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Sample records for adjacent continental slope

  1. Sea-floor drainage features of Cascadia Basin and the adjacent continental slope, northeast Pacific Ocean

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hampton, M.A.; Karl, Herman A.; Kenyon, Neil H.

    1989-01-01

    Sea-floor drainage features of Cascadia Basin and the adjacent continental slope include canyons, primary fan valleys, deep-sea valleys, and remnant valley segments. Long-range sidescan sonographs and associated seismic-reflection profiles indicate that the canyons may originate along a mid-slope escarpment and grow upslope by mass wasting and downslope by valley erosion or aggradation. Most canyons are partly filled with sediment, and Quillayute Canyon is almost completely filled. Under normal growth conditions, the larger canyons connect with primary fan valleys or deep-sea valleys in Cascadia Basin, but development of accretionary ridges blocks or re-routes most canyons, forcing abandonment of the associated valleys in the basin. Astoria Fan has a primary fan valley that connects with Astoria Canyon at the fan apex. The fan valley is bordered by parallel levees on the upper fan but becomes obscure on the lower fan, where a few valley segments appear on the sonographs. Apparently, Nitinat Fan does not presently have a primary fan valley; none of the numerous valleys on the fan connect with a canyon. The Willapa-Cascadia-Vancouver-Juan de Fuca deep-sea valley system bypasses the submarine fans and includes deeply incised valleys to broad shallow swales, as well as within-valley terraces and hanging-valley confluences. ?? 1989.

  2. 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.

  3. Degrading permafrost and gas hydrate under the Beaufort Shelf and marine gas hydrate on the adjacent continental slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paull, C. K.; Dallimore, S. R.; Hughes Clarke, J. E.; Blasco, S.; Melling, H.; Lundsten, E.; Vagle, S.; Collett, T. S.

    2011-12-01

    The sub-seafloor under the Arctic Shelf is arguably the part of the Earth that is undergoing the most dramatic warming. In the southern Beaufort Sea, the shelf area was terrestrially exposed during much of the Quaternary period when sea level was ~120m lower than present. As a consequence, many areas are underlain by >600m of ice-bonded permafrost that conditions the geothermal regime such that the base of the methane hydrate stability can be >1000m deep. Marine transgression has imposed a change in mean annual surface temperature from -15°C or lower during periods of terrestrial exposure, to mean annual sea bottom temperatures near 0°C. The thermal disturbance caused by transgression is still influencing the upper km of subsurface sediments. Decomposition of gas hydrate is inferred to be occurring at the base and the top of the gas hydrate stability zone. As gas hydrate and permafrost intervals degrade, a range of processes occur that are somewhat unique to this setting. Decomposition of gas hydrate at depth can cause sediment weakening, generate excess pore water pressure, and form free gas. Similarly, thawing permafrost can cause thaw consolidation, liberate trapped gas bubbles in ice bonded permafrost. Understanding the connection between deep subsurface processes generated by transgression, surficial sediment processes near the seafloor, and gas flux into the ocean and atmosphere is important to assessing geohazard and environmental conditions in this setting. In contrast, conditions for marine gas hydrate formation occur on the adjacent continental slope below ~270m water depths. In this paper, we present field observations of gas venting from three geologically distinct environments in the Canadian Beaufort Sea, two on the shelf and one on the slope. A complimentary paper by Dallimore et al reviews the geothermal changes conditioning this environment. Vigorous methane venting is occurring over Pingo-Like-Features (PLF) on the mid-shelf. Diffuse venting of

  4. Habitat use and preferences of cetaceans along the continental slope and the adjacent pelagic waters in the western Ligurian Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azzellino, A.; Gaspari, S.; Airoldi, S.; Nani, B.

    2008-03-01

    The physical habitat of cetaceans occurring along the continental slope in the western Ligurian Sea was investigated. Data were collected from two different sighting platforms, one of the two being a whale-watching boat. Surveys, conducted from May to October and from 1996 to 2000, covered an area of approximately 3000 km 2 with a mean effort of about 10,000 km year -1. A total of 814 sightings was reported, including all the species occurring in the area: Stenella coeruleoalba, Balaenoptera physalus, Physeter macrocephalus, Globicephala melas, Grampus griseus, Ziphius cavirostris, Tursiops truncatus, Delphinus delphis. A Geographic Information System was used to integrate sighting data to a set of environmental characteristics, which included bottom gradient, area between different isobaths, and length and linearity of the isobaths within a cell unit. Habitat use was analysed by means of a multi-dimensional scaling, MDS, analysis. Significant differences were found in the habitat preference of most of the species regularly occurring in the area. Bottlenose dolphin, Risso's dolphin, sperm whale and Cuvier's beaked whale were found strongly associated to well-defined depth and slope gradient characteristics of the shelf-edge and the upper and lower slope. The hypothesis of habitat segregation was considered for Risso's dolphin, sperm whale and Cuvier's beaked whale. Canonical discriminant functions using depth and slope as predictors outlined clear and not overlapping habitat preferences for Risso's dolphin and Cuvier's beaked whale, whereas a partial overlapping of the habitat of the other two species was observed for sperm whale. Such a partitioning of the upper and lower slope area may be the result of the common feeding habits and suggests a possible competition of these three species. A temporal segregation in the use of the slope area was also observed for sperm whales and Risso's dolphins. Fin whales, and the occasionally encountered common dolphin and long

  5. Ocean processes at the Antarctic continental slope

    PubMed Central

    Heywood, Karen J.; Schmidtko, Sunke; Heuzé, Céline; Kaiser, Jan; Jickells, Timothy D.; Queste, Bastien Y.; Stevens, David P.; Wadley, Martin; Thompson, Andrew F.; Fielding, Sophie; Guihen, Damien; Creed, Elizabeth; Ridley, Jeff K.; Smith, Walker

    2014-01-01

    The Antarctic continental shelves and slopes occupy relatively small areas, but, nevertheless, are important for global climate, biogeochemical cycling and ecosystem functioning. Processes of water mass transformation through sea ice formation/melting and ocean–atmosphere interaction are key to the formation of deep and bottom waters as well as determining the heat flux beneath ice shelves. Climate models, however, struggle to capture these physical processes and are unable to reproduce water mass properties of the region. Dynamics at the continental slope are key for correctly modelling climate, yet their small spatial scale presents challenges both for ocean modelling and for observational studies. Cross-slope exchange processes are also vital for the flux of nutrients such as iron from the continental shelf into the mixed layer of the Southern Ocean. An iron-cycling model embedded in an eddy-permitting ocean model reveals the importance of sedimentary iron in fertilizing parts of the Southern Ocean. Ocean gliders play a key role in improving our ability to observe and understand these small-scale processes at the continental shelf break. The Gliders: Excellent New Tools for Observing the Ocean (GENTOO) project deployed three Seagliders for up to two months in early 2012 to sample the water to the east of the Antarctic Peninsula in unprecedented temporal and spatial detail. The glider data resolve small-scale exchange processes across the shelf-break front (the Antarctic Slope Front) and the front's biogeochemical signature. GENTOO demonstrated the capability of ocean gliders to play a key role in a future multi-disciplinary Southern Ocean observing system. PMID:24891389

  6. Ocean processes at the Antarctic continental slope.

    PubMed

    Heywood, Karen J; Schmidtko, Sunke; Heuzé, Céline; Kaiser, Jan; Jickells, Timothy D; Queste, Bastien Y; Stevens, David P; Wadley, Martin; Thompson, Andrew F; Fielding, Sophie; Guihen, Damien; Creed, Elizabeth; Ridley, Jeff K; Smith, Walker

    2014-07-13

    The Antarctic continental shelves and slopes occupy relatively small areas, but, nevertheless, are important for global climate, biogeochemical cycling and ecosystem functioning. Processes of water mass transformation through sea ice formation/melting and ocean-atmosphere interaction are key to the formation of deep and bottom waters as well as determining the heat flux beneath ice shelves. Climate models, however, struggle to capture these physical processes and are unable to reproduce water mass properties of the region. Dynamics at the continental slope are key for correctly modelling climate, yet their small spatial scale presents challenges both for ocean modelling and for observational studies. Cross-slope exchange processes are also vital for the flux of nutrients such as iron from the continental shelf into the mixed layer of the Southern Ocean. An iron-cycling model embedded in an eddy-permitting ocean model reveals the importance of sedimentary iron in fertilizing parts of the Southern Ocean. Ocean gliders play a key role in improving our ability to observe and understand these small-scale processes at the continental shelf break. The Gliders: Excellent New Tools for Observing the Ocean (GENTOO) project deployed three Seagliders for up to two months in early 2012 to sample the water to the east of the Antarctic Peninsula in unprecedented temporal and spatial detail. The glider data resolve small-scale exchange processes across the shelf-break front (the Antarctic Slope Front) and the front's biogeochemical signature. GENTOO demonstrated the capability of ocean gliders to play a key role in a future multi-disciplinary Southern Ocean observing system.

  7. Hydrocarbon prospectivity of the Argentine Continental Slope

    SciTech Connect

    Light, M.P.R.; Keeley M.L.; Maslanyj, M.P.; Urien, C.M.; Hoggs, S.L.

    1993-02-01

    A rift basin containing stratigraphic and structural closures is developed along the Argentine slope over a distance of some 1000 km and area of 50,000 km[sup 2] in potentially exploitable water depths of 200 to 1500 m. No wells exist on this part of the continental margin. Rifting began during the Late Triassic/Jurassic and ended in Early Cretaceous. The first marine seaways flooded the Rift alluvial plains and lake. In Hauterian-Barrenian time, low circulation marine conditions with oxygen deficiency prevailed up to Rio Grande/Walvis Ridge flooding in part the coastal pull-apart basins. A major marine transgression in the Maastrichtian formed a widespread seal over the entire shelf and slope area. Four play types were identified: (1) a major north-east trending elongate delta system sourced inland from the San Julien (N. Malvinas) Basin and deposited on the southern Patagonian shelf and rise, (2) reworked deltaic barrier sands accumulated along the crest of the Outer Basement Ridge, (3) The Outer Basement Ridge, a major structural closure 400 km long, and (4) a series of margin-parallel rift systems in the offshore region between the 200 m and 1500 m isobaths. Regional seismic data and geological correlations suggest that oil prone source rocks are likely in the Middle and Upper Jurassic and Cretaceous formations. Source rocks are probably mature east and west of the Outer Basement Ridge and in the easterndepocenter of the Colorado Basin. Eastward migration from Jurassic age lacustrine source rocks in the Colorado Basin may have charged traps along the crest of the Outer Basement Ridge. Westward directed migration from deeply buried Aptian age marine source rocks in the Atlantic basins has probably charged prospective stratigraphic and structural traps in a suite of coast-parallel grabens developed on the Argentine continental shelf and slope. The Argentine offshore region, therefore, offers significant encouragement as a productive hydrocarbon province.

  8. Continental margin of Western europe: slope progradation and erosion.

    PubMed

    Curray, J R; Moore, D G; Belderson, R H; Stride, A H

    1966-10-14

    Reflection profiling of the continental margin off western Europe shows seaward-dipping continental-slope deposits that have been dissected by submarine canyons west of the English Channel. These records refute previous interpretation of structural benches of older, nearly horizontal strata outcropping on the slope face.

  9. What is the slope of the U.S. continental slope?

    SciTech Connect

    Pratson, L.F.; Haxby, W.F.

    1996-01-01

    Extensive high-resolution, multibeam bathymetry of five U. S. continental margins provides new, detailed information about the angle of continental slopes in different sedimentary and tectonic settings. The steepest continental slope examined is the passive-carbonate west Florida slope (4.4{degree} regional slope and 12.0{degree} mean local slope). The steepest of the four clastic continental slopes is the passive New Jersy-Maryland slope (2.5{degree} and 7.6{degree}). Less steep, at both regional and local scales, are the more rugged, tectonically active and probably unstable salt-tectonized louisiana slope (0.5{degree} and 2.9{degree}), strike-slip California slope (1.8{degree} and 5.2{degree}) and convergent oregon slope (2.0{degree} and 5.2{degree}). Frequency grids of local slope magnitude vs. depth and dip direction for the two passive continental slopes reflect present-day morphology predominantly being shaped by lithology (West Florida), sedimentation (New Jersey-Maryland), and downslope-directed erosion(New Jersey-Maryland, west Florida). The grids for the three tectonically acctive continental slopes reflect morphology partly (California) to predominantly (Louisiana, Oregon) being shaped by tectonics. 15 refs., 2 figs.

  10. The shaping of continental slopes by internal tides.

    PubMed

    Cacchione, D A; Pratson, L F; Ogston, A S

    2002-04-26

    The angles of energy propagation of semidiurnal internal tides may determine the average gradient of continental slopes in ocean basins (approximately 2 to 4 degrees). Intensification of near-bottom water velocities and bottom shear stresses caused by reflection of semi-diurnal internal tides affects sedimentation patterns and bottom gradients, as indicated by recent studies of continental slopes off northern California and New Jersey. Estimates of bottom shear velocities caused by semi-diurnal internal tides are high enough to inhibit deposition of fine-grained sediment onto the slopes.

  11. Circulation and exchange processes over the continental shelf and slope

    SciTech Connect

    Csanady, G.T.

    1988-01-01

    The theme of the work during the past triennium has been the SEEP experiment, data interpretation and modeling related to the goals of the experiment, and was characterized by increasing cooperation with colleagues from other disciplines. The theoretical contributions dealt with shelf-slope interaction, the dynamics and climatology of currents over the continental slope, and the behavior of fate of organic particles. Observational papers discussed various exchange mechanisms at the shelf edge, with special attention to particle exchange, and the quiescence of currents over the mid continental slope which is presumably responsible for the accumulation of organic particles.

  12. Pleistocene tectonic accretion of the continental slope off Washington

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Silver, E.A.

    1972-01-01

    Interpretation of reflection profiles across the Washington continental margin suggests deformation of Cascadia basin strata against the continental slope. Individual reflecting horizons can be traced across the slope-basin boundary. The sense of offset along faults on the continental slope is predominantly, but not entirely, west side up. Two faults of small displacement are seen to be west-dipping reverse faults. Magnetic anomalies on the Juan de Fuca plate can be traced 40-100 km eastward under the slope, and structural interpretation combined with calculated rates of subduction suggests that approximately 50 km of the outer continental slope may have been formed in Pleistocene time. Rocks of Pleistocene age dredge from a ridge exposing acoustic "basement" on the slope, plus the results of deep-sea drilling off northern Oregon, are consistent with this interpretation. The question of whether or not subduction is occurring at present is unresolved because significant strain has not affected the upper 200 m of section in the Cascadia basin. However, deformation of the outer part of the slope has been episodic and may reflect episodic yield, deposition rate, subduction rate, or some combination of these factors. ?? 1972.

  13. Submarine Landslide Morphology of Box Slides Present on the Continental Slope Offshore Fraser Island, Queensland, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fletcher, M. J. A.; Hubble, T.; Clarke, S. L.; Airey, D.; Yu, P. W. C.

    2014-12-01

    The Fraser Island slide complex is located on eastern Australia's continental slope. Two potentially tsunamigenic submarine landslides identified here as the 'North Fraser Island Upper Slope Slide' (25km2 in area, 100m thick) and the 'Middle Fraser Island Middle Slope Slide' (12km2 in area, 50m thick) are described. Morphologic, sedimentologic and geomechanical properties for these slides are compared to data reported for existing submarine landslides located to the south in New South Wales (NSW). The two Fraser Island slides are translational, box-shaped, slab slides. We suspect that the slabs remained intact during downslope transport. The upper slope slide is situated at a water depth of approximately 750m at the northern end of the Fraser Canyon complex. The head of this slide has apparently detached from a structural surface comprised of a Miocene reef complex located beneath the continental shelf edge. The middle slope slide is situated on a large plateau to the south of the Fraser Canyon complex in 1500m of water. Cores taken in the continental slope within both slides are long and present hemipelagic muds. Cores taken adjacent to both slides are short and terminate in stiff muds of suspected Miocene or Pliocene age. Additionally, the core adjacent to the upper slope slide presents a near surface layer of upper-fining of coarse to fine shelly sand which we interpret to be a turbidite deposit. This layer was deposited above hemipelagic muds which are ubiquitously present on the upper eastern Australian continental slope in NSW and Southern Queensland.

  14. Observations of energetic turbulence on the Weddell Sea continental slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fer, Ilker; Darelius, Elin; Daae, Kjersti B.

    2016-01-01

    Turbulence profile measurements made on the upper continental slope and shelf of the southeastern Weddell Sea reveal striking contrasts in dissipation and mixing rates between the two sites. The mean profiles of dissipation rates from the upper slope are 1-2 orders of magnitude greater than the profiles collected over the shelf in the entire water column. The difference increases toward the bottom where the dissipation rate of turbulent kinetic energy and the vertical eddy diffusivity on the slope exceed 10-7 W kg-1 and 10-2 m2 s-1, respectively. Elevated levels of turbulence on the slope are concentrated within a 100 m thick bottom layer, which is absent on the shelf. The upper slope is characterized by near-critical slopes and is in close proximity to the critical latitude for semidiurnal internal tides. Our observations suggest that the upper continental slope of the southern Weddell Sea is a generation site of semidiurnal internal tide, which is trapped along the slope along the critical latitude, and dissipates its energy in a m thick layer near the bottom and within km across the slope.

  15. Resonant generation of internal waves on a model continental slope.

    PubMed

    Zhang, H P; King, B; Swinney, Harry L

    2008-06-20

    We study internal wave generation in a laboratory model of oscillating tidal flow on a continental margin. Waves are found to be generated only in a near-critical region where the slope of the bottom topography matches that of internal waves. Fluid motion with a velocity an order of magnitude larger than that of the forcing occurs within a thin boundary layer above the bottom surface. The resonant wave is unstable because of strong shear; Kelvin-Helmholtz billows precede wave breaking. This work provides a new explanation for the intense boundary flows on continental slopes.

  16. Nepheloid layers and internal waves over continental shelves and slopes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cacchione, D.A.; Drake, D.E.

    1986-01-01

    Theoretical and laboratory results indicate that bottom velocities within shoaling internal gravity waves intensify upslope approximately inversely proportional to the water depth. The elevated velocities (and bottom stresses) caused by shoaling and, possibly, breaking internal waves might explain the generation and maintenance of near-bottom nepheloid zones and attached turbid plumes that have been observed over certain continental shelves and slopes. This process is proposed as an explanation of zones of relatively low transmissibility that emanate from the upper continental slope near Newport submarine canyon off southern California. ?? 1986 Springer-Verlag New York Inc.

  17. Submarine landslides along the eastern Mediterranean Israeli continental slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reuven, Einav; Katz, Oded; Aharonov, Einat

    2013-04-01

    Numerous shallow submarine slope failures (scars and deposits) are observed in recent high resolution bathymetric grids of the continental slope off the Israeli eastern Mediterranean coast. The nature of these slope failures is currently not comprehensively understood as well as the question of whether the eastern Mediterranean continental slope is continuously or episodically unstable. We report here first steps towards understanding the present state of this submarine landslide system, which include mapping and analyzing the geology of the landslides and the hosting slopes. The continental slope extends from water depths of about 150 to more than 1000 meters with a slope of less than 5 degrees in general. Bathymetric grids with pixel resolution of 15 m till water depth of 700 m and 50 m till water depth of 1700 m were used. Analyzing the bathymetry revealed three main submarine surface features: (a) numerous shallow landslides, within the upper sequence of the post-Messenian sediments. Landslide widths range between hundreds to thousand of meters at the scar, with scar heights up to hundred meters. The toes of the landslides are not always mapable and lay up to a few kilometers down slope from the scar. Slope angles within the scars are 5 to more than15 degrees. At least two types of landslides were detected: presumably young slides with sharp scars, and presumably old slides with secondary slides and secondary drainage systems developed within the scar area; (b) a few kilometers long, north striking step-like lineaments. Step heights are up to 100 meters and the slopes are up to 20 degrees. The offset between parallel steps is less than a kilometer to a few kilometers. The steps are interpreted as surface expressions of growth faults rooted at the Messinian evaporates up to 1.5 kilometers below surface; (c) a few north striking channels were also detected with steep walls of more than 15 degrees, up to two kilometers width and a few kilometers length. The nature

  18. Is there a distinct continental slope fauna in the Antarctic?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaiser, Stefanie; Griffiths, Huw J.; Barnes, David K. A.; Brandão, Simone N.; Brandt, Angelika; O'Brien, Philip E.

