with warming oceans and rising sea-level accompanied by increasing human population along coasts and enhanced near- and offshore activities, slope stability issues gain more importance than ever before. The Arctic exhibits the most rapid and drastic changes and is predicted to change even faster. Aside rising air temperatures, enhanced inflow of less cooled Atlantic water into the Arctic Ocean reduces sea-ice cover and warms the surroundings. Slope stability is challenged considering large areas of permafrost and hydrates. The Hinlopen/Yermak Megaslide (HYM) north of Svalbard is the first and so far only reported large-scale submarine landslide in the Arctic Ocean. The HYM exhibits the highest headwalls that have been found on siliciclastic margins. With more than 10.000 square kilometer areal extent and app. 2.400 cubic kilometer of involved sedimentary material, it is one of the largest exposed submarine slides worldwide. Geometry and age put this slide in a special position in discussing submarine slope stability on glaciated continental margins. The HYM occurred 30 ka ago, when the global sea-level dropped by app. 50 m within less than one millennium due to rapid onset of global glaciation. It probably caused a tsunami with circum-Arctic impact and wave heights exceeding 130 meters. The HYM affected the slope stability field in its neighbourhood by removal of support. Post-megaslide slope instability as expressed in creeping and smaller-scaled slides are

  20. Active submarine volcano sampled

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Taylor, B.

    1983-01-01

    On June 4, 1982, two full dredge hauls of fresh lava were recovered from the upper flanks of Kavachi submarine volcano, Solomon Islands, in the western Pacific Ocean, from the water depths of 1,200 and 2,700 feet. the shallower dredge site was within 0.5 mile of the active submarine vent shown at the surface by an area of slick water, probably caused by gas emissions. Kavachi is a composite stratovolcano that has been observed to erupt every year or two for at least the last 30 years (see photographs). An island formed in 1952, 1961, 1965, and 1978; but, in each case, it rapidly eroded below sea level. The latest eruption was observed by Solair pilots during the several weeks up to and including May 18, 1982. 

  1. NO2 photolysis frequencies in street canyons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koepke, P.; Garhammer, M.; Hess, M.; Roeth, E.-P.

    2010-05-01

    Photolysis frequencies for NO2 are modeled for the conditions in urban streets, which are taken into account as canyons with variable height and width. The effect of a street canyon is presented with absolute values and as a ratio RJ of the photolysis frequency within the street against those with free horizon, which allows further use of the existing photolysis parameterizations. Values are presented for variable solar elevation and azimuth angles, varying atmospheric conditions and different street properties. The NO2 photolysis frequency in the street, averaged over atmospheric conditions and street orientation, is reduced to less than 20% for narrow streets, to about 40% for typical urban streets, and only to about 80% for garden streets, each with about ±5% uncertainty. A parameterization of RJ with the global solar irradiance is given for values that are averaged over the meteorological conditions and the street orientation.

  2. NO2 photolysis frequencies in street canyons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koepke, P.; Garhammer, M.; Hess, M.; Roeth, E.-P.

    2010-08-01

    Photolysis frequencies for NO2 are modeled for the conditions in urban streets, which are taken into account as canyons with variable height and width. The effect of a street canyon is presented with absolute values and as a ratio RJ of the photolysis frequency within the street compared to that with free horizon. This allows further use of the existing photolysis parameterizations. Values are presented for variable solar elevation and azimuth angles, varying atmospheric conditions and different street properties. The NO2 photolysis frequency in a street depends strongly on the relative width of the street and its orientation towards the sun. Averaged over atmospheric conditions and street orientation, the NO2 photolysis frequency is reduced in comparison with the values for free horizon: to less than 20% for narrow skyscraper streets, to about 40% for typical urban streets, and only to about 80% for garden streets. A parameterization with the global solar irradiance is given for the averaged RJ values.

  3. Canyon and channel networks of Peru-Chile fore arc at Arica Bight

    SciTech Connect

    Coulbourn, W.T. )

    1990-05-01

    Canyons and channels of the Peru-Chile fore arc between 17{degree}30'S to 19{degree}30'S form a complex, integrated network revealed in SeaMARC II side-scan mosaics. The largest canyon, incised 200-600 m, is bordered by a series of sidewall slumps, producing a sinuosity that mimics subaerial meanders. The canyon courses across the Arequipa fore-arc basin floor, across a structural high and onto the middle trench slope to about 4,000 m where it disappears into a background of complex small-scale structures, From 500-2,500 m depth the canyon strikes north-south oblique to the regional slope. At 2,500 m, it abruptly turns to the southwest toward the trench axis. At this elbow, a second canyon heads on the midslope and also trends north-south until 3,500 m, where it too abruptly changes to a southwest course. A history of stream piracy analogous to subaerial systems is implied in this geometry. Tributaries join this main canyon from the landward side, forming a dendritic pattern. These channels have levees which are linked by submarine crevasse splays to sediment waves on the Arequipa basin floor. The orientation of the waves is reminiscent of bow waves from a passing ship, oblique to channel and pointing downslope, and may provide an indication of the vertical extent of passing turbidity currents. Sediments are dominantly olive gray, hemipelagic silts with sands present only immediately adjacent to the canyons. Boulders of mudstone line portions of the canyon floor. Sands are absent from the lowermost slope and trench axis, as are any indications of submarine fans. Sands may be rare in this system, with those that are present kneaded into the active margin system along the lower trench slope.