    2011-02-01

    The Antarctic continental slope spans the depths from the shelf break (usually between 500 and 1000 m) to ˜3000 m, is very steep, overlain by 'warm' (2-2.5 °C) Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW), and life there is poorly studied. This study investigates whether life on Antarctica's continental slope is essentially an extension of the shelf or the abyssal fauna, a transition zone between these or clearly distinct in its own right. Using data from several cruises to the Weddell Sea and Scotia Sea, including the ANDEEP (ANtarctic benthic DEEP-sea biodiversity, colonisation history and recent community patterns) I-III, BIOPEARL (BIOdiversity, Phylogeny, Evolution and Adaptive Radiation of Life in Antarctica) 1 and EASIZ (Ecology of the Antarctic Sea Ice Zone) II cruises as well as current databases (SOMBASE, SCAR-MarBIN), four different taxa were selected (i.e. cheilostome bryozoans, isopod and ostracod crustaceans and echinoid echinoderms) and two areas, the Weddell Sea and the Scotia Sea, to examine faunal composition, richness and affinities. The answer has important ramifications to the link between physical oceanography and ecology, and the potential of the slope to act as a refuge and resupply zone to the shelf during glaciations. Benthic samples were collected using Agassiz trawl, epibenthic sledge and Rauschert sled. By bathymetric definition, these data suggest that despite eurybathy in some of the groups examined and apparent similarity of physical conditions in the Antarctic, the shelf, slope and abyssal faunas were clearly separated in the Weddell Sea. However, no such separation of faunas was apparent in the Scotia Sea (except in echinoids). Using a geomorphological definition of the slope, shelf-slope-abyss similarity only changed significantly in the bryozoans. Our results did not support the presence of a homogenous and unique Antarctic slope fauna despite a high number of species being restricted to the slope. However, it remains the case that there may be

  19. Interaction of dipole eddies with the western continental slope of the Mozambique Channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, Michael J.; Ternon, Jean-François; Morris, Tamaryn

    2014-02-01

    Sea Level Anomaly (SLA) data were used to track a southward propagating eddy dipole along the western slope of the Mozambique Channel over some 6 months. In April 2005, this dipole (with the cyclone to the south) was close to the continental slope off southern Mozambique. The contact zone between the contra-rotating vortices and the slope was surveyed by ship using onboard (S-)ADCP and CTD lines. The data showed strong (>1.4 m s-1) southward (geostrophic) currents over the slope adjacent to the anticyclone with horizontal divergence over the shelf edge. Significant slope upwelling between the dipole and the shelf was evident, concomitant with enhanced nutrient and chlorophyll levels enriching shelf near-surface waters. Satellite observations depicted a 300 km long surface chlorophyll filament extending offshore in the frontal zone between the contra-rotating vortices. A satellite-tracked drifter deployed at the coastal base of this filament confirmed the offshore advection of chlorophyll-enriched shelf water, which ultimately wrapped around the cyclone and filling its centre. The slope upwelling was also clearly evident in hourly temperature data collected by a recorder deployed on a nearby reef (Zambia Reef) in a depth of 18 m. According to the SLA data, the dipole took several weeks to pass Zambia Reef causing prolonged bouts of upwelling that finally ceased when it left the continental slope and moved southwards into the open ocean. Further analysis showed that lone anticyclones and cyclones against the Mozambique continental shelf also induce slope upwelling as a result of horizontal divergence created by the radial circulation of the vortex. In the case of cyclones, the divergence occurs north of the contact zone. Overall, this case study confirms that eddies moving southwards along the western side of the Mozambique Channel are the main mechanism for pumping nutrients into the otherwise oligotrophic surface waters, and moreover, provide a vigorous mechanism

  20. Acoustic Propagation in Continental Shelf Break and Slope Environments

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-09-01

    goal of the research is to increase the physical understanding of acoustic propagation in continental shelf and slope environments in the 50-4000 Hz...band. This includes both the physics of the seabed and the coupling to physical mechanisms in the water column in complex range- and azimuth-dependent...combined study of statistical inference and the effects of seabed layering is expected to relate propagation statistics to physical mechanisms on

  1. Internal Wave Scattering in Idealized and Realistic Continental Slope Canyons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nazarian, Robert; Legg, Sonya

    2016-11-01

    When internal waves interact with topography, such as continental slopes, they can deposit their energy to local dissipation and mixing. Submarine canyons comprise about ten percent of global continental slopes, and can enhance the local dissipation of internal wave energy, yet parameterizations of canyon mixing processes are currently missing from ocean models. As a first step in developing such parameterizations, a parameter space study of M2 tidal-frequency, low-mode internal waves interacting with idealized canyon topographies was conducted. A two-pronged approach was employed in which a suite of MITgcm simulations was compared with a novel, analytical ray tracing scheme. The most noticeable result was that, as the ratio of the canyon mouth width to canyon length decreased, there was a marked increase in the relative energy loss. This energy loss also increased as the canyon sidewall steepness increased. Processes leading to this increased energy loss include increased energy focusing, increasing vertical wavenumber via multiple reflections for non-vertical sidewalls and the presence of arrested lee waves for vertical sidewalls. To test the robustness of these results, we model the energy lost from remotely-generated M2 internal tides in three realistic canyons with very different geometries: Veatch, La Jolla and Eel Canyons, comparing results with both idealized simulations and microstructure data taken from these locations. We also discuss how current parameterizations of tidally-driven diapycnal mixing can be extended to include the effects of continental slope canyons. NOAA Award NA08OAR4320752.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Unusual megafaunal assemblages on the continental slope off Cape Hatteras

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hecker, Barbara

    Megafaunal assemblages were studied in August-September 1992 using a towed camera sled along seven cross-isobath transects on the continental slope off Cape Hatteras. A total of 20,722 megafaunal organisms were observed on 10,918 m 2 of the sea floor between the depths of 157 and 1 924 m. These data were compared with data previously collected off Cape Hatteras in 1985 and at other locations along the eastern U.S. coast between 1981 and 1987. Megafaunal populations on the upper and lower slopes off Cape Hatteras were fouond to be similar, in terms of density and species composition, to those observed at the other locations. In contrast, megafaunal abundances were found to be elevated (0.88 and 2.65 individuals per m 2 during 1985 and 1992, respectively) on the middle slope off Cape Hatteras when compared to most other slope locations (<0.5individuals per m 2). These elevated abundances mainly reflect dense populations of three demersal fish, two eel pouts ( Lysenchelys verrilli and Lycodes atlanticus) and the witch flounder Glyptocephalus cynoglossus, and a large anemone ( Actinauge verrilli). These four species dominated the megafauna off Cape Hatteras, whereas they represented only a minor component of megafaunal populations found at other slope locations. Additionally, numerous tubes of the foraminiferan Bathysiphon filiformis were observed off Cape Hatteras, but not elsewhere. The high density of demersal fish found off Cape Hatteras appears to be related to the high densities of infaunal prey reported from this area. The high densities of A. verrilli and B. fuliformis may be related to the same factors responsible for the high infaunal densities, namely enhanced nutrient inputs in the form of fine particles. Extreme patchiness also was observed in the distributions of the middle slope taxa off Cape Hatteras. This patchiness may reflect the habitat heterogeneity of this exceptionally rugged slope and the sedentary nature of the organisms inhabiting it.

  5. Spring sapping on the lower continental slope, offshore New Jersey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Robb, James M.

    1984-01-01

    Undersea discharge of ground water during periods of lower sea level may have eroded valleys on part of the lower continental slope, offshore New Jersey. Steep-headed basins, cliffed and terraced walls, and irregular courses of these valleys may have been produced by sapping of exposed near-horizontal Tertiary strata. Joints in Eocene calcareous rocks would have localized ground-water movement. Some karstlike features of the submarine topography and the outcrops suggest that solution of the calcareous rocks also took place.

  6. Precipitous Continental Slopes and Considerations on the Transitional Crust.

    PubMed

    Emiliani, C

    1965-01-08

    The continental slope bordering the Bahamian Platform to the east descends precipitously from a shallow edge to oceanic depths. Sustained slopes of at least 40 degrees have been found east of San Salvador. Considerations based on isostatic equilibrium suggest that in this area the oceanic crust may approach the edge of the shelf within a distance as short as 8.5 km. If so, it may be possible to drill and sample a substantial portion of the transitional crust by means of directional drilling techniques from a rig located at the edge of the shelf. It may even be possible, at some future time, to cross the entire crust, pierce the Mohorovicić discontinuity, and penetrate the mantle.

  7. 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.

  8. Benthic polychaete diversity patterns and community structure in the Whittard Canyon system and adjacent slope (NE Atlantic)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gunton, Laetitia M.; Neal, Lenka; Gooday, Andrew J.; Bett, Brian J.; Glover, Adrian G.

    2015-12-01

    We examined deep-sea macrofaunal polychaete species assemblage composition, diversity and turnover in the Whittard Canyon system (NE Atlantic) using replicate megacore samples from three of the canyon branches and one site on the continental slope to the west of the canyon, all at ~3500 m water depth. A total of 110 polychaete species were recorded. Paramphinome jeffreysii was the most abundant species (2326 ind. m-2) followed by Aurospio sp. B (646 ind. m-2), Opheliidae sp. A (393 ind. m-2), Prionospio sp. I (380 ind. m-2), and Ophelina abranchiata (227 ind. m-2). Species composition varied significantly across all sites. From west to east, the dominance of Paramphinome jeffreysii increased from 12.9% on the slope to 39.6% in the Eastern branch. Ordination of species composition revealed that the Central and Eastern branches were most similar, whereas the Western branch and slope sites were more distinct. High abundances of P. jeffreysii and Opheliidae sp. A characterised the Eastern branch of the canyon and may indicate an opportunistic response to a possible recent input of organic matter inside the canyon. Species richness and diversity indices were higher on the slope compared with inside the canyon, and the slope site had higher species evenness. Within the canyon, species diversity between branches was broadly similar. Despite depressed diversity within the canyon compared with the adjacent slope, the fact that 46 of the 99 polychaete species found in the Whittard Canyon were not present on the adjacent slope suggests that this feature may enhance the regional species pool. However, our sampling effort on the adjacent slope was insufficient to confirm this conclusion.

  9. Overpressure, Flow Focusing, Compaction and Slope Stability on the continental slope: Insights from IODP Expedition 308

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flemings, P. B.

    2010-12-01

    Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expepedition 308 used direct measurements of pore pressure, analysis of hydromechanical properties, and geological analysis to illuminate how sedimentation, flow focusing, overpressure, and slope stability couple beneath the seafloor on the deepwater continental slope in the Gulf of Mexico. We used pore pressure penetrometers to measure severe overpressures (60% of the difference between lithostatic stress and hydrostatic pressure) that extend from the seafloor for 100’s of meters. We ran uniaxial consolidation experiments on whole core and found that although permeability is relatively high near the seafloor, the sediments are highly compressible. As a result, the coefficient of consolidation (the hydraulic diffusivity) is remarkably constant over a large range of effective stresses. This behavior accounts for the high overpressure that begins near the seafloor and extends to depth. Forward modeling suggests that flow is driven laterally along a permeable unit called the Blue Unit. Calculations suggest that soon after deposition, lateral flow lowered the effective stress and triggered the submarine landslides that we observe. Later in the evolution of this system, overpressure may have pre-conditioned the slope to failure by earthquakes. Results from IODP Expedition 308 illustrate how pore pressure and sedimentation control the large-scale form of continental margins, how submarine landslides form, and provide strategies for designing stable drilling programs.

  10. Evolution of continental slope gullies on the northern california margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Spinelli, G.A.; Field, M.E.

    2001-01-01

    A series of subparallel, downslope-trending gullies on the northern California continental slope is revealed on high-resolution seismic reflection profiles imaging the uppermost 50 m of sediment. The gullies are typically 100 m wide and have 1 to 3 m of relief. They extend for 10 to 15 km down the slope and merge into larger channels that feed the Trinity Canyon. In the lower half of the 50 m stratigraphic section, the gullies increase in both relief and number up section, to maxima at a surface 5 to 10 m below the last glacial maximum lowstand surface. Gully relief increased as interfluves aggraded more rapidly than thalwegs. Erosion is not evident in the gully bottoms, therefore gully growth was probably due to reduced sediment deposition within the gullies relative to that on interfluves. As the gullies increased in relief, their heads extended upslope toward the shelfbreak. At all times, a minimum of 10 km of non-gullied upper slope and shelf stretched between the heads of the gullies and the paleo-shoreline; the gullies did not connect with a subaerial drainage network at any time. Gully growth occurred when the gully heads were in relatively shallow water (??? 200 m paleo-water depth) and were closest to potential sediment sources. We suggest that prior to the last glacial maximum, the Mad River, then within 10 km of the gully heads, supplied sediment to the upper slope, which fed downslope-eroding sediment flows. These flows removed sediment from nearly parallel gullies at a rate slightly slower than sediment accumulation from the Eel River, 40 km to the south. The process or processes responsible for gully growth and maintenance prior to the last glacial maximum effectively ceased following the lowstand, when sea level rose and gully heads lay in deeper water (??? 300 m water depth), farther from potential sediment sources. During sea-level highstand, the Mad River is separated from the gully heads by a shelf 30 km wide and no longer feeds sediment flows

  11. Shear-strength signatures of mass movements, continental slope of Campos Basin, Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kowsmann, R. O.; da Costa, A. M.; Amaral, C. S.

    2003-04-01

    Downhole shear-strength profiles, obtained from cone-penetrometer and lab tests were tied to sedimentary facies from adjacent continuous cores. The geotechnical response of mass-transport deposits was investigated. In the Campos Basin, sediments have evacuated from the upper continental slope and have accumulated as folded deposits on the middle slope. Sediment removal is recognised by an abrupt step-like increase in shear-strength at the level of the unconformity. The folded deposits are characterised by a belly-shaped increase in shear-strength coinciding with a zone of intense lamination within the deposit, induced by internal shearing and fluid loss (strain hardening). In contrast, highly disintegrated muddy debris-flow deposits are indistinguishable, in terms of shear-strength, from normal hemipelagic slope sediments. Debris-flow tongues emanating from canyon mouths, which contain a significant amount of more consolidated mud clasts can however be differentiated from in situ sediments by their serrated signature and higher shear-strength.

  12. Processes on the continental slope off North Carolina with special reference to the Cape Hatteras region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rhoads, Donald C.; Hecker, Barbara

    Historical data from the slope off Cape Hatteras show this environment to be atypical of the rest of the Atlantic slope in terms of high rates of sedimentation and high benthic/demersal standing stocks. This paper focuses on identifying potential sources for sediments and nutrients on the Hatteras slope and on likely transport mechanisms. Sediments consist mainly of subequal mixtures of sand, silt, and clay and contain an average of 1% carbon. This pool of carbon represents weathered organic matter containing polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and sterols typical of relatively refractory shelf/estuarine sediments. The labile organic fraction is derived from phytoplankton and zooplankton as reflected in short chain fatty acids (continental slope. The inventory of organic nitrogen is much higher on the mid-slope (800-1 000 m) than shallower or deeper bottom areas as predicted from plots of organic nitrogen versus grain-size for the U.S. Atlantic continental margin. The midslope region is the major focusing area for sedimentation. Bioturbation is an important diagenetic process that has profound influence on sediment profiles of sulphate, methane, fatty acids, sterols, chlorophyll a, viable diatoms, and metals. The low inventory of relatively refractory carbon (1%) stands in contrast to high measured rates of organic carbon sedimentation (28-121 g organic C m -2 year -1). This paradox is probably related to high remineralization rates in the water column and on the bottom. The refractory nature of the small residual pool of deposited organic matter may define the trophic niche filled by those benthos found on this slope that are more typically encountered on the shelf (e.g. oligochaetes and opportunistic polychaetes). A likely mechanism for high input rates of both organic and inorganic particulates to the Hatteras slope may be attributed to

  13. Numerical Internal Tide Scattering, Diffraction, and Dissipation on the Tasman Continental Slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klymak, J. M.; Simmons, H. L.; MacKinnon, J. A.; Alford, M. H.; Pinkel, R.

    2014-12-01

    Internal tides generated at steep topography tend to propagate far from their source with little local mixing. Where does this energy dissipate? One candidate is via reflection on continental slopes. The upcoming Tasmanian Internal Tide Experiment aims to look at the reflection of internal tide generated near New Zealand and track its reflection from the Tasmanian Continental Slope. Here we consider numerical studies to track the propagation of the internal tide onto this slope and its dissipation. We find a strong interference patterns sets up, as expected from a reflecting tide. The pattern is complicated by the ``Tasman Rise'' positioned near the center of the incoming internal tide beam, causing a diffraction pattern to focus and defocus the tide along the slope. Dissipative mechanisms on the slope include turbulent lee waves from small cross-slope ridges, and along-slope lee-waves trapped and breaking in corrugations in the slope.

  14. The speciation of marine particulate iron adjacent to active and passive continental margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lam, Phoebe J.; Ohnemus, Daniel C.; Marcus, Matthew A.

    2012-03-01

    We use synchrotron-based chemical-species mapping techniques to compare the speciation of suspended (1-51 μm) marine particulate iron collected in two open ocean environments adjacent to active and passive continental margins. Chemical-species mapping provides speciation information for heterogeneous environmental samples, and is especially good for detecting spectroscopically distinct trace minerals and species that could not be detectable by other methods. The average oxidation state of marine particulate iron determined by chemical-species mapping is comparable to that determined by standard bulk X-ray Absorption Near Edge Structure spectroscopy. Using chemical-species mapping, we find that up to 43% of particulate Fe in the Northwest Pacific at the depth of the adjacent active continental margin is in the Fe(II) state, with the balance Fe(III). In contrast, particulate iron in the eastern tropical North Atlantic, which receives the highest dust deposition on Earth and is adjacent to a passive margin, is dominated by weathered and oxidized Fe compounds, with Fe(III) contributing 90% of total iron. The balance is composed primarily of Fe(II)-containing species, but we detected individual pyrite particles in some samples within an oxygen minimum zone in the upper thermocline. Several lines of evidence point to the adjacent Mauritanian continental shelf as the source of pyrite to the water column. The speciation of suspended marine particulate iron reflects the mineralogy of iron from the adjacent continental margins. Since the solubility of particulate iron has been shown to be a function of its speciation, this may have implications for the bioavailability of particulate iron adjacent to passive compared to active continental margins.

  15. Circulation and exchange processes over the continental shelf and slope. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Csanady, G.T.

    1988-12-31

    The theme of the work during the past triennium has been the SEEP experiment, data interpretation and modeling related to the goals of the experiment, and was characterized by increasing cooperation with colleagues from other disciplines. The theoretical contributions dealt with shelf-slope interaction, the dynamics and climatology of currents over the continental slope, and the behavior of fate of organic particles. Observational papers discussed various exchange mechanisms at the shelf edge, with special attention to particle exchange, and the quiescence of currents over the mid continental slope which is presumably responsible for the accumulation of organic particles.

  16. Spreading and slope instability at the continental margin offshore Mt Etna, imaged by high-resolution 2D seismic data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gross, Felix; Krastel, Sebastian; Behrmann, Jan-Hinrich; Papenberg, Cord; Geersen, Jacob; Ridente, Domenico; Latino Chiocci, Francesco; Urlaub, Morelia; Bialas, Jörg; Micallef, Aaron

    2015-04-01

    Mount Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe. Its volcano edifice is located on top of continental crust close to the Ionian shore in east Sicily. Instability of the eastern flank of the volcano edifice is well documented onshore. The continental margin is supposed to deform as well. Little, however, is known about the offshore extension of the eastern volcano flank and its adjacent continental margin, which is a serious shortcoming in stability models. In order to better constrain the active tectonics of the continental margin offshore the eastern flank of the volcano, we acquired and processed a new marine high-resolution seismic and hydro-acoustic dataset. The data provide new detailed insights into the heterogeneous geology and tectonics of shallow continental margin structures offshore Mt Etna. In a similiar manner as observed onshore, the submarine realm is characterized by different blocks, which are controlled by local- and regional tectonics. We image a compressional regime at the toe of the continental margin, which is bound to an asymmetric basin system confining the eastward movement of the flank. In addition, we constrain the proposed southern boundary of the moving flank, which is identified as a right lateral oblique fault movement north of Catania Canyon. From our findings, we consider a major coupled volcano edifice instability and continental margin gravitational collapse and spreading to be present at Mt Etna, as we see a clear link between on- and offshore tectonic structures across the entire eastern flank. The new findings will help to evaluate hazards and risks accompanied by Mt Etna's slope- and continental margin instability and will be used as a base for future investigations in this region.

  17. Seasonal fluctuations of deep megabenthos: Finding evidence of standing stock accumulation in a flux-rich continental slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tecchio, Samuele; Ramírez-Llodra, Eva; Aguzzi, Jacopo; Sanchez-Vidal, Anna; Flexas, M. Mar; Sardà, Francisco; Company, Joan B.

    2013-11-01

    Throughout the deep oceans, diversity in the benthos peaks at intermediate slope depths. In the western Mediterranean lower slope an accumulation of biomass, but not diversity, at depths of 1200-1350 m has been observed. However, the precise causes of this biomass peak are unknown. We examined the patterns of megafauna benthic biomass in the Catalan sea open slope, from 900 to 1750 m depth, expanding the results in the context of the whole continental margin. Sampling was carried out by combining an Otter-Trawl Maireta System (OTMS) and an Agassiz trawl, during four different seasons in 2008/2009. At the same time, current speed, temperature and salinity were obtained year-round by means of near-bottom deployed sensors (current meters and temperature-conductivity sensors). Total biomass followed an inverted U-shaped pattern, peaking at depths of 1050-1350 m. Range-related ecological forcings between shallower and deeper species may have caused this biomass accumulation at intermediate slope depths. We also report on the seasonal variations of biomass in the studied depth range, identifying a dynamic zone above 1000 m depth where populations of highly mobile species perform year-round migrations throughout the slope, and a more static region below 1000 m (i.e. the twilight zone end) with substantially less inter-annual variations. The arrival of new Western Mediterranean Deep Water from the deep basin to the lower slope in March-May may have driven the accumulation of biomass at 900 and 1050 m depth over the same period. In addition, an adjacent submarine canyon was sampled with the same procedures to characterize its benthic megafauna community. Analyses revealed higher diversity, but not biomass, inside the canyon than in the adjacent open slope, and a significantly different assemblage composition between the two habitats. These results strengthen the concept of submarine canyons as hotspots of biodiversity and underline the importance of their conservation as

  18. Shelfbreak current over the Canadian Beaufort Sea continental slope: Wind-driven events in January 2005

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dmitrenko, Igor A.; Kirillov, Sergei A.; Forest, Alexandre; Gratton, Yves; Volkov, Denis L.; Williams, William J.; Lukovich, Jennifer V.; Belanger, Claude; Barber, David G.

    2016-04-01

    The shelfbreak current over the Beaufort Sea continental slope is known to be one of the most energetic features of the Beaufort Sea hydrography. In January 2005, three oceanographic moorings deployed over the Canadian (eastern) Beaufort Sea continental slope simultaneously recorded two consecutive shelfbreak current events with along-slope eastward bottom-intensified flow up to 120 cm s-1. Both events were generated by the local wind forcing associated with two Pacific-born cyclones passing north of the Beaufort Sea continental slope toward the Canadian Archipelago. Over the mooring array, the associated westerly wind exceeded 15 m s-1. These two cyclones generated storm surges along the Beaufort Sea coast with sea surface height (SSH) rising up to 1.4 m following the two westerly wind maxima. We suggest that the westerly along-slope wind generated a surface Ekman onshore transport. The associated SSH increase over the shelf produced a cross-slope pressure gradient that drove an along-slope eastward geostrophic current, in the same direction as the wind. This wind-driven barotropic flow was superimposed on the background baroclinic bottom-intensified shelfbreak current that consequently amplified. Summer-fall satellite altimetry data for 1992-2013 show that the SSH gradient in the southeastern Beaufort Sea is enhanced over the upper continental slope in response to frequent storm surge events. Because the local wind forcing and/or sea-ice drift could not explain the reduction of sea-ice concentration over the Beaufort Sea continental slope in January 2005, we speculate that wind-driven sea level fluctuations may impact the sea-ice cover in winter.

  19. Gas-particle partitioning of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in urban, adjacent coastal, and continental background sites of western Greece.

    PubMed

    Terzi, Eleni; Samara, Constantini

    2004-10-01

    Particle- and gas-phase polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were collected from an urban, an adjacent coastal, and a continental background site located in Eordea basin, western Greece, to investigate their gas/ particle distributions. Thirteen two- to six-ring PAHs, included in the U.S. EPA priority pollutant list, were determined in 24-h integrated glass fiber filters and polyurethane foam samples. At the prevailing ambient temperature levels, the three-ringed species (phenanthrene, anthracene) and the four-ringed fluoranthene and pyrene were primarily found in the gas phase. Conversely, the five- and six-ring PAHs were mainly associated with the particle phase. Gas/particle partitioning coefficients, Kp, were calculated, and their relationship with the subcooled liquid vapor pressure p degrees L of individual PAHs was investigated. Despite the large variability among samples, a good linear relationship between log Kp and log p degrees L was obtained for all sampling sites following the equation log Kp = m(r) log p degrees L + b(r). In the majority of sampling events, particularly in the adjacent coastal and the continental background sites, slopes (m(r)) were found to be shallower than the value of -1, which has been suggested as reflecting equilibrium partitioning. The deviations from predicted aerosol behavior observed in the present study may be attributed to several reasons, such as the presence of nonexchangeable PAH fraction, nonequilibrium as well as different particle characteristics.

  20. Overpressure and fluid flow in the new jersey continental slope: implications for slope failure and cold seeps

    PubMed

    Dugan; Flemings

    2000-07-14

    Miocene through Pleistocene sediments on the New Jersey continental slope (Ocean Drilling Program Site 1073) are undercompacted (porosity between 40 and 65%) to 640 meters below the sea floor, and this is interpreted to record fluid pressures that reach 95% of the lithostatic stress. A two-dimensional model, where rapid Pleistocene sedimentation loads permeable sandy silt of Miocene age, successfully predicts the observed pressures. The model describes how lateral pressure equilibration in permeable beds produces fluid pressures that approach the lithostatic stress where overburden is thin. This transfer of pressure may cause slope failure and drive cold seeps on passive margins around the world.

  1. Measurements of slope currents and internal tides on the Continental Shelf and slope off Newport Beach, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rosenberger, Kurt J.; Noble, Marlene A.; Norris, Benjamin

    2014-01-01

    An array of seven moorings housing current meters and oceanographic sensors was deployed for 6 months at 5 sites on the Continental Shelf and slope off Newport Beach, California, from July 2011 to January 2012. Full water-column profiles of currents were acquired at all five sites, and a profile of water-column temperature was also acquired at two of the five sites for the duration of the deployment. In conjunction with this deployment, the Orange County Sanitation District deployed four bottom platforms with current meters on the San Pedro Shelf, and these meters provided water-column profiles of currents. The data from this program will provide the basis for an investigation of the interaction between the deep water flow over the slope and the internal tide on the Continental Shelf.

  2. Atlantic Water Seasonal Variability on the Continental Slope of the Laptev Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dmitrenko, I.; Polyakov, I.; Kirillov, S.; Timokhov, L.; Simmons, H.; Walsh, D.; Ivanov, V.

    2004-12-01

    Due to the scarcity of observations, knowledge of circulation, water-mass transformations and exchanges occurring across the continental slope of the Siberian Arctic remains sketchy, and understanding of water dynamics is correspondingly crude. Here, we present our preliminary analysis of observational data obtained from the Laptev Sea continental slope in 2002-2003. The water properties were evaluated using year-long records of water temperature and salinity from the mooring deployed in September 2002 about 200 km northward from the continental shelf brake. CTD surveys from several cruises (1993, 1995, 1996, 2002, 2003 years) were also employed in this analysis. The focus of this study is the seasonal cycle found in the intermediate (150-800m) Atlantic Water layer of the Arctic Ocean. Increase of the Atlantic Water temperature was observed during the cold period whereas during summer months the records show cooling of the layer. We found a strong connection between these cooling and warming events and direction of winds over the slope. Wintertime prevailing off-slope winds cause shift of the warm core of the Atlantic Water towards the slope, and the mooring record indicated warming. Summertime along-slope winds resulted in separation of the Atlantic Water warm core from the slope and decrease of the recorded temperature. These results support the earlier theory by Goodkovich (1961).

  3. Resistivity image beneath an area of active methane seeps in the west Svalbard continental slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goswami, Bedanta K.; Weitemeyer, Karen A.; Minshull, Timothy A.; Sinha, Martin C.; Westbrook, Graham K.; Marín-Moreno, Héctor

    2016-11-01

    The Arctic continental margin contains large amounts of methane in the form of methane hydrates. The west Svalbard continental slope is an area where active methane seeps have been reported near the landward limit of the hydrate stability zone. The presence of bottom simulating reflectors (BSRs) on seismic reflection data in water depths greater than 600 m suggests the presence of free gas beneath gas hydrates in the area. Resistivity obtained from marine controlled source electromagnetic (CSEM) data provides a useful complement to seismic methods for detecting shallow hydrate and gas as they are more resistive than surrounding water saturated sediments. We acquired two CSEM lines in the west Svalbard continental slope, extending from the edge of the continental shelf (250 m water depth) to water depths of around 800 m. High resistivities (5-12 Ωm) observed above the BSR support the presence of gas hydrate in water depths greater than 600 m. High resistivities (3-4 Ωm) at 390-600 m water depth also suggest possible hydrate occurrence within the gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ) of the continental slope. In addition, high resistivities (4-8 Ωm) landward of the GHSZ are coincident with high-amplitude reflectors and low velocities reported in seismic data that indicate the likely presence of free gas. Pore space saturation estimates using a connectivity equation suggest 20-50 per cent hydrate within the lower slope sediments and less than 12 per cent within the upper slope sediments. A free gas zone beneath the GHSZ (10-20 per cent gas saturation) is connected to the high free gas saturated (10-45 per cent) area at the edge of the continental shelf, where most of the seeps are observed. This evidence supports the presence of lateral free gas migration beneath the GHSZ towards the continental shelf.

  4. Cetacean biomass densities near submarine canyons compared to adjacent shelf/slope areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kenney, Robert D.; Winn, Howard E.

    1987-02-01

    Estimated cetacean biomass densities in areas of the northeastern U.S. continental shelf edge encompassing major submarine canyons were compared to those in neighboring shelf/slope areas. It was hypothesized that biomass-densities would prove to be higher in the canyon areas: however, the analysis demonstrated significantly lower total cetacean biomass in the canyon areas. When species were analyzed individually, only spotted dolphins ( Stenella spp.) showed a significant difference, with higher densities near the canyons. The canyons are apparently not more important as a cetacean habitat than the shelf break region generally.

  5. A sedimentologic and 14C dating study of five eastern Australian upper continental slope submarine landslides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clarke, S. L.; Hubble, T.; Webster, J.; Airey, D.; De Carli, E.; Ferraz, C.; Reimer, P. J.; Boyd, R.; Keene, J.

    2013-12-01

    Sedimentologic and AMS 14C age data are reported for calcareous hemipelagic mud samples taken from gravity cores collected at sites within, or adjacent to five submarine landslides identified with multibeam bathymetry data on the Nerrang Plateau segment and surrounding canyons of eastern Australia's continental slope (Bribie Bowl, Coolangatta-2, Coolangatta-1, Cudgen and Byron). Sediments are comprised of mixtures of calcareous and terrigenous clay (10-20%), silt (50-65%) and sand (15-40%) and are generally uniform in appearance. Their carbonate contents vary between and 17% and 22% by weight while organic carbon contents are less than 10% by weight. Dating of conformably deposited material identified in ten of the twelve cores indicates a range of sediment accumulation rates between 0.017mka-1 and 0.2 mka-1 which are consistent with previous estimates reported for this area. One slide-adjacent core, and four within-landslide cores present depositional hiatus surfaces located at depths of 0.8 to 2.2 meters below the present-day seafloor and identified by a sharp, colour-change boundary; discernable but small increases in sediment stiffness; and a slight increase in sediment bulk density of 0.1 gcm-3. Distinct gaps in AMS 14C age of at least 20ka are recorded across these boundary surfaces. Examination of sub-bottom profiler records of transects through three of the within-slide core-sites and their nearby landslide scarps available for the Coolangatta-1 and Cudgen slides indicate that: 1) the youngest identifiable sediment layer reflectors upslope of these slides, terminate on and are truncated by slide rupture surfaces; and 2) there is no obvious evidence in the sub-bottom profiles for a post-slide sediment layer draped over or otherwise burying slide ruptures or exposed slide detachment surfaces. This suggests that both these submarine landslides are geologically recent and suggests that the hiatus surfaces identified in Coolangatta-1's and Cudgen's within

  6. Vertical distribution of benthic infauna in continental slope sediments off Cape Lookout, North Carolina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blake, James A.

    The vertical distribution of 30 species of benthic infauna from continental slope (583-3000 m) sediments off Cape Lookout, North Carolina was closely correlated with feeding types. Carnivores, omnivores, filter feeders, and surface deposit feeders were mostly concentrated in the upper 0-2 cm of the cores. The depth distribution of subsurface deposit feeders was more variable, even among related taxa.

  7. Slope Stability: Factor of Safety along the Seismically Active Continental Slope Offshore Sumatra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patton, J. R.; Goldfinger, C.; Djadjadihardja, Y.; None, U.

    2013-12-01

    Recent papers have documented the probability that turbidites deposited along and downslope of subduction zone accretionary prisms are likely the result of strong ground shaking from great earthquakes. Given the damaging nature of these earthquakes, along with the casualties from the associated tsunamis, the spatial and temporal patterns of these earthquakes can only be evaluated with paleoseismologic coring and seismic reflection methods. We evaluate slope stability for seafloor topography along the Sunda subduction offshore Sumatra, Indonesia. We use sediment material properties, from local (Sumatra) and analogous sites, to constrain our estimates of static slope stability Factor of Safety (FOS) analyses. We then use ground motion prediction equations (GMPE's) to estimate ground motion intensity (Arias Intensity, AI) and acceleration (Peak Ground Acceleration, PGA), as possibly generated by fault rupture, to constrain seismic loads for pseudostatic slope stability FOS analyses. The ground motions taper rapidly with distance from the fault plane, consistent with ground motion - fault distance relations measured during the 2011 Tohoku-Oki subduction zone earthquake. Our FOS analyses include a Morgenstern method of slices probabilistic analysis for 2-D profiles along with Critical Acceleration (Ac) and Newmark Displacement (Dn) analysis of multibeam bathymetry of the seafloor. In addition, we also use estimates of ground motion modeled with a 2004 Sumatra-Andaman subduction zone (SASZ) earthquake fault slip model, to also compare with our static FOS analyses of seafloor topography. All slope and trench sites are statically stable (FOS < 1) and sensitive to ground motions generated by earthquakes of magnitude greater than 7. We conclude that for earthquakes of magnitude 6 to 9, PGA of 0.4-0.6 to 1.4-2.5 g would be expected, respectively, from existing GMPE's. However, saturation of accelerations in the accretionary wedge may limit actual accelerations to less than 1

  8. Study of southern CHAONAN sag lower continental slope basin deposition character in Northern South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Y.

    2009-12-01

    Northern South China Sea Margin locates in Eurasian plate,Indian-Australia plate,Pacific Plates.The South China Sea had underwent a complicated tectonic evolution in Cenozoic.During rifting,the continental shelf and slope forms a series of Cenozoic sedimentary basins,including Qiongdongnan basin,Pearl River Mouth basin,Taixinan basin.These basins fill in thick Cenozoic fluviolacustrine facies,transitional facies,marine facies,abyssal facies sediment,recording the evolution history of South China Sea Margin rifting and ocean basin extending.The studies of tectonics and deposition of depression in the Southern Chaonan Sag of lower continental slope in the Norther South China Sea were dealt with,based on the sequence stratigraphy and depositional facies interpretation of seismic profiles acquired by cruises of“China and Germany Joint Study on Marine Geosciences in the South China Sea”and“The formation,evolution and key issues of important resources in China marginal sea",and combining with ODP 1148 cole and LW33-1-1 well.The free-air gravity anomaly of the break up of the continental and ocean appears comparatively low negative anomaly traps which extended in EW,it is the reflection of passive margin gravitational effect.Bouguer gravity anomaly is comparatively low which is gradient zone extended NE-SW.Magnetic anomaly lies in Magnetic Quiet Zone at the Northern Continental Margin of the South China Sea.The Cenozoic sediments of lower continental slope in Southern Chaonan Sag can be divided into five stratum interface:SB5.5,SB10.5,SB16.5,SB23.8 and Hg,their ages are of Pliocene-Quaternary,late Miocene,middle Miocene,early Miocene,paleogene.The tectonic evolution of low continental slope depressions can be divided into rifting,rifting-depression transitional and depression stages,while their depositional environments change from river to shallow marine and abyssa1,which results in different topography in different stages.The topographic evolvement in the study

  9. Multiple slope failures shaped the lower continental slope offshore NW Svalbard in the Fram Strait

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osti, Giacomo; Mienert, Jürgen; Forwick, Matthias; Sverre Laberg, Jan

    2016-04-01

    Bathymetry data show that the lower slope (between 1300 m and 3000 m water depth) of the NW-Svalbard passive margin has been affected by multiple slope failure events. The single events differ in terms of extension, volume of mobilized sediments, morphology of the slide scar, run-out distance and age. As for several mega-scale and minor Arctic slides, the trigger mechanism is still speculative and may include high sedimentation rates, dissociation of gas hydrates, excess pore pressure, or earthquakes caused by isostatic rebound. In this study, we discuss the potential trigger mechanisms that have led to the multiple slope failure events within what we suggest to be named the Fram Strait Slide Complex. The slide complex lies in proximity to the tectonically active Spitsbergen Fracture Zone where earthquakes events, occurrences of potential weak layers in the sediment column, low sedimentation rates, and extended gas hydrate-bearing sediments may all have contributed to the causes leading to multiple slope failures. Preliminary results obtained from 14C dating on N. pachyderma sin. from sediment cores from the Spitsbergen Fracture Zone slides (SFZS 1 and 2), coupled with sub-bottom profiler data (frequency 9 to 15 KHz) show that the two shallowest glide planes within one of the observed slide scars failed ~100,000 and ~115,000 yr BP. Whilst SFZS 1 affected an area of 750 km2 mobilizing a total sediment volume of 40 km3, SFZS 2 moved an area of 230 km2 with a sediment volume of 4.5 km3.