  4. 18. VIEW OF A CANYON IN THE CLEANUP PHASE. CANYONS ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    18. VIEW OF A CANYON IN THE CLEANUP PHASE. CANYONS WERE PROCESSING ROOMS USED TO HOUSE PLUTONIUM HANDLING OPERATIONS THAT WERE NOT CONTAINED WITHIN GLOVE BOXES. CANYONS WERE DESIGNED TO BECOME CONTAMINATED. (5/10/88) - Rocky Flats Plant, Plutonium Recovery Facility, Northwest portion of Rocky Flats Plant, Golden, Jefferson County, CO

  5. Bathymetry and Canyons of the western Solomon Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davies, H. L.; Keene, J. B.; Hashimoto, K.; Joshima, M.; Stuart, J. E.; Tiffin, D. L.

    1986-12-01

    The floor of the western Solomon Sea (for new bathymetric map see inside back cover of this issue) is dominated by the arched and ridged basement of the Solomon Sea Basin, the partly-sediment-filled New Britain Trench, and a more completely filled trench, the Trobriand Trough. There is a deep basin where the trenches join (149° Embayment), and a silled basin west of the New Britain Trench (Finsch Deep). Submarine canyons descend from the west and south to the 149° Embayment. Abyssal fans and plains are structurally defined and locally disturbed by young faults. Probable submerged pinnacle reefs stand in water depths as great as 1,200 m.

  6. Sediment Dating With Short-Lived Radioisotopes In Monterey Canyon, California Imply Episodes Of Rapid Deposition And Erosion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lorenson, T. D.; Swarzenski, P. W.; Maier, K. L.; Gwiazda, R.; Paull, C. K.; Sumner, E.; Symons, W. O.

    2015-12-01

    Submarine canyons are a major conduit for terrestrial material to the deep sea. To better constrain the timing and rates in which sediment is transported down-canyon, we collected a series of sediment cores along the axis of Monterey Canyon, and quantified mass accumulation rates using short-lived radio-isotopes. A suite of sediment cores were carefully collected perpendicular to the canyon thalweg in water depths of approximately 300m, 500m, 800m, and 1500m using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV). We choose cores that were between 60m and 75m above the canyon thalweg on canyon side bench features for correlation with moored instrument deployments. The sediment cores reveal a complex stratigraphy that includes copious bioturbation features, sand lenses, subtle erosional surfaces, subtle graded bedding, and abrupt changes sediment texture and color. Downcore excess 210Pb and 137Cs profiles imply episodic deposition and remobilization cycles on the canyon benches. Excess 210Pb activities in cores reach depths of up to 1m, implying very rapid sedimentation. Sedimentation rates vary with water depth, generally with the highest sedimentation rate in closest to land, but vary substantially on adjacent canyon benches. Preliminary results demonstrate that sediment movement within Monterey Canyon is both dynamic and episodic on human time-scales and can be reconstructed used short-lived radio-isotopes.

  7. Paleogene canyons of Tethyan margin and their hydrocarbon potential, Czechoslovakia

    SciTech Connect

    Picha, F.J. )

    1991-03-01

    Two Paleogene canyons buried below the Neogene foredeep and the Carpathian thrust belt in Southern Moravia have been outlined by drilling and seismic profiling. The features, as much as 12 km wide and over 1000 m deep, have been traced for 40 km. They are cut into Mesozoic and Paleozoic carbonate and clastic deposits and underlying Precambrian crystalline rocks. The sedimentary fill is made of late Eocene and early oligocene marine deposits, predominantly silty mudstones and siltstones. Sandstones and conglomerates are distributed mainly in the lower axial part of the valleys. Proximal and distal turbidites, grain-flow and debris-flow deposits have been identified in the fill. The common occurrence of slump folds, pebbly mudstones, and chaotic slump deposits indicate that mass movement played a significant role in sediment transport inside the canyons. The canyons are interpreted as being cut by rivers, then submerged and further developed by submarine processes. The organic rich mudstones of the canyon fill are significant source rocks (1-10% TOC). They reached the generative stage only after being tectonically buried below the Carpathian thrust belt in middle Miocene time. Channelized sandstones and proximal turbidities provide reservoirs of limited extent, although more substantial accumulations of sands are possible further downslope at the mouth of these canyons. Several oil fields have been discovered both within the canyon fill and the surrounding rocks. Similar Paleogene valleys may be present elsewhere along the ancient Tethyan margins buried below the Neogene foredeeps and frontal zones of the Alps and Carpathians. Their recognition could prove fruitful in the search for hydrocarbons.