  10. Sulfate reduction and iron sulfide mineral formation in the southern East China Sea continental slope sediment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Saulwood; Huang, Kuo-Ming; Chen, Shin-Kuan

    2002-10-01

    Sulfate reduction rate, organic carbon and sulfide burial rate; organic carbon, carbonate carbon, and reactive iron contents; grain size; and sedimentation rate were determined in sediments of the southern East China Sea continental slope. The results show high sulfate reduction and pyrite sulfur burial rates in slope areas with high organic carbon and sedimentation rates. Unusually high rates of organic carbon deposition enhance sulfate reduction and pyrite sulfide burial in the region. Both sulfate reduction rates and pyrite sulfur burial rates increased linearly with increasing organic carbon burial rate, indicating that deposition of organic carbon on the slope is the primary controlling factor for pyrite formation. Abundant reactive iron indicated that iron is not limiting pyrite formation. Pyrite is the predominant sulfide mineral; however, acid volatile sulfide constituted up to 50% of total sulfide at some stations. Up to 240 μmol/g of pyrite sulfur and 5 mmol/m 2/day of sulfate reduction rates were found in the slope sediment. Sulfate reduction rate and pyrite sulfur did not decrease with increasing overlying water depth. High organic carbon burial rates enhanced the sulfate reduction rate and subsequently the rate of pyrite sulfur burial in the slope region. As a result, the southern East China Sea continental slope environment is an efficient pyrite sulfur burial environment.

  11. Historic surface faulting in continental United States and adjacent parts of Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bonilla, M.G.

    1967-01-01

    This report summarizes geometric aspects of approximately 35 instances of historic faulting of the ground surface in the continental United States and adjacent parts of Mexico. This information is of immediate importance in the selection and evaluation of sites for vital structures such as nuclear power plants. The data are presented in a table and graphs which show the quantitative relations between various aspects of the faulting. Certain items in the table that are uncertain, poorly known, or not in the published literature are briefly described in the text.

  12. Slides and debris flows on the high-latitude continental slopes of Baffin Bay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aksu, A. E.; Hiscott, R. N.

    1989-10-01

    The eastern continental margin of Baffin Island around Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Site 645 was surveyed by using single-channel airgun, high-resolution boomer systems and piston cores. The data show that much of the upper slope between the 300 and ˜1200 m isobaths is erosional. Major sliding and rotational slumping has removed several hundred metres of sediment from the upper slope, giving the sea bed a steplike morphology. From ˜1200 m to the 2300 m isobath, the slope is constructional and is characterized by abundant acoustically transparent lenses, some of which are traced upslope into acoustically transparent to internally deformed wedge-shaped bodies. These lenses are interpreted to be debris-flow deposits and their abundance in the lower slope indicates frequent upper slope failures. The wedge-shaped bodies are much less common and are interpreted to be larger slides and/or slumps. Near the base of the slope, fields of diapiric structures pierce the acoustically well stratified section and locally produce small mounds on the sea floor. On the basis of correlation with ODP Site 645, they are interpreted as mud diapirs. The combined data show that the lower slope of Baffin Island is constructed predominantly of shingled lenses of debris-flow deposits and rotated slump blocks that originated from major erosion of the upper slope.

  13. Factors controlling Pliocene-Quaternary sedimentation on the Gulf of Cadiz Continental Slope, Spain

    SciTech Connect

    Baraza, J.; Maldonado, A. ); Nelson, C.H. )

    1990-05-01

    The Pliocene-Quaternary sedimentation on the Gulf of Cadiz continental slope records an interaction between the tectonics responsible for a complex bathymetry, and the Mediterranean outflow undercurrent developed after the opening of the Gibraltar Strait at the end of the Miocene. During periods of low sea level, sedimentation was controlled mainly by changes in the sediment supply from the various rivers that feed the area. During high sea level, periods like the present, deposition is controlled mainly by the Mediterranean undercurrent. The Mediterranean undercurrent flows out from the Strait of Gibraltar toward the northwest and impinges on the Cadiz continental slope at 300- to 500-m depths. Flows are fastest near the Strait of Gibraltar (as much as 200 m/sec) and slow to 10-20 m/sec westward Portugal. The gradual decrease in undercurrent speed from the Strait of Gibraltar to the center of the Gulf of Cadiz results in a westward change from erosional to depositional characteristics on the upper continental slope. Erosion in the southeastern part of the Gulf is characterized by exposed bed rock on the sea floor and by erosional truncation of reflectors on sea-floor slopes. In contrast, several prograding shelf-break types and slope configurations occur in the west, showing the influence of tectonic subsidence, diapir uplift and sediment supply on the Pliocene-Quaternary sedimentation. At middle slope depths, high-energy depositional features, such as cut-and-fill structures, are observed in seismic profiles. Energy decreasing bed-form fields, from east to west, are shown in profiles and sonographic of the most sufficial units on the deep platforms. In addition, sediment drift bodies deposit against basement diapiric ridges near the canyon-ridge central area.

  14. Digital depth horizon compilations of the Alaskan North Slope and adjacent Arctic regions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Saltus, Richard W.; Bird, Kenneth J.

    2003-01-01

    Data have been digitized and combined to create four detailed depth horizon grids spanning the Alaskan North Slope and adjacent offshore areas. These map horizon compilations were created to aid in petroleum system modeling and related studies. Topography/bathymetry is extracted from a recent Arctic compilation of global onshore DEM and satellite altimetry and ship soundings offshore. The Lower Cretaceous Unconformity (LCU), the top of the Triassic Shublik Formation, and the pre-Carboniferous acoustic basement horizon grids are created from numerous seismic studies, drill hole information, and interpolation. These horizons were selected because they mark critical times in the geologic evolution of the region as it relates to petroleum. The various horizons clearly show the major tectonic elements of this region including the Brooks Range, Colville Trough, Barrow Arch, Hanna Trough, Chukchi Platform, Nuwuk Basin, Kaktovik Basin, and Canada Basin. The gridded data are available in a variety of data formats for use in regional studies.

  15. Active mud volcanoes on the continental slope of the Canadian Beaufort Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paull, C. K.; Dallimore, S. R.; Caress, D. W.; Gwiazda, R.; Melling, H.; Riedel, M.; Jin, Y. K.; Hong, J. K.; Kim, Y.-G.; Graves, D.; Sherman, A.; Lundsten, E.; Anderson, K.; Lundsten, L.; Villinger, H.; Kopf, A.; Johnson, S. B.; Hughes Clarke, J.; Blasco, S.; Conway, K.; Neelands, P.; Thomas, H.; Côté, M.

    2015-09-01

    Morphologic features, 600-1100 m across and elevated up to 30 m above the surrounding seafloor, interpreted to be mud volcanoes were investigated on the continental slope in the Beaufort Sea in the Canadian Arctic. Sediment cores, detailed mapping with an autonomous underwater vehicle, and exploration with a remotely operated vehicle show that these are young and actively forming features experiencing ongoing eruptions. Biogenic methane and low-chloride, sodium-bicarbonate-rich waters are extruded with warm sediment that accumulates to form cones and low-relief circular plateaus. The chemical and isotopic compositions of the ascending water indicate that a mixture of meteoric water, seawater, and water from clay dehydration has played a significant role in the evolution of these fluids. The venting methane supports extensive siboglinid tubeworms communities and forms some gas hydrates within the near seafloor. We believe that these are the first documented living chemosynthetic biological communities in the continental slope of the western Arctic Ocean.

  16. Submarine landslides along the eastern Mediterranean Israeli continental slope - a possible source for tsunami

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Katz, O.; Reuven, E.; Aharonov, E.

    2013-12-01

    Numerous shallow submarine slope failures (scars and deposits) are observed in recent high resolution bathymetric grids of the continental slope off the Israeli eastern Mediterranean coast. The nature of these slope failures is currently not comprehensively understood as well as the question of whether the eastern Mediterranean continental slope is continuously or episodically unstable. This question is relevant to tsunami hazard along the densely populated eastern Mediterranean shores. We report here first steps towards understanding the present state of this submarine landslide system, which include mapping and analyzing the geology of the landslides and the hosting slopes. The continental slope extends from water depths of about 150 to more than 1000 meters with a slope of less than 5 degrees in general. Bathymetric grids with pixel resolution of 15 m till water depth of 700 m and 50 m till water depth of 1700 m were used. Analyzing the bathymetry revealed three main submarine surface features on the continental slope: (a) numerous shallow landslides, within the upper sequence of the post-Messenian sediments. Landslide widths range between hundreds to thousand of meters at the scar, with scar heights up to hundred meters. The toes of the landslides are not always mapable and lay up to a few kilometers down slope from the scar. Slope angles within the scars are 5 degrees to more than 15 degrees. In general landslides size decreases from south to north where their head scar depth turns to be shallower northwards. At least two types of landslides were detected: presumably young slides with sharp scars and presumably old slides with secondary slides and secondary drainage systems developed within the scar area; (b) a few kilometers long, north striking step-like lineaments. Step heights are up to 100 meters and the slopes are up to 20 degrees. The offset between parallel steps is less than a kilometer to a few kilometers. Analyzing seismic lines, the steps are

  17. Circulation and exchange at the continental shelf and slope SEEP-2

    SciTech Connect

    Houghton, R.W.; Ou, Hsien-Wang.

    1991-01-01

    This project was a component of the SEEP-II program. It contributed to the instrumentation of the SEEP-II moored array to the processing and analysis of the time-series data of water temperature and currents, and to a theoretical modeling study of the circulation on the continental margin. We are responsible for nearly half of the current meters and thermistor chains that were deployed in the SEEP-II moored array on the continental margin off the Delmarva peninsula. Data tapes derived from three deployments of the instruments in this array were processed. A second component of this project was a theoretical study of the interaction of the Gulf Stream with the continental margin north of Cape Hatteras. The model shows how the topographic influence on the local vorticity balance leads to back-folding filaments of Gulf Stream water and to the Slope Sea gyre circulation.

  18. Important geological and biological impacts of natural hydrocarbon seeps: Northern Gulf of Mexico continental slope

    SciTech Connect

    Roberts, H.H. )

    1993-11-01

    Large volumes of siliciclastic sediments, input especially during periods of lowered sea level, and compensating salt tectonics have produced a continental slope that is arguably the most complex in today's oceans. Faults associated with deformation of salt and shale provide the primary migration routes for hydrocarbon gases, crude oil, brines, and formation fluids to the modern sea floor. Since the mid 1980s, it has become increasingly clearer that this process has an extremely important impact on the geomorphology, sedimentology, and biology of the modern continental slope. Hydrocarbon source, flux rate, and water depth are important determinants of sea-floor response. Under rapid flux conditions mud volcanoes (to 1 km wide and 50 m high) result, and hydrate hills (rich with authigenic carbonates), carbonate lithoherms, and isolated communities of chemosymbiotic organisms with associated hardgrounds represent much slower flux responses. In numerous moderate- to low-flux cases, cold seep products function to support islands of productivity for communities of chemosymbiotic organisms that contribute both directly (shell material) and through chemical byproducts to the production of massive volumes of calcium-magnesium carbonate in the form of hardgrounds, stacked slabs, and discrete moundlike buildups (commonly >20m). Seep-related carbonates of the Gulf of Mexico continental slope, as well those formed through degassing of accretionary prisms along active margins, are now thought to create hardgrounds and discrete buildups that are excellent analogs for many problematic carbonate buildups in ancient deep-water siliciclastic rocks.

  19. Surface heat flow measurements from the East Siberian continental slope and southern Lomonosov Ridge, Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Regan, Matt; Preto, Pedro; Stranne, Christian; Jakobsson, Martin; Koshurnikov, Andrey

    2016-05-01

    Surface heat flow data in the Arctic Ocean are needed to assess hydrocarbon and methane hydrate distributions, and provide constraints into the tectonic origins and nature of underlying crust. However, across broad areas of the Arctic, few published measurements exist. This is true for the outer continental shelf and slope of the East Siberian Sea, and the adjoining deep water ridges and basins. Here we present 21 new surface heat flow measurements from this region of the Arctic Ocean. On the Southern Lomonosov Ridge, the average measured heat flow, uncorrected for effects of sedimentation and topography, is 57 ± 4 mW/m2 (n = 4). On the outer continental shelf and slope of the East Siberian Sea (ESS), the average is 57 ± 10 mW/m2 (n = 16). An anomalously high heat flow of 203 ± 28 mW/m2 was measured at a single station in the Herald Canyon. With the exception of this high heat flow, the new data from the ESS are consistent with predictions for thermally equilibrated lithosphere of continental origin that was last affected by thermotectonic processes in the Cretaceous to early Cenozoic. Variability within the data likely arises from differences in radiogenic heat production within the continental crust and overlying sediments. This can be further explored by comparing the data with geophysical constraints on sediment and crustal thicknesses.

  20. Molluskan species richness and endemism on New Caledonian seamounts: Are they enhanced compared to adjacent slopes?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castelin, Magalie; Puillandre, Nicolas; Lozouet, Pierre; Sysoev, Alexander; de Forges, Bertrand Richer; Samadi, Sarah

    2011-06-01

    Seamounts were often considered as 'hotspots of diversity' and 'centers of endemism', but recently this opinion has been challenged. After 25 years of exploration and the work of numerous taxonomists, the Norfolk Ridge (Southwest Pacific) is probably one of the best-studied seamount chains worldwide. However, even in this intensively explored area, the richness and the geographic patterns of diversity are still poorly characterized. Among the benthic organisms, the post-mortem remains of mollusks can supplement live records to comprehensively document geographical distributions. Moreover, the accretionary growth of mollusk shells informs us about the life span of the pelagic larva. To compare diversity and level of endemism between the Norfolk Ridge seamounts and the continental slopes of New Caledonia we used species occurrence data drawn from (i) the taxonomic literature on mollusks and (ii) a raw dataset of mainly undescribed deep-sea species of the hyperdiverse Turridae. Patterns of endemism and species richness were analyzed through quantitative indices of endemism and species richness estimator metrics. To date, 403 gastropods and bivalves species have been recorded on the Norfolk Ridge seamounts. Of these, at least 38 species (˜10%) are potentially endemic to the seamounts and nearly all of 38 species have protoconchs indicating lecithotrophic larval development. Overall, our results suggest that estimates of species richness and endemism, when sampling effort is taken into account, were not significantly different between slopes and seamounts. By including in our analyses 347 undescribed morphospecies from the Norfolk Ridge, our results also demonstrate the influence of taxonomic bias on our estimates of species richness and endemism.

  1. Near-bottom currents over the continental slope in the Mid-Atlantic Bight

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Csanady, G.T.; Churchill, J.H.; Butman, B.

    1988-01-01

    From a set of 28 current meter records we have found that near-bottom currents faster than 0.2 m s-1 occur frequently over the outer continental shelf of the Mid-Atlantic Bight (bottom depth <210 m) but very rarely (<1% of the time) between bottom depths of 500 m and 2 km over the slope. The rarity of strong near-bottom flow over the middle and lower slope allows the accumulation of fine-grained sediment and organic carbon in this region. Fast near-bottom currents which do occur over the slope are invariably associated with topographic waves, although it is often superimposed inertial oscillations which increase current speed above the level of 0.2 m s-1. Episodes of intense inertial oscillations occur randomly and last typically for 10-20 days. Their energy source is unknown. Topographic wave energy exhibits a slight, but statistically significant, minimum over the mid-slope. These waves appear irregularly and vary both along isobaths and in time. The irregularity is presumably a consequence of random topographic wave generation by Gulf Stream instability. The current regime within sea-floor depressions in the slope (canyons and gullies) is distinctly different from that of the open slope; most notable is the near absence of topographic wave motion within depressions. ?? 1988.

  2. Benthic Community Structure and Sediment Geochemical Properties at Hydrocarbon Seeps Along the Continental Slope of the Western North Atlantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demopoulos, A. W.; Bourque, J. R.; Brooke, S.

    2015-12-01

    Hydrocarbon seeps support distinct benthic communities capable of utilizing reduced chemical compounds for nutrition. In recent years, methane seepage has been increasingly documented along the continental slope of the U.S. Atlantic margin. In 2012 and 2013, two seeps were investigated in this region: a shallow site near Baltimore Canyon (410-450 m) and a deep site near Norfolk Canyon (1600 m). Both sites contain extensive mussel beds and microbial mats. Sediment cores and grab samples were collected to quantify the abundance, diversity, and community structure of benthic macrofauna (>300 mm) in relationship to the associated sediment environment (organic carbon and nitrogen, stable isotopes 13C and 15N, grain size, and depth) of mussel beds, mats, and slope habitats. Macrofaunal densities in microbial mats were four times greater than those present in mussel beds and slope sediments. Macrofaunal communities were distinctly different both between depths and among habitat types. Specifically, microbial mat sediments were dominated by the annelid families Dorvilleidae, Capitellidae, and Tubificidae, while mussel habitats had higher proportions of crustaceans. Diversity was lower in Baltimore microbial mat habitats, but higher in mussel and slope sediments compared to Norfolk seep habitats found at deeper depths. Multivariate statistical analysis identified sediment carbon:nitrogen (C:N) ratios and 13C values as important variables for structuring the macrofaunal communities. Higher C:N ratios were present within microbial mat habitats and depleted 13C values occurred in sediments adjacent to mussel beds found in Norfolk Canyon seeps. Differences in the quality and source of organic matter present in the seep habitats are known to be important drivers in macrofaunal community structure and associated food webs. The multivariate analysis provides new insight into the relative importance of the seep sediment quality in supporting dense macrofaunal communities compared

  3. Transport and transfer rates in the waters of the continental shelf and slope: SEEP. Final report, May 1, 1987--December 31, 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Biscaye, P.E.; Anderson, R.F.

    1993-12-31

    The overall Shelf Edge Exchange Processes (SEEP) Program, which began in 1980 or 1981, had as its goal the testing of a hypothesis with respect to the fate of particulate matter formed in and introduced into the waters of the continental shelf adjacent to the northern east coast of the US, i.e., the MAB. The original hypothesis was that a large proportion of the particles in general, and of the particulate organic carbon (POC) in particular, was exported from the shelf, across the shelf/slope break and front, into the waters of, and, to some degree, deposited in the sediments of the continental slope. This hypothesis was based on budgets of organic carbon and lead-210 that did not account for a large proportion of those species in the waters or sediments of the shelf, and on a carbon-rich band of sediments centered on the slope at {approximately}1,000 m water depth. The results of the first SEEP experiment, south of New England and Long Island (SEEP-1) suggested, but did not prove, that there was only a relatively small proportion of the carbon which was exported from the shelf to the slope. The objective of the second experiment -- SEEP-2 -- done under the subject grant, was to tighten the experiment in terms of the kinds of data collected, and to focus it more on the shelf and only the upper slope, where shelf-derived particles were thought to be deposited.

  4. Mesoscale eddies over the Laptev Sea continental slope in the Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pnyushkov, A.; Polyakov, I.; Nguyen, A. T.

    2015-12-01

    Mesoscale eddies are an important component in Arctic Ocean dynamics and can play a role in vertical redistribution of ocean heat from the intermediate layer of warm Atlantic Water (AW). We analyze mooring data collected along the continental slope of the Laptev Sea in 2007-11 to improve the characterization of Arctic mesoscale eddies in this region of the Eurasian Basin (EB).Wavelet analyses suggest that ~20% of the mooring record is occupied by mesoscale eddies, whose vertical scales can be large, often >600 m. Based on similarity between temperature/salinity profiles measured inside eddies and modern climatology for the 2000s, we found two distinct sources of eddy formation in the EB; one in the vicinity of Fram Strait and the other at the continental slope of the Severnaya Zemlya Archipelago. Both sources of eddies are on the route of AW propagation along the EB margins, so that the Arctic Circumpolar Boundary Current (ACBC) can carry these eddies along the continental slope.The lateral advection of waters isolated inside the eddy cores by ACBC affect the heat and salt balance of the eastern EB. The average temperature anomaly inside Fram Strait eddies in the layer above the AW temperature core (i.e., above 350 m depth level) was ~0.1º C with the strongest temperature anomaly in this layer exceeding 0.5ºC. In contrast to Fram Strait eddies, Severnaya Zemlya eddies carry anomalously cold and fresh water, and likely contribute to ventilation of the AW core. In addition, we found increased vertical shears of the horizontal velocities inside eddies that result in enhanced mixing. Our estimates made using the Pacanowski and Philander (1981) relationship suggest that, on average, vertical diffusivity coefficients inside eddies are four times larger than those in the surrounding waters. We will use the high resolution ECCO model to investigate the relative contributions of along and across slope transports induced by eddies along the ACBC path.

  5. Submesoscale currents in the northern Gulf of Mexico: Deep phenomena and dispersion over the continental slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bracco, Annalisa; Choi, Jun; Joshi, Keshav; Luo, Hao; McWilliams, James C.

    2016-05-01

    This study examines the mesoscale and submesoscale circulations along the continental slope in the northern Gulf of Mexico at depths greater than 1000 m. The investigation is performed using a regional model run at two horizontal grid resolutions, 5 km and 1.6 km, over a 3 year period, from January 2010 to December 2012. Ageostrophic submesoscale eddies and vorticity filaments populate the continental slope, and they are stronger and more abundant in the simulation at higher resolution, as to be expected. They are formed from horizontal shear layers at the edges of highly intermittent, bottom-intensified, along-slope boundary currents and in the cores of those currents where they are confined to steep slopes. Two different flow regimes are identified. The first applies to the De Soto Canyon that is characterized by weak mean currents and, in the high-resolution run, by intense but few submesoscale eddies that form near preferentially along the Florida continental slope. The second is found in the remainder of the domain, where the mean currents are stronger and the circulation is highly variable in both space and time, and the vorticity field is populated, in the high-resolution case, by numerous vorticity filaments and short-lived eddies. Lagrangian tracers are deployed at different times along the continental shelf below 1000 m depth to quantify the impact of the submesoscale currents on transport and mixing. The modeled absolute dispersion is, on average, independent of horizontal resolution, while mixing, quantified by finite-size Lyapunov exponents and vertical relative dispersion, increases when submesoscale processes are present. Dispersion in the De Soto Canyon is smaller than in the rest of the model domain and less affected by resolution. This is further confirmed comparing the evolution of passive dye fields deployed in De Soto Canyon near the Macondo Prospect, where the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in 2010, and at the largest known natural hydrocarbon

  6. Exposure of basement rock on the continental slope of the bering sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scholl, D. W.; Buffington, E.C.; Hopkins, D.M.

    1966-01-01

    Profiles of repetitive seismic reflections reveal that the Bering continental slope, outer shelf, and rise overlay an acoustically reflective "basement" which extends at least 750 kilometers parallel to the trend of the slope. This acoustic basement is usually covered by several hundred meters of stratified sediments at the top and bottom of the slope; however, it is exposed in submarine canyons and flanking spurs along the main part of the slope for a distance of at least 550 kilometers northwest of the Pribilof Islands. The lithologic composition and the age of the rocks of the acoustic basement are not known. However, its probable seismic velocity of 3.1 to 3.7 kilometers per second suggests that it is composed of volcanic rocks or lithified sedimentary rocks or both. The regional geology suggests that the acoustic basement is the upper surface of folded late Mesozoic rocks which were locally intruded by granite and serpentine. The structure of the Bering slope, as deduced from the acoustic profiles, suggests that the surface of the basement has been monoclinically flexed and faulted between the shelf edge and the deep Aleutian Basin.

  7. Estimated oil and gas reserves, Gulf of Mexico outer continental shelf and continental slope, December 31, 1982

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hewitt, Jack E.; Brooke, Jeff P.; Knipmeyer, John H.

    1983-01-01

    Remaining recoverable reserves of oil* and gas in the Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf and Continental Slope have been estimated to be about 2.98 billion barrels of oil and 39.8 trillion cubic feet of gas, as of December 31, 1982. These reserves are recoverable from 468 studied fields under the Federal submerged lands off the coasts of Louisiana and Texas. An additional 53 fields, discovered since December 31, 1980, have not been sufficiently developed to permit a reasonably accurate estimate of reserves. Original recoverable reserves are estimated to have been 8.56 billion barrels of oil and 98.1 trillion cubic feet of gas from 484 fields in the same geographic area. Included in this number are 16 fields that are depleted and were abandoned; not included are the 53 insufficiently developed fields. Estimates were made for individual reservoirs in 382 fields and on a field-wide basis for the other 102 fields. *The term 'oil' as used in this report includes crude oil and condensate.

  8. Frequent failure of the continental slope: The Gela Basin (Sicily Channel)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minisini, D.; Trincardi, F.

    2009-09-01

    Evaluating the recurrence of sediment failure on continental margins is important to better understand the evolution of margins and to assess the geologic risk of slope failure and, possibly, tsunami hazard. This paper proposes an integrated morphological and stratigraphic reconstruction of slope failures to evaluate their timing, frequency, and responsible mechanisms. Data from seismic stratigraphy, sediment cores, and seafloor geomorphology document multiple slide scars as well as buried and exposed mass transport deposits that originated during the Quaternary period on the continental slope of the Gela Basin in the Sicily Channel (central Mediterranean). The very high resolution data provide clues to recognize (1) successive phases of failure that have impacted on the same location, (2) main geological factors conducive to recurrent sediment failure in the area, including, in particular, specific stratigraphic surfaces acting as glide planes and high pore pressure gradients likely generated by high sediment accumulation rates atop mass transport complexes, and (3) a set of failed sediments that have been deposited since the Last Glacial Maximum defining a return interval on the order of 3-4 ka.

  9. Small-scale slump deposits, Middle Atlantic Continental Slope, off eastern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knebes, H.J.; Carson, Bobb

    1979-01-01

    Analyses of 24 high-resolution seismic-reflection profiles that were collected during local and regional surveys show that small-scale slump deposite are ubiquitous whthin the intercanyon areas of the Continental Slope of the Middle Atlantic Bight. The deposits involve the upper 10-90 m of sediments, extend downslops for 1.8-7.2 km, and are present at water depths ranging from 545 to 1500 m. The characteristics of the deposits vary from thin, homogeneous or fairly regularly bedded lenses of sediment, to masses of intermediate thickness with contorted bedding, to relatively large slump blocks. A detailed survey of one slump mass just south of Hudson Canyon (by means of close-spaced Minisparker profiles and sediment cores) showed that it had a thickness of about 30 m and a volume of at least 0.4 km3 and consisted of homogeneous clay which accumulated rapidly during the late Pleistocene or Holocene. Although some of the slump deposits undoubtedly are relict, stemming from sediment instability porduced by rapid deposition during Pleistocene sea-level regressions, others were formed relatively recently. Possible causes of modern slumps include gas generation in the sediments, bottom-water turbulence on the upper slope, and shallow faulting. This study indicates that small-scale slumping in the intercanyon areas may be an important process in transporting sediments to the deep sea and suggests that recent mass movements may constitute a geologic hazard to future economic development of this part of the Continental Slope. ?? 1979.

  10. Seismic stratigraphy and facies of continental slope and rise seaward of Baltimore Canyon Trough ( USA).

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schlee, J.S.; Hinz, K.

    1987-01-01

    As part of a survey of the United States continental rise seaward of the northern Baltimore Canyon Trough, four major depositional sequences were mapped on a grid of 2350km of multichannel seismic reflection profiles. The sequences, which range in age from Jurassic(?) to Quaternary, record a gradual sedimentary buildup of fine-grained onlapping and slope-front fill. A broad wedge of Jurassic-age(?) sediment up to 5 km thick was deposited seaward of a conspicuous platform. During the Cretaceous, the slope-rise transition became much gentler. The main constructional phase for the continental rise was during the Cenozoic. The Cenozoic rise section can be subdivided into two main sequences separated by a conspicuous unconformity. The final phase of rise construction was caused by widespread fluctuations in coastal onlap. These regressions resulted in deltaic outward-building on the shelf, extensive Pleistocene landward erosion of the slope, and the accumulation of a broad sedimentary apron on the rise. - from Authors

  11. Cold-seep carbonates of the middle and lower continental slope, northern Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, Harry H.; Feng, Dong; Joye, Samantha B.

    2010-11-01

    Authigenic carbonates from cold seeps on the middle and lower continental slope of the northern Gulf of Mexico (GOM) exhibit a wide range of mineralogical and stable isotopic compositions. These carbonates consist of concretions and nodules in surface sediments, hardgrounds of crusts and isolated slabs, and mounded buildups of blocks and slabs of up to over 10 meters in relief above the surrounding seafloor. Mineralogically, the carbonates are dominated by high-Mg calcite (HMC) and aragonite. However, low levels (<5 wt%) of dolomite are present in most samples. Petrographically, Mg-calcite peloidal matrix and acicular to botryoidal aragonitic void-filling cements are the most frequent associations. The carbon isotopic compositions of the carbonates range from -60.8 to 14.0‰ PDB, indicating complex carbon sources that include 13C-depleted biogenic and thermogenic methane, biodegraded crude oil, seawater CO2, and 13C-enriched residual CO2 from methanogenesis. A similarly large variability in δ18O values (2.5 to 6.7‰ PDB) demonstrates the geochemical complexity of the slope, with some samples pointing toward an 18O-enriched oxygen source that is possibly related to advection of 18O-enriched formation water and/or to the decomposition of gas hydrate. A considerable range of mineralogical and isotopic variations in cold-seep carbonate composition was noted even within individual study sites. However, common trends occur across multiple geographic areas. This situation suggests that local controls on fluid and gas flux, types of seep hydrocarbons, the presence or absence of gas hydrate in the near-surface sediment, and chemosynthetic communities, as well as the temporal evolution of the local hydrocarbon reservoir, all may play a part in determining carbonate mineralogy and isotope geochemistry. The carbon isotope data clearly indicate that between-site variation is greater than within-site variation. Seep carbonates formed on the middle and lower continental slope

  12. Diversity and Distribution Patterns of Cetaceans in the Subtropical Southwestern Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf and Slope

    PubMed Central

    Di Tullio, Juliana Couto; Gandra, Tiago B. R.; Zerbini, Alexandre N.; Secchi, Eduardo R.

    2016-01-01

    Temporal and spatial patterns of cetacean diversity and distribution were investigated through eight ship-based surveys carried out during spring and autumn between 2009 and 2014 on the outer continental shelf (~150m) and slope (1500m) off southeastern and southern Brazil (~23°S to ~34°S). The survey area was divided into southeast and south areas according to their oceanographic characteristics. Twenty-one species were observed in 503 sightings. The overall number of species was similar between the two areas, though it was higher in the spring in the south area. Five species were dominant and diversity varied more seasonally than spatially. ANOVA and kernel analyses showed that overall cetacean densities were higher in spring compared to autumn. Physeter macrocephalus, the most frequent species, concentrated throughout the south area at depths over 1000m in both seasons. Despite the overlapped occurrence at a broader scale, small delphinids presented latitudinal and in-offshore gradients as well as seasonal variation in distribution patterns, which could indicate habitat partitioning between some species. Delphinus delphis was only recorded in the south and its density decreased in areas where the presence of Stenella frontalis increased, mainly beyond the 250m isobath. Densities of S. longirostris and S. attenuata increased in lower latitudes and beyond the shelf break. The large delphinids Tursiops truncatus and Globicephala melas formed mixed groups in many occasions and were observed along the study area around depths of 500m. Grampus griseus was twice as frequent in the south area and densities increased in waters deeper than 600m. As expected, densities of both small and large migratory whales were higher during spring, over the continental slope, in the southeast area. The results presented here provided strong evidence on the importance of the outer continental shelf and slope to a diverse community of cetaceans occurring in the subtropical Southwestern

  13. Diversity and Distribution Patterns of Cetaceans in the Subtropical Southwestern Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf and Slope.

    PubMed

    Di Tullio, Juliana Couto; Gandra, Tiago B R; Zerbini, Alexandre N; Secchi, Eduardo R

    2016-01-01

    Temporal and spatial patterns of cetacean diversity and distribution were investigated through eight ship-based surveys carried out during spring and autumn between 2009 and 2014 on the outer continental shelf (~150m) and slope (1500m) off southeastern and southern Brazil (~23°S to ~34°S). The survey area was divided into southeast and south areas according to their oceanographic characteristics. Twenty-one species were observed in 503 sightings. The overall number of species was similar between the two areas, though it was higher in the spring in the south area. Five species were dominant and diversity varied more seasonally than spatially. ANOVA and kernel analyses showed that overall cetacean densities were higher in spring compared to autumn. Physeter macrocephalus, the most frequent species, concentrated throughout the south area at depths over 1000m in both seasons. Despite the overlapped occurrence at a broader scale, small delphinids presented latitudinal and in-offshore gradients as well as seasonal variation in distribution patterns, which could indicate habitat partitioning between some species. Delphinus delphis was only recorded in the south and its density decreased in areas where the presence of Stenella frontalis increased, mainly beyond the 250m isobath. Densities of S. longirostris and S. attenuata increased in lower latitudes and beyond the shelf break. The large delphinids Tursiops truncatus and Globicephala melas formed mixed groups in many occasions and were observed along the study area around depths of 500m. Grampus griseus was twice as frequent in the south area and densities increased in waters deeper than 600m. As expected, densities of both small and large migratory whales were higher during spring, over the continental slope, in the southeast area. The results presented here provided strong evidence on the importance of the outer continental shelf and slope to a diverse community of cetaceans occurring in the subtropical Southwestern

  14. Seafloor Mapping of the Southeast Iberian Continental Slope and Western Algero-Balearic Abyssal Plain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lastras, G.; Canals, M.; León, C.; Elvira, E.; Pascual, L.; Muñoz, A.; de Cárdenas, E.; Acosta, J.

    2014-12-01

    We present the multibeam bathymetry and derived maps of the southeast Iberian margin from Cabo de Palos to Cabo de Gata, 37º35'N to 35º45'N and 2º10'W to 0º20'E, from the coastline down to the Algero-Balearic abyssal plain at depths exceeding 2,600 m. Data were obtained during different surveys in 2004, 2006 and 2007 on board R/V Vizconde de Eza with a Simrad EM300 multibeam echo-sounder, as part of the CAPESME Project, a collaboration between the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) and General Secretariat of Fisheries (SGP), aiming at creating maps of the fishing grounds of the Mediterranean continental margins of Spain. The edition of the maps has been carried out within the Complementary Action VALORPLAT (Scientific valorisation of multibeam bathymetry data from the Spanish continental shelf and slope), funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitivity. Multibeam bathymetry data from the continental shelf obtained within the ESPACE project, also in a cooperative frame between IEO and SGP, completes the whole picture from the coastline to the deep abyssal plain. The map series is constituted by a general map at 1:400,000 scale and 14 detailed maps at 1:75,000 scale, which include inset maps on slope gradients and seafloor nature (rock or sediment type), the later obtained with rock dredges and Shipeck sediment dredges. Both the detailed maps and the general map are available in paper print, and the whole collection is also distributed in an edited USB. The geological features displayed in the different maps include the continental shelf, with abundant geomorphic features indicative of past sea-level changes, the continental slope carved by a large number of submarine canyons and gullies, including Palos, Tiñoso, Cartagena Este, Cartagena Oeste, Águilas, Almanzora, Alias, Garrucha and Gata submarine canyons, the Mazarrón, Palomares and Al-Mansour escarpments of probable tectonic origin, the Abubácer, Maimonides and Yusuf ridges, the

  15. Coincident sediment slump/clathrate complexes on the U.S. Atlantic continental slope

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carpenter, G.

    1981-01-01

    High-resolution seismic reflection data recorded on the continental slope off the east coast of the United States have revealed instances of sediment mass movement (slumps) which appear to occur above clathrate accumulations. The slumping is believed to be related to the liberation of free gas by clathrate decomposition and consequent weakening of unconsolidated sediments above the clathrate. Pleistocene sea-level lowering and/or post-Pleistocene bottom water temperature increases may have had a significant role in this process. ?? 1981 A.M. Dowden, Inc.

  16. Gas hydrates from the continental slope, offshore Sakhalin Island, Okhotsk Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ginsburg, G.D.; Soloviev, V.A.; Cranston, R.E.; Lorenson, T.D.; Kvenvolden, K.A.

    1993-01-01

    Ten gas-vent fields were discovered in the Okhotsk Sea on the northeast continental slope offshore from Sakhalin Island in water depths of 620-1040 m. At one vent field, estimated to be more than 250 m across, gas hydrates, containing mainly microbial methane (??13C = -64.3???), were recovered from subbottom depths of 0.3-1.2 m. The sediment, having lenses and bedded layers of gas hydrate, contained 30-40% hydrate per volume of wet sediment. Although gas hydrates were not recovered at other fields, geochemical and thermal measurements suggest that gas hydrates are present. ?? 1993 Springer-Verlag.

  17. Sedimentary processes on the Atlantic Continental Slope of the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knebel, H. J.

    1984-01-01

    Until recently, the sedimentary processes on the United States Atlantic Continental Slope were inferred mainly from descriptive studies based on the bathymetry and on widely spaced grab samples, bottom photographs, and seismic-reflection profiles. Over the past 6 years, however, much additional information has been collected on the bottom morphology, characteristics of shallow-subbottom strata, velocity of bottom currents, and transport of suspended and bottom sediments. A review of these new data provides a much clearer understanding of the kinds and relative importance of gravitational and hydrodynamic processes that affect the surface sediments. On the rugged slope between Georges Bank and Cape Lookout, N.C., these processes include: (1) small scale mass wasting within submarine canyons and peripheral gullies; (2) density flows within some submarine valleys; (3) sand spillover near the shelf break; (4) sediment creep on the upper slope; and (5) hemipelagic sedimentation on the middle and lower slope. The area between Georges Bank and Hudson Canyon is further distinguished by the relative abundance of large-scale slump scars and deposits on the open slope, the presence of ice-rafted debris, and the transport of sand within the heads of some submarine canyons. Between Cape Lookout and southern Florida, the slope divides into two physiographic units, and the topography is smooth and featureless. On the Florida-Hatteras Slope, offshelf sand spillover and sediment winnowing, related to Gulf Stream flow and possibly to storm-driven currents, are the major processes, whereas hemipelagic sedimentation is dominant over the offshore slope along the seaward edge of the Blake Plateau north of the Blake Spur. Slumping generally is absent south of Cape Lookout, although one large slump scarp (related to uplift over salt diapirs) has been identified east of Cape Romain. Future studies concerning sedimentary processes on the Atlantic slope need to resolve: (1) the ages and

  18. ON THE WIND-INDUCED EXCHANGE BETWEEN INDIAN RIVER BAY, DELAWARE AND THE ADJACENT CONTINENTAL SHELF. (R826945)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The structure of the wind-induced exchange between Indian River Bay, Delaware and the adjacent continental shelf is examined based on current measurements made at the Indian River Inlet which represents the only conduit of exchange between the bay and the coastal ocean. Local ...