  8. Bioerosion by chemosynthetic biological communities on Holocene submarine slide scars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paull, C. K.; Ussler, W.; Greene, H. G.; Barry, J.; Keaten, R.

    2005-02-01

    Geomorphic, stratigraphic, and faunal observations of submarine slide scars that occur along the flanks of Monterey Canyon in 2.0 2.5 km water depths were made to identify the processes that continue to alter the surface of a submarine landslide scar after the initial slope failure. Deep-sea chemosynthetic biological communities and small caves are common on the sediment-free surfaces of the slide scars, especially along the headwall. The chemosynthetic organisms observed on slide scars in Monterey Canyon undergo a faunal succession based in part on their ability to maintain their access to the redox boundaries in the sediment on which they depend on as an energy source. By burrowing into the seafloor, these organisms are able to follow the retreating redox boundaries as geochemical re-equilibration occurs on the sole of the slide. As these organisms dig into the seafloor on the footwall, they often generate small caves and weaken the remaining seafloor. While chemosynthetic biological communities are typically used as indicators of fluid flow, these communities may be supported by methane and hydrogen sulfide that are diffusing out of the fresh seafloor exposed at the sole of the slide by the slope failure event. If so, these chemosynthetic biological communities may simply mark sites of recent seafloor exhumation, and are not reliable fluid seepage indicators.

  9. Anomalous topography on the continental shelf around Hudson Canyon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knebel, H. J.

    1979-01-01

    Recent seismic-reflection data show that the topography on the Continental Shelf around Hudson Canyon is composed of a series of depressions having variable spacings (< 100 m to 2 km), depths (1-10 m), outlines, and bottom configurations that give the sea floor an anomalous "jagged" appearance in profile. The acoustic and sedimentary characteristics, the proximity to relict shores, and the areal distribution indicate that this rough topography is an erosional surface formed on Upper Pleistocene silty sands about 13,000 to 15,000 years ago by processes related to Hudson Canyon. The pronounced southward extension of the surface, in particular, may reflect a former increase in the longshore-current erosion capacity caused by the loss of sediments over the canyon. Modern erosion or nondeposition of sediments has prevented the ubiquitous sand sheet on the Middle Atlantic shelf from covering the surface. The "anomalous" topography may, in fact, be characteristic of areas near other submarine canyons that interrupt or have interrupted the longshore drift of sediments. ?? 1979.

  10. Braiding of submarine channels controlled by aspect ratio similar to rivers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foreman, Brady Z.; Lai, Steven Y. J.; Komatsu, Yuhei; Paola, Chris

    2015-09-01

    The great majority of submarine channels formed by turbidity and density currents are meandering in planform; they consist of a single, sinuous channel that transports a turbid, dense flow of sediment from submarine canyons to ocean floor environments. Braided turbidite systems consisting of multiple, interconnected channel threads are conspicuously rare. Furthermore, such systems may not represent the spontaneous planform instability of true braiding, but instead result from erosive processes or bathymetric variability. In marked contrast to submarine environments, both meandering and braided planforms are common in fluvial systems. Here we present experiments of subaqueous channel formation conducted at two laboratory facilities. We find that density currents readily produce a braided planform for flow aspect ratios of depth to width that are similar to those that produce river braiding. Moreover, we find that stability model theory for river planform morphology successfully describes submarine channels in both experiments and the field. On the basis of these observations, we propose that the rarity of braided submarine channels is explained by the generally greater flow depths in submarine systems, which necessitate commensurately greater widths to achieve the required aspect ratio, along with feedbacks among flow thickness, suspended sediment concentration and channel relief that induce greater levee deposition rates and limit channel widening.

  11. Bathymetrical distribution and size structure of cold-water coral populations in the Cap de Creus and Lacaze-Duthiers canyons (northwestern Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gori, A.; Orejas, C.; Madurell, T.; Bramanti, L.; Martins, M.; Quintanilla, E.; Marti-Puig, P.; Lo Iacono, C.; Puig, P.; Requena, S.; Greenacre, M.; Gili, J.