  19. Methane Hydrate Dissociation and Gas Seepage on Global Upper Continental Slopes Driven by Intermediate Ocean Warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruppel, C. D.; Weber, T.; Kessler, J. D.; Pohlman, J.; Skarke, A. D.

    2014-12-01

    Evidence suggests that the short-term temporal pattern of seafloor gas emissions may be largely driven by tidal/barometric pressure fluctuations. However, thermal perturbations in the overlying intermediate waters are a key factor leading to gas hydrate dissociation that liberates methane to feed cold seeps near the updip limit of gas hydrate stability (GHS) on upper continental slopes. Over the past 5 years, studies have documented temperature-driven methane release at intraseasonal to century-long timescales on the West Spitsbergen margin. Our data on the US Arctic margin show that bottom water temperature (BWT) perturbations over ~2.5 months cause the theoretical updip GHS limit to migrate ~1.5 km upslope, a level of dynamism that may manifest as the observed elevated methane concentrations over the upper slope. Given the documented decades-long increase in oceanic heat content due to global warming, it is not surprising that evidence is emerging that upper slope hydrate dissociation is a global, not merely arctic, phenomenon. On the northern US Atlantic margin, most of the ~600 newly-discovered methane seeps mapped between Cape Hatteras and Georges Bank occur on the upper continental slope near the updip limit of GHS (505-575 m). A BWT database based on ~35,000 CTD casts reveals subtle along-margin variations in the theoretical updip GHS limit and first-order agreement with the observed onset of seepage. Other historical datasets provide evidence for short-term BWT variations of >1ºC on the upper slope. Hudson Canyon, the largest US Atlantic margin shelf-break canyon, has reversing current patterns that amplify short-term BWT variations, making this location an apt laboratory for study of possible gas hydrate degradation processes. Hudson Canyon surveys conducted in 2014 identified dozens more seeps than the ~50 described in Skarke et al. (Fall Meeting 2013), particularly at the updip limit of GHS At this depth, CTDs show that BWTs were initially within GHS

  20. Persistent near-bottom aggregations of mesopelagic animals along the North Carolina and Virginia continental slopes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gartner, John V.; Sulak, K.J.; Ross, S.W.; Necaise, Ann Marie

    2008-01-01

    Submersible observations during four missions over the North Carolina and Virginia continental slopes (184-900 m) documented the occurrence of large aggregations of mesopelagic fishes and macronektonic invertebrates near or on the bottom. Aggregated mesopelagics formed a layer up to tens of meters deep positioned from a few centimeters to 20 m, usually <10 m, above the substrate. Aggregations were numerically dominated by microvores, notably the myctophid fish Ceratoscopelus maderensis and the penaeid shrimp Sergestes arcticus. Consistently present but in relatively lower numbers, were mesopelagic predators, including the paralepidids Notolepis rissoi and Lestidium atlanticum, the eel Nemichthys scolopaceus, the stomiid fishes Chauliodus sloani and Stomias boa ferox, and squids Illex spp. Near-bottom aggregations do not appear to be an artifact due to attraction to the submersible. Based on submersible observations in three areas in 4 years spanning a decade, near-bottom aggregations of midwater organisms appear to be a geographically widespread and persistent phenomenon along the continental slope of the southeastern US Aggregations may exploit areas of enhanced food resources at the bottom. ?? 2007 Springer-Verlag.

  1. Persistent near-bottom aggregations of mesopelagic animals along the North Carolina and Virginia continental slopes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gartner, John V.; Sulak, Kenneth J.; Ross, Steve W.; Necaise, Ann Marie

    2008-01-01

    Submersible observations during four missions over the North Carolina and Virginia continental slopes (184–900 m) documented the occurrence of large aggregations of mesopelagic fishes and macronektonic invertebrates near or on the bottom. Aggregated mesopelagics formed a layer up to tens of meters deep positioned from a few centimeters to 20 m, usually <10 m, above the substrate. Aggregations were numerically dominated by microvores, notably the myctophid fishCeratoscopelus maderensis and the penaeid shrimp Sergestes arcticus. Consistently present but in relatively lower numbers, were mesopelagic predators, including the paralepidids Notolepis rissoiand Lestidium atlanticum, the eel Nemichthys scolopaceus, the stomiid fishes Chauliodus sloaniand Stomias boa ferox, and squids Illex spp. Near-bottom aggregations do not appear to be an artifact due to attraction to the submersible. Based on submersible observations in three areas in 4 years spanning a decade, near-bottom aggregations of midwater organisms appear to be a geographically widespread and persistent phenomenon along the continental slope of the southeastern US Aggregations may exploit areas of enhanced food resources at the bottom.

  2. Brittle star distribution patterns and population densities on the continental slope off central California (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Summers, Anne C.; Nybakken, James

    2000-05-01

    The ophiuroid communities on the continental slope off central California were examined using box cores and trawls. Box cores were taken between 550 and 3085 m at sites southwest of the Farallon Islands, and otter and beam trawls were used below 2300 m at three sites between the Farallon Islands and Point Sur. Eighteen ophiuroid species from six families were identified. Eighty percent of the individuals collected with box cores belonged to two species, Ophiura leptoctenia and Ophiacantha normani, which were dominant between 1000 and 2000 m. The largest ophiuroid faunal break occurred at around 2000 m and was associated with elevated dissolved oxygen levels, decreasing sediment grain size, and increasing sediment organic content. A comparison of box-core and trawl data from below 2300 m showed that box cores undersampled the ophiuroid community on the continental slope, missing almost 50% of the species collected by trawls within the same area, whereas trawls underestimated ophiuroid densities, reporting on average 243 times fewer ophiuroids per m 2 than did box cores. There was a change in species relative abundance patterns between sampling locations. Ophiuroids exhibited patchy spatial distribution patterns on both a small scale of around 0.1 m 2 and a large scale on the order of 100-1000 s of square meters.

  3. Observation and interpretation of BSRs on the continental slope east of Hydrate Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Y.; Trehu, A. M.

    2012-12-01

    We compiled multiple 2D seismic surveys on the continental slope east of Hydrate Ridge on the central of Oregon margin in order to map the distribution of gas hydrates based on observations of bottom simulating reflections (BSRs) and other gas hydrate indicators. The primary BSR is observed at 0.16-0.28 s two-way travel-time (TWTT) time beneath the sea floor and is widespread throughout the region with high amplitude and reversed polarity. A second BSR was identified in patches at 0.022-0.086 s TWTT beneath the primary BSR and has similar characteristics, although the amplitude of the second BSR is lower than the primary one. We quantitatively explore several possible explanations for the 2nd BSR, including climate change, sediment accumulation and erosion, tectonic uplift and subsidence, and variations in gas composition. In addition, we calculate the apparent heat flow derived from the primary BSR and compare apparent heat flow with the distribution of authigenic carbonates features at seafloor (Johnson et al., 2003) to determine the relationship between the current gas hydrate distribution and dynamic geology history of the continental slope east of Hydrate Ridge. Reference Johnson, J.E., Goldfinger, C., Suess, E., 2003. Geophysical constraints on the surface distribution of authigenic carbonates across the Hydrate Ridge region, Cascadia margin. Marine Geology 202: 79-120

  4. Malvinas-slope water intrusions on the northern Patagonia continental shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piola, A. R.; Martínez Avellaneda, N.; Guerrero, R. A.; Jardón, F. P.; Palma, E. D.; Romero, S. I.

    2010-03-01

    The Patagonia continental shelf located off southeastern South America is bounded offshore by the Malvinas Current, which extends northward from northern Drake Passage (~55° S) to nearly 38° S. The transition between relatively warm-fresh shelf waters and Subantarctic Waters from the western boundary current is characterized by a thermohaline front extending nearly 2500 km. We use satellite derived sea surface temperature, and chlorophyll-a data combined with hydrographic and surface drifter data to document the intrusions of slope waters onto the continental shelf near 41° S. These intrusions create vertically coherent localized negative temperature and positive salinity anomalies extending onshore about 150 km from the shelf break. The region is associated with a center of action of the first mode of non-seasonal sea surface temperature variability and also relatively high chlorophyll-a variability, suggesting that the intrusions are important in promoting the local development of phytoplankton. The generation of slope water penetrations at this location may be triggered by the inshore excursion of the 100 m isobath, which appears to steer the Malvinas Current waters over the outer shelf.

  5. Malvinas-slope water intrusions on the northern Patagonia continental shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piola, A. R.; Avellaneda, N. M.; Guerrero, R. A.; Jardón, F. P.; Palma, E. D.; Romero, S. I.

    2009-12-01

    The Patagonia continental shelf located off southeastern South America is bounded offshore by the Malvinas Current, which extends northward from northern Drake Passage (~55° S) to nearly 38° S. The transition between relatively warm-fresh shelf waters and Subantarctic Waters from the western boundary current is characterized by a thermohaline front extending nearly 2500 km. We use satellite derived sea surface temperature, and chlorophyll-a data combined with hydrographic and surface drifter data to document the intrusions of slope waters onto the continental shelf near 41° S. These intrusions create vertically coherent localized negative temperature and positive salinity anomalies extending onshore about 150 km from the shelf break. The region is associated with a center of action of the first mode of non-seasonal sea surface temperature variability and also relatively high chlorophyll-a variability, suggesting that the intrusions are important in promoting the local development of phytoplankton. The generation of slope water penetrations at this location may be triggered by the inshore excursion of the 100 m isobath, which appears to steer the Malvinas Current waters over the outer shelf.

  6. Assessing Geotechnical Parameters and Slope Stability on the Architecture of Continental Margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hutton, E. W.; Syvitski, J. P.

    2001-12-01

    SedFlux integrates process-based event models so as to numerically: 1) spread fluvial bedload across delta flats, 2) erode uplifted marine deposits, 3) disperse sediment from a river through surface (hypopycnal) plumes, or 4) subsurface (hyperpycnal) plumes, 5) disperse/sort shelf deposits by ocean storms, 6) fail seafloor deposits and remove as a turbidity current, or 7) a debris flow, 8) change the basin configuration due to thermal subsidence, or 9) tectonics (faults, uplift), and 10) compact the final deposit. SedFlux processes interact with evolving boundary conditions given: 11) fluctuations in sea level, 12) supply of sediment, and 13) ocean energy. Inevitably such a comprehensive model relies on a wide variety of input parameters that control these processes. They may be domain parameters that are set for a particular modeled region and are thus time-invariant and space-invariant. In contrast, many of the geotechnical parameters (sediment cohesion, sediment yield, Coulomb friction, permeability, plasticity index, porosity, viscosity, and consolidation coefficient) may be calculated using empirical relationships based on the properties of the developing deposit. In that sense the geotechnical parameters within the model domain vary in time and space. A series of numerical experiments were run: i) to determine how domain-invariant geotechnical input parameters affect the development of a continental margin; and ii) to contrast how margins would develop if these geotechnical parameters were allowed to vary based on deposit characteristics. As the coefficient of consolidation decreases, the numerical margins change from ones showing fewer failures, to margins having more failures located near the shelf-slope break, to margins having upper- to mid-slope failures. As sediment cohesion is increased, failure size increases but the number of seafloor failures decreases. As sediment yield increases, debris flows increasingly deposit their load on the continental

  7. Seismic stratigraphy of the Mississippi-Alabama shelf and upper continental slope

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kindinger, J.L.

    1988-01-01

    The Mississippi-Alabama shelf and upper continental slope contain relatively thin Upper Pleistocene and Holocene deposits. Five stages of shelf evolution can be identified from the early Wisconsinan to present. The stages were controlled by glacioeustatic or relative sea-level changes and are defined by the stratigraphic position of depositional and erosional episodes. The stratigraphy was identified on seismic profiles by means of geomorphic pattern, high-angle clinoform progradational deposits, buried stream entrenchments, planar conformities, and erosional unconformities. The oldest stage (stage 1) of evolution occurred during the early Wisconsinan lowstand; the subaerially exposed shelf was eroded to a smooth seaward-sloping surface. This paleosurface is overlain by a thin (< 10 m) drape of transgressive deposits (stage 2). Stage 3 occurred in three phases as the late Wisconsinan sea retreated: (1) fluvial channel systems eroded across the shelf, (2) deposited a thick (90 m) shelf-margin delta, and (3) contemporaneously deposited sediments on the upper slope. Stage 4 included the rapid Holocene sea-level rise that deposited a relatively thin transgressive facies over parts of the shelf. The last major depositional episode (stage 5) was the progradation of the St. Bernard delta over the northwestern and central parts of the area. A depositional hiatus has occurred since the St. Bernard progradation. These Upper Quaternary shelf and slope deposits provide models for analogous deposits in the geologic record. Primarily, they are examples of cyclic sedimentation caused by changes in sea level and may be useful in describing short-term, sandy depositional episodes in prograding shelf and slope sequences. ?? 1988.

  8. Spike-like Negative Bias In Deep-sea Current Meter Observations Over The Continental Slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hosegood, P.; van Haren, H.

    Data from Aanderaa RCM-8 current meters, deployed on the continental slope of the Faeroe-Shetland Channel between depths of 471m-1000m, show spike-like reductions in current speed of approximately 20-40%. The spikes have a duration of only one data value, corresponding to the instruments unusually high sampling period of one minute. Associated with the spikes are concurrent deflections in the current direction records, with a mean value of 7 degrees and in a predominantly clockwise sense. The spikes furthermore only occur when the current direction has a positive long-slope compo- nent. We reject instrumental causes alone of the spikes, and propose a mechanism of three components as the cause. Firstly, the negative bias of the spikes is explained by the cosine response of the current meter when it is misaligned with the mean flow. This misalignment is due to turbulence to which the instrument is unable to respond adequately and is facilitated by a turbulent bursting phenomenon in long-slope current boundary layers. The quasi-period of the spikes and their duration are consistent with previous field observations and laboratory studies. Obliquely incident internal waves reflecting from the sloping boundary are also associated with the high incidence of spikes in the upper current meters on the moorings as a turbulent layer forms further from the boundary. Finally, a positive long-slope mean flow is required for the spikes to occur, creating an adverse pressure gradient that promotes the occurrence of burst- ing. Our findings cause concern for the reliability of data from mechanical current meters sampling at longer intervals and deployed in turbulent near-bed regions.

  9. 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

  10. Investigation of shallow gas hydrate occurrence and gas seep activity on the Sakhalin continental slope, Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, Young Keun; Baranov, Boris; Obzhirov, Anatoly; Salomatin, Alexander; Derkachev, Alexander; Hachikubo, Akihiro; Minami, Hrotsugu; Kuk Hong, Jong

    2016-04-01

    The Sakhalin continental slope has been a well-known gas hydrate area since the first finding of gas hydrate in 1980's. This area belongs to the southernmost glacial sea in the northern hemisphere where most of the area sea is covered by sea ice the winter season. Very high organic carbon content in the sediment, cold sea environment, and active tectonic regime in the Sakhalin slope provide a very favorable condition for occurring shallow gas hydrate accumulation and gas emission phenomena. Research expeditions under the framework of a Korean-Russian-Japanese long-term international collaboration projects (CHAOS, SSGH-I, SSGH-II projects) have been conducted to investigate gas hydrate occurrence and gas seepage activities on the Sakhalin continental slope, Russia from 2003 to 2015. During the expeditions, near-surface gas hydrate samples at more than 30 sites have been retrieved and hundreds of active gas seepage structures on the seafloor were newly registered by multidisciplinary surveys. The gas hydrates occurrence at the various water depths from about 300 m to 1000 m in the study area were accompanied by active gas seepage-related phenomena in the sub-bottom, on the seafloor, and in the water column: well-defined upward gas migration structures (gas chimney) imaged by high-resolution seismic, hydroacoustic anomalies of gas emissions (gas flares) detected by echosounders, seafloor high backscatter intensities (seepage structures) imaged by side-scan sonar and bathymetric structures (pockmarks and mounds) mapped by single/multi-beam surveys, and very shallow SMTZ (sulphate-methane transition zone) depths, strong microbial activities and high methane concentrations measured in sediment/seawater samples. The highlights of the expeditions are shallow gas hydrate occurrences around 300 m in the water depth which is nearly closed to the upper boundary of gas hydrate stability zone in the area and a 2,000 m-high gas flare emitted from the deep seafloor.

  11. Benthic manganese fluxes along the Oregon-California continental shelf and slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McManus, James; Berelson, William M.; Severmann, Silke; Johnson, Kenneth S.; Hammond, Douglas E.; Roy, Moutusi; Coale, Kenneth H.

    2012-07-01

    Here we examine the factors that influence the manganese (Mn) benthic flux from eastern North Pacific marine sediments, with a primary emphasis on continental shelf locations off Oregon and California and studies that involve the use of in situ benthic chambers. Typical shelf-to-shallow margin (<˜350 m) sites have benthic Mn efflux rates that average ˜8±5 μmol m-2 d-1. In contrast, for the Eel River continental shelf region the benthic Mn efflux can be an order of magnitude higher than other shelf settings with benthic effluxes exceeding ˜50 μmol m-2 d-1. Based on prior work and some new results, continental margin and slope sites (350-˜4000 m) have benthic Mn efflux rates that average ˜1±1 μmol m-2 d-1. The combination of the benthic flux and Mn solid-phase data, indicate that for the continental shelf off the Umpqua and Eel Rivers, approximately 15±10% of the total Mn that is delivered to the seafloor is remobilized. The compiled data set shows that the benthic Mn efflux co-varies with the organic carbon oxidation rate with a Mn to organic carbon oxidation (Cox) ratio of ˜0.8 mmol Mn mol-1. Although this ratio can be as high as ˜5 for some Eel River sites, the generally close correspondence between Mn and organic carbon implies that the organic carbon oxidation rate exerts some primary control over the rate of the Mn efflux. The amount of organic carbon oxidized by Mn-oxides, however, represents a small fraction (i.e., generally <1%) of the total organic carbon oxidized in these seafloor sediments.

  12. Collapse of the northern Jalisco continental slope:Subduction erosion, forearc slivering, or subduction beneath the Tres Marias escarpment?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bandy, W. L.; Mortera-Gutierrez, C. A.; Ortiz-Zamora, G.; Ortega-Ramirez, J.; Galindo Dominguez, R. E.; Ponce-Núñez, F.; Pérez-Calderón, D.; Rufino-Contreras, I.; Valle-Hernández, S.; Pérez-González, E.