    2012-12-01

    Submarine canyons are known as one of the seafloor morphological features where living cold-water coral (CWC) communities develop in the Mediterranean Sea. We investigated the CWC community of the two westernmost submarine canyons of the Gulf of Lions canyon system: the Cap de Creus Canyon (CCC) and Lacaze Duthiers Canyon (LDC). Coral associations have been studied through video material recorded by means of a manned submersible and a remotely operated vehicle. Video transects have been conducted and analyzed in order to obtain information on (1) coral bathymetric distribution and density patterns, (2) size structure of coral populations, and (3) coral colony orientation with respect to the substrate. Madrepora oculata was the most abundant CWC in both canyons, while Lophelia pertusa and Dendrophyllia cornigera mostly occurred as isolated colonies or in small patches. An important exception was detected in a vertical cliff in LDC where a large Lophelia pertusa framework was documented. This is the first record of such an extended L. pertusa framework in the Mediterranean Sea. In both canyons coral populations were dominated by medium and large colonies, but the frequent presence of small-sized colonies also indicate active recruitment. The predominant coral orientation with respect to the substrate (90° and 135°) is probably driven by the current regime as well as by the sediment load transported by the current flows. In general no clear differences were observed between the CWC populations from CCC and LDC, despite large differences in particulate matter between canyons.

  12. Bathymetrical distribution and size structure of cold-water coral populations in the Cap de Creus and Lacaze-Duthiers canyons (northwestern Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gori, A.; Orejas, C.; Madurell, T.; Bramanti, L.; Martins, M.; Quintanilla, E.; Marti-Puig, P.; Lo Iacono, C.; Puig, P.; Requena, S.; Greenacre, M.; Gili, J. M.

    2013-03-01

    Submarine canyons are known as one of the seafloor morphological features where living cold-water coral (CWC) communities develop in the Mediterranean Sea. We investigated the CWC community of the two westernmost submarine canyons of the Gulf of Lions canyon system: the Cap de Creus Canyon (CCC) and Lacaze-Duthiers Canyon (LDC). Coral associations have been studied through video material recorded by means of a manned submersible and a remotely operated vehicle. Video transects have been conducted and analyzed in order to obtain information on (1) coral bathymetric distribution and density patterns, (2) size structure of coral populations, and (3) coral colony position with respect to the substrate. Madrepora oculata was the most abundant CWC in both canyons, while Lophelia pertusa and Dendrophyllia cornigera mostly occurred as isolated colonies or in small patches. An important exception was detected in a vertical cliff in LDC where a large L. pertusa framework was documented. This is the first record of such an extended L. pertusa framework in the Mediterranean Sea. In both canyons coral populations were dominated by medium and large colonies, but the frequent presence of small-sized colonies also indicate active recruitment. The predominant coral orientation (90° and 135°) is probably driven by the current regime as well as by the sediment load transported by the current flows. In general, no clear differences were observed in the abundance and in the size structure of the CWC populations between CCC and LDC, despite large differences in particulate matter between canyons.

  13. Submarine laser communications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McConathy, D. R.

    The Department of the Navy and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are sponsoring a joint study to investigate the use of blue-green laser technology to comunicate with submarines at operating depths. Two approaches are under investigation - one in which the laser itself is space-based, and the other in which the laser is ground-based with its beam redirected to the earth's surface by an orbiting mirror. This paper discusses these two approaches, and presents a brief history of activities which led to the current studies.

  14. Current submarine atmosphere control technology.

    PubMed

    Mazurek, W

    1998-01-01

    Air purification in submarines was introduced towards the end of World War II and was limited to the use of soda lime for the removal of carbon dioxide and oxygen candles for the regeneration of oxygen. The next major advances came with the advent of nuclear-powered submarines. These included the development of regenerative and, sometimes, energy-intensive processes for comprehensive atmosphere revitalization. With the present development of conventional submarines using air-independent propulsion there is a requirement for air purification similar to that of the nuclear-powered submarines but it is constrained by limited power and space. Some progress has been made in the development of new technology and the adoption of air purification equipment used in the nuclear-powered submarines for this application. PMID:11876194

  15. Variability in turbidity current frequency within a central Portuguese margin canyon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allin, Joshua R.; Talling, Peter J.; Hunt, James E.; Clare, Michael E.; Pope, Ed

    2015-04-01

    Submarine canyons constitute one of the most important pathways for sediment transport into ocean basins. For this reason, understanding canyon architecture and sedimentary processes has significance for oil and gas reservoir characterisation, carbon budgets and geohazard assessment. Canyon sedimentation in the form of turbidity-currents is known to operate on a variety of scales and result from a number of different processes, including landslides, river-derived hyperpycnal flows and tidal or storm resuspension. Despite the expanding knowledge of turbidity current triggers, the spatial variability in turbidity current frequency within most canyon systems is not well defined. Here, new chronologies from cores in the lower reaches of Nazaré Canyon illustrate changes in turbidity current frequency and their relationship to sea level. These flows were relatively frequent during the last glacial maximum and the last deglaciation, with an average recurrence interval of ~70 years. Mid to early Holocene slowdown in activity (avg. recurrence of 1625 years) appears to occur later than other systems along the Iberian margin. Cores from the Iberian Abyssal Plain also provide the first recurrence interval estimates for large run-out turbidity currents from the central Portuguese margin. These large turbidity currents have an average recurrence interval of 2750 years, broadly comparable to modern turbidity flow events in the lower Nazaré Canyon. This indicates that Nazaré Canyon acted as a depocentre, capturing large volumes of sediment during glacial periods prior to large scale canyon flushing events. However, this sediment capture has largely been restricted to the middle and upper canyon since stabilisation of Holocene sea level. Recurrence intervals suggest that large turbidity flows which flush the canyon operate on a timescale independent of the sea level forcing evident in the lower canyon. While instability-triggered landsliding and tidal/storm resuspension are

  16. Mapping the True 3D Morphology of Deep-Sea Canyons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huvenne, V. A.; Masson, D.; Tyler, P. A.; Huehnerbach, V.

    2010-12-01

    The importance of submarine canyons as ecosystem hotspots and sediment transport pathways has been recognised for decades (e.g. Heezen et al., 1955; Vetter & Dayton, 1998). However, studying canyon systems in detail is a challenge, because of the complexity and steepness of the terrain. Acoustic surveys are hampered by side-echoes, while the high slope angles cause most types of sampling equipment, deployed from surface vessels, to fail. Ship-borne bathymetric surveys tend to represent the canyon topography in an overly smoothed way as a result of their limited resolution in deep water compared to the scale of the terrain variability. Moreover, it is clear that overhanging cliffs cannot be mapped correctly with traditional, downward looking multibeam echosounders. The increasing availability of underwater vehicles, however, opens new opportunities. During summer 2009, we mapped several submarine canyon habitats in detail, using the UK deep-water Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) ISIS. In particular, we developed a new methodology to map vertical cliffs and overhangs by placing the high-resolution Simrad SM2000 multibeam system of the ROV in a forward-looking position rather than in the traditional downward-looking configuration. The cliff morphology was then mapped by moving the ROV laterally in parallel passes at different depths. Repeating this approach at different distances from the cliff face, we obtained maps of varying resolution and extent. The low resolution maps provide an overview of the general geological framework, while individual strata and faunal colonies can be recognised on the highest resolution maps. Using point-cloud models, we combined the ship-borne bathymetry with the ROV-based data, in order to obtain a true 3D seabed morphology of the canyon study site, which can be used for fly-throughs, geomorphological analysis or habitat mapping. With this approach, we could visualise the spatial structure and density distribution of a unique and

  17. Submarine slumps, slides, and flows dominate sculpting of Beringian Margin, Alaska

    SciTech Connect

    Carlson, P.R.; Karl, H.A.; Edwards, B.D.; Gardner, J.V.; Hall, R. )

    1990-06-01

    The 1,400 km long Beringian margin is characterized by several very large submarine canyons and by a large oceanic plateau at the southern end. GLORIA sidescan-sonar imagery provides a perspective of this margin that is unattainable with conventional acoustic profiles. The broad coverage of GLORIA images emphasizes that, of all the sedimentary processes affecting this vast margin, mass movement is clearly the dominant shaping process. Styles of failure include mud and debris flows, slumps, and massive block slides, some covering areas greater than 1,500 km{sup 2}. GLORIA imagery and seismic-reflection profiles show evidence for a wide variety of slides and slumps in the canyons of the northern margin, Navarin and Pervenets. The 100 km long shelf edge between these two canyons is characterized by a series of scalloped slide scars and incipient scars associated with blocks of sedimentary material, 1 to 2 km across. One of the largest single slide masses is a huge block tens of kilometers wide that occurs on the rise in the central part of the margin beyond the mouth of Zhemchug Canyon. Sliding of this block may have initiated the incision of the world's largest submarine canyon. The removal of this block accelerated headward erosion by retrograde failure until Zhemchug Canyon was cut back to a fault parallel to the shelf edge. Mass movement along the southern margin is widespread at the edges of Umnak Plateau. One mass failure, well-defined by GLORIA, is about 30 km wide and 55 km long. This and other slides along the plateau are associated with diapiric-like structures, suggesting relatively recent tectonism.

  18. Geomorphologic Features and Age Estimation of Submarine Landslides in the Southwestern Colombian Caribbean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Idarraga Garcia, J.; Vargas-Jimenez, C. A.