    2010-12-01

    The Jalisco subduction zone exhibits several interesting characteristics. Among these is that convergence between the Rivera and North American plate is highly oblique, especially north of 20N, the obliquity progressively increasing to the NW. By analogy to other better studied subduction zones, this distribution of forces should produce a NW-SE extension in the overriding plate, especially north of 20N. This has led to the proposal that the trench perpendicular Bahia de Banderas is an expression of this extension [Kostoglodov and Bandy, JGR, vol. 100, 1995]. To further investigate this proposal, multibeam bathymetric data and seafloor backscatter images, seismic reflection sub-bottom profiles and marine magnetic data were collected during the MORTIC08 campaign of the B.O. EL PUMA in March 2009. The bathymetric data provides for 100% coverage (20 to 200 meter spacing of the actual measured depth value depending on the water depth) of the continental slope and trench areas north of 20N. These data indicate that a marked change occurs in the morphology of the continental slope at 20N. To the north the slope consists of a broad, fairly flat plain lying between a steep lower inner trench slope to the west and a steep, concave seaward, escarpment to the east. In contrast, to the south the continental slope exhibits a more gradual deepening until the steep lower inner trench slope. A prominent submarine canyon deeply incises the continental slope between these two morphotectonic domains. This canyon appears to represent the boundary between two NW-SE diverging forearc blocks or slivers, consistent with the presence of oblique convergence. In contrast, the broad, fairly flat plain is better explained by subsidence induced by subduction erosion (i.e. erosion of the base of the overriding plate underneath the continental slope area). The shoaling of the trench axis northward towards the Puerto Vallarta Graben and subsequent deepening may be related to subduction of the

  13. Cleanup Verification Package for the 118-F-8:4 Fuel Storage Basin West Side Adjacent and Side Slope Soils

    SciTech Connect

    L. D. Habel

    2008-03-18

    This cleanup verification package documents completion of remedial action, sampling activities, and compliance with cleanup criteria for the 118-F-8:4 Fuel Storage Basin West Side Adjacent and Side Slope Soils. The rectangular-shaped concrete basin on the south side of the 105-F Reactor building served as an underwater collection, storage, and transfer facility for irradiated fuel elements discharged from the reactor.

  14. Shallow structure, stratigraphy, and carbonate sedimentary processes of West Florida upper continental slope

    SciTech Connect

    Doyle, L.J.; Holmes, C.W.

    1985-07-01

    An extensive minisparker, 3.5-kHz, piston-coring survey of the continental slope above the West Florida Escarpment has revealed a Pleistocene sequence of up to 160-msec twoway traveltime, overlying a second, probably Miocene, strong reflector. South of 2720'N the contact between the two is clearly an erosional unconformity and includes a band of karstlike features. The Pleistocene drape thins to a minimum, locally even exposing the second layer, at about 500 m (1,650 ft) water depth and thickens dramatically downslope. We attribute this thinning to the north-south flowing Loop current blocking deposition and scouring the bottom. The ancestral Loop may have been responsible for an erosional unconformity, or it could have been due to subaerial erosion. If the latter is the case, present depth of the erosional surface suggests as much as 400 m (1,320 ft) of subsidence after its formation. From its southern limit to 2640'N, two parallel reefs mark the upper slope. Sediments on the upper slope are a foraminifera-coccolith ooze, the compositional equivalent of a chalk deposit. Radiocarbon dating shows ooze below the erosional minimum accumulating at over 30 cm/1,000 years (11.8 in./1,000 years) for at least 25,000 years--a surprisingly high rate--over an order of magnitude greater than that for a compositionally equivalent deep-sea ooze. High sedimentation rates are also reflected in a variety of mass wasting features from creep to massive slides to gravity-induced folds tens of kilometers long. The upper west Florida slope is only a temporary resting place for sediments that are moved downslope by mass wasting processes to the West Florida Escarpment.

  15. Self-advection of density perturbations on a sloping continental shelf

    SciTech Connect

    Ping-Tung Shaw; Csanady, G.T.

    1983-05-01

    Bottom water movement on the continental shelf is modeled by the nonlinear interaction between longshore bottom geostrophic flow and the density field. Bottom geostrophic velocity, subject to linear steady momentum equations with linear bottom friction, can be generated by along-isobath density variations over a sloping bottom. At the same time, the density field is slowly advected by the velocity field. Away from boundary layers, the interplay is governed by Burgers' equation, which shows the formation and self-propulsion of strong density gradients along an isobath. The direction of propagation of a dense water blob is to have shallow water on the right- (left-) hand side facing downstream in the Northern (Southern) Hemisphere. The propagation of a light water blob is opposite to that of a dense water blob.

  16. Four new nematode species (Araeolaimida: Comesomatidae, Diplopeltidae) from the New Zealand continental slope.

    PubMed

    Leduc, Daniel

    2017-02-27

    Four new nematode species of the order Araeolaimida are described from the continental slope of New Zealand: Sabatieria megadena sp. n., Pararaeolaimus tetradenus sp. n., Southerniella parasimplex sp. n., and Diplopeltula cuspidiboja sp. n. The present study provides the first record of the genus Pararaeolaimus in the New Zealand Exclusive Economic Zone. Pararaeolaimus megaloamphidus Timm, 1961, Diplopeltula mollis Bussau, 1993 and Diplopeltula peruensis Bussau, 1993 are considered species inquirendae due to the incomplete nature of the original descriptions. Southerniella amblynema Bussau, 1993, Southerniella lympha Bussau, 1993, and Southerniella nojii Jensen, 1991 are transferred to the genus Intasia Tchesunov & Miljutina, 2008 due to the presence of a single anterior outsretched ovary. A key to valid Southerniella species is provided.

  17. Geomorphology and Sediment Stability of a Segment of the U.S. Continental Slope off New Jersey.

    PubMed

    Robb, J M; Hampson, J C; Twichell, D C

    1981-02-27

    The morphology of complex deposits of Pleistocene sediments covering the upper continental slope between Lindenkohl Canyon and South Toms Canyon results from both depositional and erosional processes. Small slump or slide features were detected primarily on the flanks of canyons or valleys and were observed to occur only within Pleistocene-aged sediments. Eocene to Miocene sediments are exposed over much of the mid- and lower slope in this area.

  18. Processes of benthic foraminiferal fossil assemblage formation on the continental slope

    SciTech Connect

    Loubere, P. )

    1991-03-01

    Theoretical analysis of benethic foraminiferal fossil assemblage formation shows that the assemblage eventually preserved in the sediments is an integrated result of species' test production rate, microhabitat behavior, and biogeochemical processes that control the probability of species' test preservation. The biogeochemical processes that influence test preservation in slope sediments are controlled by the flux of organic carbon to the sea-bed and the botton water oxygen concentration. These variables also affect the depth of the biotic habitation zone in the sediments. Therefore, organic carbon flux and bottom water oxygen content should be reflected in benthic foraminiferal fossil assemblages for both ecologic and taphonomic reasons. An integrated study of fossil assemblage generation was conducted on the Gulf of Mexico continental slope using box cores collected along depth transects across the oxygen minimum, and using live and dead assemblage analysis combined with {sup 210}Pb measurements to quantify biotic activity in the sediments and pore water nutrient and metals analysis to quantify biogeochemical processes acting in the sediment habitation zone. The results show that the size of the habitation zone and live standing stock are influenced by organic carbon flux and oxygen supply to the sea-bed. The fossil assemblage is created progressively through the upper 10-20 cm of sediment and biologichemically driven test destruction (taphonomic process) is important in determining the assemblage that enters the geologic record.

  19. Spatial heterogeneity of benthos associated with biogenic structures on the North Carolina continental slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaff, T. R.; Levin, L. A.

    The objective of this study was to determine if biogenic features such as mounds, pits and tubes produce small-scale (0.1-100 m) spatial heterogeneity in macrofaunal community structure on the continental slope off North Carolina at 850 m. Macrofaunal and microbial communities associated with sediment mounds, pits and level areas were compared off Cape Lookout, North Carolina. No significant differences were found in sediment microbial counts or total macrofaunal distributions. One paraonid polychaete ( Levensenia gracilis) was more abundant in pits than in the other samples, and infaunal anemones exhibited depressed densities in sediment mounds. At a second site, off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, infaunal heterogeneity associated with the tube-building foraminiferan Bathysiphon filiformis was examined by comparing an area with high tube densities (93.8 m -2) with an area 100 m away without tubes. No significant differences were found in the distribution and abundances of bacteria between the two areas. The only significant difference found in infaunal densities was the presence of high numbers of reproductive oligochaetes in the 5-10 cm fraction beneath tube beds. Oneterebellid polychaete species ( Nicolea sp.), which lives exclusively on B. filiformis tubes, was absent in the non-tube area. With a few exceptions, the biogenic structures examined at these two sites appeared to exert only minor influence on macrofaunal or microbial community structure. Within each site, slope assemblages examined in this study appeared to be homogeneous on the small scales examined.

  20. Analysis of bubble plume distributions to evaluate methane hydrate decomposition on the continental slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, H. Paul; Miller, Una K.; Salmi, Marie S.; Solomon, Evan A.

    2015-11-01

    Cascadia margin sediments contain a rich reservoir of carbon derived both from terrestrial input and sea surface productivity. A portion of this carbon exists as solid gas hydrate within sediment pore spaces which previous studies have shown to be a methane reservoir of substantial size on both the Vancouver Island and Oregon portions of the Cascadia margin. Multichannel seismic reflection profiles on the Cascadia margin show the widespread presence of Bottom Simulating Reflectors (BSRs) within the sediment column, indicating the gas hydrate reservoir extends from the deformation front at 3000 m depth to the upper limit of gas hydrate stability near 500 m water depth. In this study, we compile an inventory of methane bubble plume sites on the Cascadia margin identified in investigations carried out for a range of interdisciplinary goals that also include sites volunteered by commercial fishermen. High plume density anomalies are associated with both the continental shelf (<180 m) and the depth of the upper limit of methane hydrate stability depth (MHSD) that occurs near 500 m in the NE Pacific. The observed anomalies on the Cascadia slope may be due to the warming of seawater at intermediate depths, suggesting that modern climate change has begun to destabilize the climate-sensitive hydrate reservoir within the Cascadia margin sediments. Reanalysis of similar plume images on the North American Atlantic slope suggests a lack of correlation between observed plume depths and the MHSD for much of the latitudinal range.

  1. Morphobathymetric analysis of the large fine-grained sediment waves over the Gulf of Valencia continental slope (NW Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ribó, Marta; Puig, Pere; Muñoz, Araceli; Lo Iacono, Claudio; Masqué, Pere; Palanques, Albert; Acosta, Juan; Guillén, Jorge; Gómez Ballesteros, María

    2016-01-01

    Detailed analysis of recently acquired swath bathymetry, together with high-resolution seismic profiles and bottom sediment samples, revealed the presence of large-scale fine-grained sediment waves over the Gulf of Valencia continental slope. As many other deep-water sediment waves, these features were previously attributed to gravitational slope failure, related to creep-like deformation, and are here reinterpreted as sediment wave fields extending from 250 m depth to the continental rise, at 850 m depth. Geometric parameters were computed from the high-resolution multibeam dataset. Sediment wave lengths range between 500 and 1000 m, and maximum wave heights of up to 50 m are found on the upper slope, decreasing downslope to minimum values of 2 m high. Sediment waves on the lower part of the slope are quasi-stationary vertically accreting, whereas they show an upslope migrating pattern from the mid-slope to the upper part of the continental slope. High-resolution seismic profiles show continuous internal reflectors, with sediment waves merging down-section and sediment wave packages decreasing in thickness downslope. These sediment packages are thicker on the crest of each individual sediment wave and thinner on the downslope flank. 210Pb analyses conducted on sediment cores collected over the sediment wave fields also indicate slightly higher sediment accumulation rates on the wave crests. Sediment wave formation processes have been inferred from contemporary hydrodynamic observations, which reveal the presence of near-inertial internal waves interacting with the Gulf of Valencia continental slope. Internal wave activity is suggested to be the preferential mechanism for the transport and deposition of sediment, and the maintenance of the observed sediment wave fields.

  2. Late Cenozoic sea-level changes and the onset of glaciation: impact on continental slope progradation off eastern Canada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Piper, D.J.W.; Normark, W.R.

    1989-01-01

    Late Cenozoic sedimentation from four varied sites on the continental slopes off southeastern Canada has been analysed using high-resolution airgun multichannel seismic profiles, supplemented with some single channel data. Biostratigraphic ties are available to exploratory wells at three of the sites. Uniform, slow accumulation of hemipelagic sediments was locally terminated by the late Miocene sea-level lowering, which is also reflected in changes in foraminiferan faunas on the continental shelf. Data are very limited for the early Pliocene but suggest a return to slow hemipelagic sedimentation. At the beginning of the late Pliocene, there was a change in sedimentation style marked by a several-fold increase in accumulation rates and cutting of slope valleys. This late Pliocene cutting of slope valleys corresponds to the onset of late Cenozoic growth of the Laurentian Fan and the initiation of turbidite sedimentation on the Sohm Abyssal Plain. Although it corresponds to a time of sea-level lowering, the contrast with the late Miocene lowstand indicates that there must also have been a change in sediment delivery to the coastline, perhaps as a result of increased rainfall or development of valley glaciers. High sedimentation rates continued into the early Pleistocene, but the extent of slope dissection by gullies increased. Gully-cutting episodes alternated with sediment-draping episodes. Throughout the southeastern Canadian continental margin, there was a change in sedimentation style in the middle Pleistocene that resulted from extensive ice sheets crossing the continental shelf and delivering coarse sediment directly to the continental slope. ?? 1989.

  3. A benthic carbon budget for the continental slope off Cape Hatteras, N.C.

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, C.J.; Blair, N.E.; DeMaster, D.J.; Jahnke, R.A.; Martens, C.S.

    1999-01-31

    The continental slope off Cape Hatteras, N.C. from approximately 36{degree} 00 minutes N to 35{degree} 20 minutes N is a region of relatively rapid sediment accumulation, organic matter deposition and subsequent remineralization. The measured fluxes are the highest reported for the slope off the eastern US Sediment accumulation rates range from 40 to 140 cm ky{sup -1}. Organic carbon deposition rates range from 3.5 to 7.4 moles C m{sup -2} yr{sup -1}. The areal coverage of this ''depocenter'' is probably controlled by interactions between physical oceanographic processes and the rugged topography of the seafloor. The organic matter deposited on the seafloor is primarily marine in origin and a mix of old and fresh particles. 73-93% of the depositing detritus is rapidly oxidized near the sediment/water interface. The controls on subsurface remineralization appear to be a complex function of the relative amount of metabolizable carbon delivered to the seabed both now and in the distant past (>=500ybp) and the extent of seabed irrigation. The age of DIC and CH{sub 4} produced within the seabed indicates that relatively young, reactive carbon is advected below the sediment surface and fuels subsurface remineralization. The stable isotopic composition of DIC produced within the seabed indicates the selective degradation of {sup 13}C-enriched fractions of the organic matter. The metabolizable fraction has a carbon isotopic signature of approx. -18{per_thousand};, while the organic matter that survives degradation and is buried has a d{sup 13}C closer to -20{per_thousand}.

  4. Postglacial sedimentary record of the Southern California continental shelf and slope, Point Conception to Dana Point

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sommerfield, C.K.; Lee, H.J.; Normark, W.R.

    2009-01-01

    Sedimentary strata on the Southern California shelf and slope (Point Conception to Dana Point) display patterns and rates of sediment accumulation that convey information on sea-level inundation, sediment supply, and oceanic transport processes following the Last Glacial Maximum. In Santa Monica Bay and San Pedro Bay, postglacial transgression is recorded in shelf deposits by wave-ravinement surfaces dated at 13-11 ka and an upsection transition from coastal to shallow-marine sediment facies. Depositional conditions analogous to the modern environment were established in the bays by 8-9 ka. On the continental slope, transgression is evidenced in places by an increase in sediment grain size and accumulation rate ca. 15-10 ka, a consequence of coastal ravinement and downslope resedimentation, perhaps in conjunction with climatic increases in fluvial sediment delivery. Grain sizes and accumulation rates then decreased after 12-10 ka when the shelf flooded and backfilled under rising sea level. The Santa Barbara coastal cell contains the largest mass of postglacial sediment at 32-42 ?? 109 metric tons, most of which occurs between offshore Santa Barbara and Hueneme Canyon. The San Pedro cell contains the second largest quantity of sediment, 8-11 ?? 109 metric tons, much of which is present on the eastern Palos Verdes and outer San Pedro shelves. By comparison, the mass of sediment sequestered within the Santa Monica cell is smaller at ??6-8 ?? 109 metric tons. The postglacial sediment mass distribution among coastal cells reflects the size of local fluvial sediment sources, whereas intracell accumulation patterns reflect antecedent bathymetric features conducive for sediment bypass or trapping. ?? 2009 The Geological Society of America.

  5. Association of oil seeps and chemosynthetic communities with oil discoveries, upper continental slope, Gulf of Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Sassen, R.; Brooks, J.M.; MacDonald, I.R.; Kennicutt, M.C. II; Guinasso, N.L. Jr. )

    1993-09-01

    A belt of sea-floor oil seeps and chemosynthetic communities has been mapped across the upper continental slope, offshore Louisiana, at depths ranging from 2000 to 1000 m. Visibly oil-stained sediments and thelmogenic gas hydrates have been recovered using piston cores and research submarines. Biomarker fingerprinting of seep oils suggests an origin from deeply buried Cretaceous or Jurassic source rocks characterized by marine kerogen. The abundance of seeps provides a unique opportunity to define their relationship to oil discoveries including Auger, Cooper, Jolliet, Marquette, Vancouver, Popeye, and Mars. Seeps are preferentially distributed over shallow salt ridges that rim intrasalt basin cooking pots, over salt diapirs, and along shallow fault traces near discoveries. Diagnostic seep-related features on the sea floor include gas hydrate mounds and outcrops, pockmarks and craters, mud volcanoes, and carbonate buildups. Many of the 50 chemosynthetic communities including tube worms, mussels, or clams thus far documented in the gulf occur near discoveries. Recent imagery from orbital platforms, including the space shuttle, shows that natural oil slicks are common on the sea surface in this area. Additional mapping of seep distributions should contribute to better defining of the limits of the deep Gulf play fairway.

  6. Mercury in sediments from shelf and continental slope at Campos Basin near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Araujo, Beatriz; Hintelmann, Holger; Dimock, Brian; Gomes de Almeida, Marcelo; Falcão, Ana Paula; de Rezende, Carlos Eduardo

    2016-04-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a global pollutant due to its ability to undergo long-range transport from source regions to remote parts of the world, and its ubiquitous presence in aquatic ecosystems. The Hg isotope ratios could be an effective tool for tracing the sources and process of Hg in the environment. This study aimed to establish the distribution of mercury in surface sediments of three transects (25- 3000m water depth) in continental shelf and slope in Campos Basin-RJ-Brazil, using the Hg isotopes to understand the geochemical processes relating to Hg cycling that occur in a subtropical coastal environment. The study area was divided into three transects: A (located to the south and close to a upwelling area), D (located opposite the mouth of the Paraiba do Sul River) and I (located north near the top of Vitória-ES). Sampling isobaths were 25, 50, 75, 100, 150, 400, 700, 1000, 1300, 1900, 2500 and 3000m. The Total Hg, MMHg and Hg stable isotopes were determined based on EPA Method 1631, EPA method 1630 and Foucher and Hintelmann (2006), respectively. The silt/clay ranged from 0.05 to 95%, and the organic carbon (OC) from 0.07 to 1.43 % for all transects. THg and MMHg concentrations in the shelf were 11.9 ± 7.2 (1.7- 22.2) ng.g-1 and 0.15 ± 0.12 (0.02 - 0.40) ng.g-1; in the slope 30.3 ± 9.2 (11.6 - 51.6) ng.g-1 and 0.13 ± 0.06 (0.03 -0.29) ng.g-1 , respectively. The δ202Hg and Δ199Hg varied from -0.32 to -1.85 ‰ (-0.79 ± 0.44‰) and -0.41 to 0.09 ‰ (-0.03 ± 0.12 ‰) for all transects, respectively. The delta values between both regions are significantly different, the shelf region showed δ202Hg from -0.59 to -2.19 ‰ (mean: -1.52 ±0.65) and Δ199Hg from - 0.53 to 0.08 ‰ (mean: -0.27 ±0.55) and the slope region were observed δ202Hg values from -0.32 to -1.82 ‰ (mean: -0.73 ±0.39 ‰ n=18) and gΔ199Hg from -0.23 to 0.09‰ (mean: -0.02 ±0.08‰ n=5). The slope appears to be enriched with heavier isotopes compared to the shelf, however, in the

  7. Alaskan Beaufort Sea Heat Flow and Ocean Temperature Analysis: Implications for Stability of Climate-Sensitive Continental Slope Gas Hydrates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phrampus, B. J.; Hornbach, M. J.; Ruppel, C. D.; Hart, P. E.