    2013-05-01

    We analyzed ~17000 km2 of high-resolution-bathymetric data in the southwestern Caribbean Sea of Colombia between the La Aguja Submarine Canyon (LASC) and the Gulf of Urabá. The data allowed us to identify and describe submarine landslides and to calculate their ages based on scarp dating by using numerical solutions of the diffusion equation. The ages are presented in terms of the constant k of diffusivity due to the absence of well constrained values for submarine environments. In the northeastern sector of the study area we differentiated 31 submarine failures associated with the LASC flanks, between 1200 and 3285 m depth, with escarpments slopes ranging between 6.1° and 36.8°; estimated ages suggest ranges between ~407 and ~103.5 k (m2). Triggering mechanisms of these landslides are close related to the occurrence of earthquakes originated in the convergence zone of the Santa Marta and Oca fault systems, and to the flanks instabilities product of the mud diapirism phenomena that is present in the area. In the central sector of the study zone, the continental margin is dominated by the presence of the Magdalena Submarine Fan (MSF). Here, most of the submarine failures are disintegrative (i.e. with no obvious deposit near or at the base of the scar) and all are related to a system of canyons belonging to the Magdalena turbidite system and to an abrupt slope break at the border of the continental shelf. Scarp dating suggests a wide range of ages fluctuating between ~207.1 and ~146427.8 k (m2). Landslides at southernmost sector of the study zone are mainly associated to anticline-related ridges of the Sinú Accretionary Prism. These ridges are structural highs cut by channels and canyons, and are associated with slopes of 10°-25°. In many cases, the failures are disintegrative and it is probable that the associated landslide deposits are buried by subsequent sediments related to broad fans forming in the mouth of channels and canyons. Additionally, some

  19. Seismic depth conversion problems associated with the Mississippi Canyon in the vicinity of Ewing Bank Block 305 field, offshore Louisiana

    SciTech Connect

    Leveille, G.P. ); Sahai, K.S.; McDaniel, P.G.

    1990-05-01

    Ewing Bank Block 305 field is located on the outermost edge of the continental shelf, approximately 145 km south of New Orleans, Louisiana. The geology of the field is fairly typical of other fields found offshore of Louisiana, except there is a huge, partly filled, Pleistocene submarine canyon that overlies the field. This canyon, which is commonly referred to as the Mississippi Canyon, causes a large seismic depth conversion problem that makes it virtually impossible to correctly map the structure of the field using normally processed marine seismic data The Mississippi Canyon is a large erosional feature that was formed at the mouth of the ancestral Mississippi River during the last glacial sea level lowstand. In the vicinity of the field, the canyon is about 10 km wide and 1 km deep, which is approximately two-thirds the size of the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River, and is filled mostly with Holocene sediments. Because the sediments that fill the canyon are very young, their interval velocities are much lower than the interval velocities of the sediments that form the canyon walls. This creates abrupt near surface lateral velocity variations that distort the geometry of seismic reflectors such that the time geometries seen on seismic lines are not at all indicative of the structure of the subsurface. Using a model-based processing technique and available well control, the authors have been able to solve this difficult depth conversion problem and have gained a better understanding of the geology of this field.

  20. Geology of a stratigraphically complex natural gas play: Canyon Sandstones, Val Verde Basin, southwest Texas. Topical report, January-October 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Laubach, S.E.; Clift, S.J.; Hamlin, H.S.; Dutton, S.P.; Hentz, T.F.

    1994-07-01

    The report examines the influence of stratigraphy, diagenesis, natural fractures, and in situ stress on low-permeability, gas-bearing sandstone reservoirs of the Paleozoic Ozona and Sonora Canyon Sandstones of the Val Verde Basin, Texas. The main stratigraphic controls on distribution and quality of Canyon Sandstone reservoirs are submarine fan depositional patterns. These patterns are revealed in regional facies and maximum sandstone maps. Siderite cement is key to good within-sandstone reservoir quality. Natural fractures are widespread in both Ozona and Sonora Canyon sandstones. They could be future targets for advanced drilling methods, and they need to be taken into account in hydraulic fracture treatment design and reservoir management.

  1. Submarine lithification of carbonate sediments.

    PubMed

    Milliman, J D

    1966-08-26

    Recrystallized planktonic limestones from two guyots in the North Atlantic are in oxygen-isotopic equilibrium with their present ambient waters, suggesting submarine lithifica tion and recrystallization. The early stages of submarine lithification of carbonates may involve precipitation of, and replacement by, magnesium-rich calcite; with time this may invert to magnesium-poor calcite. This type of lithification probably requires very low rates of sediment accumulation. PMID:17837254

  2. Submarine ramp facies model for delta-fed, sand-rich turbidite systems

    SciTech Connect

    Heller, P.L.; Dickinson, W.R.

    1985-06-01

    Some sandy turbidite successions contain facies that differ in significant ways from those predicted by the canyonfed submarine fan depositional model. The key differences are the absence of a master slope channel or canyon through which sediment is transported to the basin, and the lack of facies segregation into distinct channel and overbank or interchannel facies associations within the turbidite sequence. These types of sequences can be better described using a delta-fed submarine ramp depositional model. The primary components of this model are: a sandy deltaic system that has prograded to the shelf-slope break; an abbreviated section of mud-rich slope deposits traversed by multiple shallow channels that transport sand from the delta front to the deeper basin; very sandy proximal ramp deposits composed dominantly of laterally continuous sheets of Facies B turbidites; and less sandy distal ramp deposits characterized by an increase in the abundance of Facies C and D turbidites. Ramp turbidites characteristically display statistically random patterns of bed thickness. Submarine ramp development requires rapid sediment accumulation (>800 ft or 250 m/m.y.) in turbidite basins of shallow to moderate depth where deltaic progradation is rapid enough to mask the structural relief along basin margins. The delta-fed submarine ramp facies model may be useful in describing short-lived sandy depositonal episodes in some rapidly aggrading and prograding basinal sequences. As such, they represent one member in a spectrum of submarine fan depositional styles.

  3. Timing of occurrence of large submarine landslides on the Atlantic Ocean margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lee, H.J.

    2009-01-01

    Submarine landslides are distributed unevenly both in space and time. Spatially, they occur most commonly in fjords, active river deltas, submarine canyon-fan systems, the open continental slope and on the flanks of oceanic volcanic islands. Temporally, they are influenced by the size, location, and sedimentology of migrating depocenters, changes in seafloor pressures and temperatures, variations in seismicity and volcanic activity, and changes in groundwater flow conditions. The dominant factor influencing the timing of submarine landslide occurrence is glaciation. A review of known ages of submarine landslides along the margins of the Atlantic Ocean, augmented by a few ages from other submarine locations shows a relatively even distribution of large landslides with time from the last glacial maximum until about five thousand years after the end of glaciation. During the past 5000??yr, the frequency of occurrence is less by a factor of 1.7 to 3.5 than during or shortly after the last glacial/deglaciation period. Such an association likely exists because of the formation of thick deposits of sediment on the upper continental slope during glacial periods and increased seismicity caused by isostatic readjustment during and following deglaciation. Hydrate dissociation may play a role, as suggested previously in the literature, but the connection is unclear.

  4. The proximal part of the giant submarine Wailau landslide, Molokai, Hawaii

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clague, D.A.; Moore, J.G.

    2002-01-01

    The main break-in-slope on the northern submarine flank of Molokai at -1500 to -1250 m is a shoreline feature that has been only modestly modified by the Wailau landslide. Submarine canyons above the break-in-slope, including one meandering stream, were subaerially carved. Where such canyons cross the break-in-slope, plunge pools may form by erosion from bedload sediment carried down the canyons. West Molokai Volcano continued infrequent volcanic activity that formed a series of small coastal sea cliffs, now submerged, as the island subsided. Lavas exposed at the break-in-slope are subaerially erupted and emplaced tholeiitic shield lavas. Submarine rejuvenated-stage volcanic cones formed after the landslide took place and following at least 400-500 m of subsidence after the main break-in-slope had formed. The sea cliff on east Molokai is not the headwall of the landslide, nor did it form entirely by erosion. It may mark the location of a listric fault similar to the Hilina faults on present-day Kilauea Volcano. The Wailau landslide occurred about 1.5 Ma and the Kalaupapa Peninsula most likely formed 330??5 ka. Molokai is presently stable relative to sea level and has subsided no more than 30 m in the last 330 ka. At their peak, West and East Molokai stood 1.6 and 3 km above sea level. High rainfall causes high surface runoff and formation of canyons, and increases groundwater pressure that during dike intrusions may lead to flank failure. Active shield or postshield volcanism (with dikes injected along rift zones) and high rainfall appear to be two components needed to trigger the deep-seated giant Hawaiian landslides. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Photomosaics and logs of trenches on the San Andreas Fault at Mill Canyon near Watsonville, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fumal, Thomas E.; Dawson, Timothy E.; Flowers, Rebecca; Hamilton, John C.; Heingartner, Gordon F.; Kessler, James; Samrad, Laura

    2004-01-01

    We present photomosaics and logs of the walls of trenches excavated for a paleoseismic study at Mill Canyon, one of two sites along the San Andreas fault in the Santa Cruz Mtns. on the Kelley-Thompson Ranch. This site was a part of Rancho Salsipuedes begining in 1834. It was purchased by the present owner’s family in 1851. Remnants of a cabin/mill operations still exist up the canyon dating from 1908 when the area was logged. At this location, faulting has moved a shutter ridge across the mouth of Mill Canyon ponding Holocene sediment. Recent faulting is confined to a narrow zone near the break in slope.

  6. An investigation of the physical factors controlling the sense of secondary flow circulation within submarine meanders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Darby, S. E.; Dorrell, R. M.; Peakall, J.; Sumner, E.; Parsons, D. R.; Wynn, R.

    2012-12-01

    within submarine canyon-fan networks. Our findings highlight the importance of (i) Coriolis, (ii) flow baroclinicity, and (iii) the dimensionality of the space-time continuum in controlling the sense of helical flow in submarine meanders. Specifically, the new model presented here suggests that the propensity for the occurrence of meander 'reversed' flow circulations in canyon-fan networks may be considerably greater than recently advocated.

  7. Canyon in DCS Color

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site]

    Released July 26, 2004 This image shows two representations of the same infra-red image covering a portion of Ganges Chasma. On the left is a grayscale image showing surface temperature, and on the right is a false-color composite made from 3 individual THEMIS bands. The false-color image is colorized using a technique called decorrelation stretch (DCS), which emphasizes the spectral differences between the bands to highlight compositional variations.

    The northern canyon at the top of this image is dominated by a bright red/magenta area consisting primarly basaltic materials on the floor of the canyon and atmospheric dust. Within that area, there are patches of purple, on the walls and in the landslides, that may be due to an olivine rich mineral layer. In the middle of the image, the green on the mesa between the two canyons is from a layer of dust. The patchy blue areas in the southern canyon are likely due to water ice clouds.

    Image information: IR instrument. Latitude -6.6, Longitude 316 East (44 West). 100 meter/pixel resolution.

    Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing. The THEMIS investigation is led by Dr. Philip Christensen at Arizona State University. Lockheed Martin Astronautics

  8. New York Canyon Stimulation

    SciTech Connect

    Raemy, Bernard

    2012-06-21

    The New York Canyon Stimulation Project was to demonstrate the commercial application of Enhanced Geothermal System techniques in Buena Vista Valley area of Pershing County, Nevada. From October 2009 to early 2012, TGP Development Company aggressively implemented Phase I of Pre-Stimulation and Site/Wellbore readiness. This included: geological studies; water studies and analyses and procurement of initial permits for drilling. Oversubscription of water rights and lack of water needed for implementation of EGS were identified and remained primary obstacles. Despite extended efforts to find alternative solutions, the water supply circumstances could not be overcome and led TGP to determine a "No Go" decision and initiate project termination in April 2012.

  9. The bathypelagic community of Monterey Canyon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robison, Bruce H.; Sherlock, Rob E.; Reisenbichler, Kim R.

    2010-08-01

    We used a quiet, deep-diving remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to conduct oblique, quantitative video transects of the bathypelagic fauna at depths between 1000 and 3500 m at a site over the Monterey Submarine Canyon, in the eastern North Pacific off central California. Fifteen such dives were made over a two-year period. Analyses of the video data revealed a rich and diverse fauna dominated by gelatinous animals. In particular, the holopelagic polychaete Poeobius meseres was an important detritivore in the upper half of this depth range. As Poeobius abundance eventually declined with increasing depth, larvacean abundance increased. In contrast, the relative numbers of crustacean grazers, principally copepods and mysids, remained relatively constant with depth. Medusae were most abundant and most diverse among the gelatinous predators, which also included ctenophores, and siphonophores. Chaetognaths occurred chiefly in the upper half of the depth range. While there is considerable overlap, the bathypelagic fauna can be separated into upper (1000 to 2300 m) and lower (2400 to 3300 m) zones, as well as a distinct and populous benthic boundary layer. Within the overall bathypelagic community is a complex web of trophic links involving gelatinous predators that feed on both gelatinous and hard-bodied particle feeders, as well as on each other. The amount of organic carbon contained in this jelly web is substantial but its ecological fate is uncertain. The assessment of bathypelagic communities will be important for establishing baselines to conserve deep pelagic biodiversity within high-seas protected areas.

  10. Eustatic and structural control of submarine-fan sedimentation, Conception fan, Santa Barbara basin, California

    SciTech Connect

    Thor, D.R.

    1984-04-01

    Eustatic sea level lows provide an opportunity for submarine-fan development; topography and structure, however, can control depositional-sequence geometry. Analysis of high-resolution seismic data provides a basis to evaluate to the evolution and geometry of the Pleistocene-Holocene Conception fan. The fan formed in the restricted, tectonically active Santo Barbara basin. It consists of 4 vertically stacked depositional sequences, each bounded by nondepositional unconformities. The unconformities are defined by seismic-sequence boundaries and were formed during sea-level falls that are related to Pleistocene glacioeustatic changes. Each depositional sequence consists of lowstand, sandrich facies (fan channel, levee, and lobe) topped by highstand, mud-rich facies. The geometry of the depositional sequences tends to be rectilinear, not arcuate, because lateral progradation is restricted by topographically high structures. The modern fan surface and the Holocene depositional sequence provide a good analog for the older, underlying depositional sequences. The fan surface is characterized by 4 main channels, 2 of which head into submarine canyons incised into the shelf. Submarine canyons that fed the other 2 channels are now filled and have no topographic expression. In addition, numerous partially buried channel segments occur in the interchannel areas. The Holocene depositional sequence consists of lenticular and sheet-drape deposits interpreted to be channel, levee, and lobe facies. The facies geometry suggests that Mutti's topographic compensation, channel migration, and avulsion were typical processes on Conception fan.