    2013-12-01

    Based on USGS estimates, gas hydrates beneath the continental slope of the US Beaufort Sea sequester several gigatons of methane. Warming of Beaufort Sea intermediate waters has the potential to cause dissociation of upper slope gas hydrates, release of methane to the overlying water column, and the buildup of pore pressure in slope sediments in an area first used by Kayen and Lee (1991) as the archetype for linked gas hydrate dynamics and slope failures. Limited constraints on regional heat flow, ocean temperature variability, and the extent of methane hydrates across the region have made analysis of Beaufort continental slope gas hydrate system difficult. Using legacy USGS seismic data combined with a new 3D thermal refraction model and more than 30 years of ocean temperature measurements, we analyze the stability of Beaufort continental slope methane hydrates. Our analysis provides the first regional heat flow map of the Alaskan shelf and margin, a detailed >30 year assessment of ocean temperature change in this region, and the first map revealing where disequilibrium methane hydrate stability conditions exist in the Western Beaufort Sea. Our results show that heat flow is complex and highly variable across the Beaufort margin, that intermediate ocean temperatures have warmed steadily for more than 30 years, and that the gas hydrates on the upper slope are out of equilibrium with overlying intermediate waters over large parts of the area. The discrepancy between observed and predicted hydrate stability depths is best explained by significant (>1 degC) intermediate ocean warming since the last glacial maximum. Even in the absence of persistent ocean warming conditions in the near future, the results predict destabilization of gas hydrates underlying an area ranging from ~4,750 km2 to ~30,000 km2 on the US Beaufort continental slope over the next 100 years. A fraction of the methane released by these gas hydrates may be emitted at seafloor seeps and contribute to

  8. Physical and geotechnical properties and assessment of sediment stability on the continental slope and basin of the Bransfield Basin (Antarctica Peninsula)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Casas, D.; Ercilla, G.; Estrada, F.; Alonso, B.; Baraza, J.; Lee, H.; Kayen, R.; Chiocci, F.

    2004-01-01

    Our investigation is centred on the continental slope of the Antarctic Peninsula and adjacent basin. Type of sediments, sedimentary stratigraphy, and physical and geotechnical characterization of the sediments have been integrated. Four different types of sediments have been defined: diamictons, silty and muddy turbidites, muddy, silty and muddy matrix embedded clast contourites. There is a close correspondence between the physical properties (density, magnetic susceptibility and p-wave velocity) and the texture and/or fabric as laminations and stratification. From a quantitative point of view, only a few statistical correlations between textural and physical properties have been found. Within the geotechnical properties, only water content is most influenced by texture. This slope, with a maximum gradient observed (20??), is stable, according to the stability under gravitational loading concepts, and the maximum stable slope that would range from 22?? to 29??. Nevertheless, different instability features have been observed. Volcanic activity, bottom currents, glacial loading-unloading or earthquakes can be considered as potential mechanisms to induce instability in this area. Copyright ?? Taylor & Francis Inc.

  9. Rapid propagation of deglacial precipitation changes to turbidite systems on the Chile continental slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernhardt, Anne; Schwanghart, Wolfgang; Strecker, Manfred R.

    2016-04-01

    hemipelagic sediment. Lower magnitude precipitation changes due to changes of the position and strength of the Southern Hemisphere Westerly Winds during the Holocene, however, are not resolved in the turbidite records. The terrestrial sediment routing system has often been described as a "jerky conveyor belt" that generates significant lag times between erosion and sedimentation, and shreds climatic signals. However, our results suggest that major changes during the transition from glacial to interglacial climates propagate rapidly through the tested sediment routing systems and are manifested in the sedimentary record on the continental slope. Hence, we conclude that turbiditic strata can act as reliable recorders of climate change, indicating related changes in sediment supply, and fluvial transport capacity across a wide range of climatic zones and geomorphic conditions.

  10. Causes of long-term landscape evolution of "passive" margins and adjacent continental segments at the South Atlantic Ocean.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glasmacher, Ulrich Anton; Hackspacher, Peter C.

    2013-04-01

    During the last 10 years research efforts have been devoted to understand the coupling between tectonic and surface processes in the formation of recent topography. Quantification of the rate at which landforms adapt to a changing tectonic, heat flow, and climate environment in the long term has become an important research object and uses intensively data revealed by low-temperature thermochronology, terrigenous cosmogenic nuclides, and geomorphological analyses. The influence of endogenic forces such as mantle processes as one of the causes for "Dynamic Topography Evolution" have been explored in a few studies, recently. In addition, the increased understanding how change in surface topography, and change in the amount of downward moving cold surface water caused by climate change affects warping isotherms in the uppermost crust allows further interpretation of low-temperature thermochronological data. "Passive" continental margins and adjacent continental segments especially at the South Atlantic ocean are perfect locations to quantify exhumation and uplift rates, model the long-term landscape evolution, and provide information on the influence of mantle processes on a longer time scale. This climate-continental margin-mantle process-response system is caused by the interaction between endogenic and exogenic forces that are related to the mantle-process driven rift - drift - "passive" continental margin evolution of the South Atlantic, and the climate change since the Early/Late Cretaceous climate maximum. Furthermore, the influence of major transform faults (also called: transfer zones, Fracture Zones (FZ)) on the long-term evolution of "passive" continental margins is still very much in debate. The presentation will provide insight in possible causes for the differentiated long-term landscape evolution along the South Atlantic Ocean.

  11. The biogeochemistry of carbon in continental slope sediments: The North Carolina margin

    SciTech Connect

    Blair, N.; Levin, L.; DeMaster, D.; Plaia, G.; Martin, C.; Fornes, W.; Thomas, C.; Pope, R.

    1999-12-01

    The responses of the continental slope benthos to organic detritus deposition were studied with a multiple trace approach. Study sites were offshore of Cape Fear (I) and Cape Hatteras (III), N.C. (both 850 m water depth) and were characterized by different organic C deposition rates, macrofaunal densities (III>I in both cases) and taxa. Natural abundances of {sup 13}C and {sup 12}C in particulate organic carbon (POC), dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and macrofauna indicate that the reactive organic detritus is marine in origin. Natural abundance levels of {sup 14}C and uptake of {sup 13}C-labeled diatoms by benthic animals indicate that they incorporate a relatively young component of carbon into their biomass. {sup 13}C-labeled diatoms (Thalassiorsira pseudonana) tagged with {sup 210}Pb, slope sediment tagged with {sup 113}Sn and {sup 228}Th-labeled glass beads were emplaced in plots on the seafloor at both locations and the plots were sampled after 30 min., 1-1.5 d and 14 mo. At Site I, tracer diatom was intercepted at the surface primarily by protozoans and surface-feeding annelids. Little of the diatom C penetrated below 2 cm even after 14 months. Oxidation of organic carbon appeared to be largely aerobic. At Site III, annelids were primarily responsible for the initial uptake of tracer. On the time scale of days, diatom C was transported to a depth of 12 cm and was found in animals collected between 5-10 cm. The hoeing of tracer from the surface by the maldanid Praxillela sp. may have been responsible for some of the rapid nonlocal transport. Oxidation of the diatom organic carbon was evident to at least 10 cm depth. Anaerobic breakdown of organic matter is more important at Site III. Horizontal transport, which was probably biologically mediated, was an order of magnitude more rapid than vertical displacement over a year time scale. If the horizontal transport was associated with biochemical transformations of the organic matter, it may represent an

  12. Evolution of stocks and massifs from burial of salt sheets, continental slope, northern Gulf of Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Seni, S.J. )

    1991-03-01

    Salt structures in a 4000-km{sup 2} region of the continental slope, the northeast Green Canyon area, include stocks, massifs, remnant structures, and an allochthonous sheet. Salt-withdrawal basins include typical semicircular basins and an extensive linear trough that is largely salt-free. Counterregional growth faults truncate the landward margin of salt sheets that extend 30-50 km to the Sigsbee Escarpment. The withdrawal basins, stocks, and massifs occur within a large graben between an east-northeast-trending landward zone of shelf-margin growth faults and a parallel trend of counterregional growth faults located 48-64 km basinward. The graben formed by extension and subsidence as burial of the updip portion of a thick salt sheet produced massifs and stocks by downbuilding. Differential loading segmented the updip margin of the salt sheet into stocks and massifs separated by salt-withdrawal basins. Initially, low-relief structures evolved by trap-door growth as half-graben basins buried the salt sheet. Remnant-salt structures and a turtle-structure anticline overlay a salt-weld disconformity in sediments formerly separated by a salt sheet. Age of sediments below the weld is inferred to be be late Miocene to early Pliocene (4.6-5.3 Ma); age of sediments above the weld is late Pliocene (2.8-3.5 Ma). The missing interval of time (1-2.5 Ma) is the duration between emplacement of the salt sheet and burial of the sheet. Sheet extrusion began in the late Miocene to early Pliocene, and sheet burial began in the late Pliocene in the area of the submarine trough to early Pleistocene in the area of the massifs.

  13. Late Quaternary fluctuations of biogenic component fluxes on the continental slope of the Ross Sea, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ceccaroni, L.; Frank, M.; Frignani, M.; Langone, L.; Ravaioli, M.; Mangini, A.

    1998-11-01

    A sediment core, collected from the western part of the continental slope of the Ross Sea at 2380 m water depth, records events of the last two climatic cycles (250 kyr). A 230Th ex-based chronology was obtained and boundaries of the isotope stages were set assuming that biological productivity was enhanced during periods of less ice cover. Then, 230Th ex0, organic carbon, biogenic silica and biogenic Ba distributions were compared to the glacial-interglacial stage boundaries and corresponding ages of the δ 18O record of Martinson et al. [Martinson, D.G., Pisias, N.G., Hays, J.D., Imbrie, J., Moore, T.C., Jr., Shackleton, N.J, 1987. Age dating and the orbital theory of the ice ages: development of a high-resolution 0 to 300,000-year chronostratigraphy. Quaternary Research, 27: 1-29]. Sediment accumulation rates ranged between 1.2 cm kyr -1 in the isotope stage 6 and 3.8 cm kyr -1 during the Holocene. Variations in the concentrations and fluxes of organic carbon, biogenic Ba, biogenic silica and Mn gave information on palaeoclimate changes. Processes of sediment redistribution in the Ross Sea margin were enlightened from a comparison of the measured and expected fluxes of 230Th ex. Calculation of the focusing-corrected accumulation rates of biogenic Ba enabled us to evaluate the export palaeoproductivity. Corrected accumulation rates of biogenic components and calculated palaeoproductivities were low, compared to the Antarctic Polar Front in the Atlantic sector, throughout the last two climatic cycles. Glacial-interglacial changes of sea ice cover and ventilation of the Ross Sea were probably major causes of variations in biogenic particle flux and distribution of redox-sensitive elements within the sediment column.

  14. Sediment distribution and transport across the continental shelf and slope under idealized wind forcing

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Condie, S.A.; Sherwood, C.R.

    2006-01-01

    Resuspension, transport, and deposition of sediments over the continental shelf and slope are complex processes and there is still a need to understand the underlying spatial and temporal dynamical scales. As a step towards this goal, a two-dimensional slice model (zero gradients in the alongshore direction) based on the primitive flow equations and a range of sediment classes has been developed. The circulation is forced from rest by upwelling or downwelling winds, which are spatially uniform. Results are presented for a range of wind speeds and sediment settling speeds. Upwelling flows carry fine sediments (low settling speeds) far offshore within the surface Ekman layer, and significant deposition eventually occurs beyond the shelf break. However, coarser sediments quickly settle out of the deeper onshore component of the circulation, which can lead to accumulation of bottom sediments within the coastal zone. Downwelling flows are more effective at transporting coarse sediments off the shelf. However, strong vertical mixing at the shelf break ensures that some material is also carried into the surface Ekman layer and returned onshore. The concentrations and settling fluxes of coarse sediments decrease offshore and increase with depth under both upwelling and downwelling conditions, consistent with trends observed in sediment trap data. However, finer sediments decrease with depth (upwelling) or reach a maximum around the depth of the shelf break (downwelling). It is shown that under uniform wind conditions, suspended sediment concentrations and settling fluxes decay offshore over a length scale of order τs/ρf|ws|, where τs is the wind stress, ρ the water density, f the Coriolis parameter, and ws is the sediment settling velocity. This scaling applies to both upwelling and downwelling conditions, provided offshore transport is dominated by wind-driven advection, rather than horizontal diffusion.

  15. Circulation and exchange at the continental shelf and slope SEEP-2. Final report, May 1, 1989--December 31, 1991

    SciTech Connect

    Houghton, R.W.; Ou, Hsien-Wang

    1991-12-31

    This project was a component of the SEEP-II program. It contributed to the instrumentation of the SEEP-II moored array to the processing and analysis of the time-series data of water temperature and currents, and to a theoretical modeling study of the circulation on the continental margin. We are responsible for nearly half of the current meters and thermistor chains that were deployed in the SEEP-II moored array on the continental margin off the Delmarva peninsula. Data tapes derived from three deployments of the instruments in this array were processed. A second component of this project was a theoretical study of the interaction of the Gulf Stream with the continental margin north of Cape Hatteras. The model shows how the topographic influence on the local vorticity balance leads to back-folding filaments of Gulf Stream water and to the Slope Sea gyre circulation.

  16. Paleomagnetism of sedimentary cores from the Ross Sea outer shelf and continental slope (PNRA-ROSSLOPE II Project)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macrì, Patrizia; Sagnotti, Leonardo; Caricchi, Chiara; Colizza, Ester

    2016-04-01

    We carried out a paleomagnetic and rock magnetic study of 4 gravity cores sampled in the Ross Sea continental slope of the area to the east of Pennell-Iselin banks. The cores (RS14-C1, C2, C3 and ANTA99-C20) consist of hemipelagic fine-grained (silty-clays) sediments with an IRD component. Rock magnetic and paleomagnetic measurements were carried out at 1-cm spacing on u-channel samples. The data indicate that the cored sediments carry a well-defined characteristic remanent magnetization (ChRM) and have a valuable potential to reconstruct dynamics and amplitude of the geomagnetic field variation at high southern latitudes (ca. 75°S) during the Holocene and the late Pleistocene. The paleomagnetic and rock magnetic data are integrated in a multidisciplinary context which includes previous geological, geophysical, oceanographic and morpho-bathimetric data obtained in the same area in the frame of the PNRA/ROSSLOPE (Past and present sedimentary dynamic in the ROSS Sea: a multidisciplinary approach to study the continental slope) Project. The main aim of the project is to investigate the relation between present and past water mass circulation and to provide a basis for paleoceanographic reconstructions and for the development of a depositional model of the modern processes active along the continental slope.

  17. Trend and dynamic cause of sediment particle size on the adjacent continental shelf of the Yangtze Estuary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Yun-ping; Zhang, Ming-jin; Li, Yi-tian; Fan, Yong-yang

    2016-12-01

    Based on the measured data in recent 20 years, the variation trends of the median grain size of the surface sediment, the sand-silt boundary and the mud area on the adjacent continental shelf of the Yangtze Estuary were analyzed in depth, and the effects of natural mechanism and human activities were discussed. The results show that: (1) In recent years (2006-2013), the median grain size of sediment and the distribution pattern of grouped sediments in the adjacent continental shelf area to the Yangtze Estuary have presented no obvious change compared with those before 2006; (2) The median diameter of the surface sediment in the continental shelf area displayed a coarsening trend with the decrease of sediment discharge from the basin and the drop in suspended sediment concentration in the shore area; (3) In 2004-2007, the sand-silt boundary in the north part (31°30'N) of the continental shelf area presented no significant changes, while that in the south part (31°30'S) moved inwards; In 2008-2013, both the sand-silt boundaries in the north and south parts of the continental shelf area moved inwards, mainly due to the fact that in the dry season, a relatively enhanced hydrodynamic force of the tides was generated in the Yangtze River, as well as a decreased suspended sediment concentration and a flow along the banks in North Jiangsu; (4) The mud area where the maximum deposition rate is found in the Yangtze Estuary, tends to shrink due to the drop in sediment discharge from the basin, and the decrease in suspended sediment concentration in the shore area and erosion in the delta. Moreover, it tended to shift to the south at the same time because the implement of the training works on the deep-water channel of the North Passage changed the split ratio between the North and South Passages with an increase in the power of the discharged runoff in the South Passage.

  18. Recent seasonal hypoxia on the Western Black Sea shelf recorded in adjacent slope sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roepert, Anne; Jilbert, Tom S.; Slomp, Caroline P.

    2015-04-01

    Bottom water hypoxia is a major environmental problem afflicting estuarine and marine environments across the globe (Diaz and Rosenberg, 2008). Hypoxia is often attributed to human-induced increased nutrient discharge from rivers and related eutrophication. The Western Black Sea shelf is a typical example of a system where such anthropogenic impacts are thought to have contributed to the development of seasonal hypoxia in the late 20th century. However, due to the lack of spatially and temporally consistent monitoring in the region, questions remain about the evolution, causes and consequences of the seasonal hypoxia on the Western Black Sea shelf and whether or not the ecological state has recently improved (Capet et al., 2013). In this study a resin-embedded sediment core from a location below the chemocline on the Western Black Sea slope (water depth 377 m) was analyzed for its elemental composition by means of laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS), recovering a continuous geochemical record at a sub-annual resolution for the last 100 years. Relative enrichments in organic carbon, Pb, Fe, S, and Mo were observed in the depth interval corresponding to the 1970s until the 1990s, suggesting an increased carbon flux to the sediments as well as an anthropogenic pollution signal. We propose that the expansion of eutrophication on the Western Black Sea shelf was responsible for the enhanced carbon flux to our study site, while the associated hypoxia enhanced the shuttling of redox-sensitive elements to locations below the chemocline. The subsequent decrease in organic carbon and metal enrichments at the core top suggests a recent rise in oxygen concentrations and improvement of the ecological state of the Western Black Sea shelf. References: Capet, A., Beckers, J.-M., Grégoire, M. (2013). "Drivers, mechanisms and long-term variability of seasonal hypoxia on the Black Sea northwestern shelf-is there any recovery after eutrophication

  19. Investigation of the shelf break and continental slope in the Western part of the Black Sea using acoustic methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dutu, F.; Ion, G.; Jugaru Tiron, L.

    2009-04-01

    The Black Sea is a large marginal sea surrounded by a system of Alpine orogenic chains, including the Balkanides-Pontides, Caucasus, Crimea and North Dobrogea located to the south, northeast, north and northwest, respectively (Dinu et al., 2005). The north-western part of the Black Sea is the main depocentre for sediment supply from Central Europe via the Danube River, but also from Eastern Europe through the Ukrainian rivers Dniepr, Dniestr and Southern Bug (Popescu et al., 2004). The shelfbreak is located at water depths of 120-140 m southward of the Danube Canyon, and up to 170 m northward of the canyon possibly due to recent faulting which is very common in this area. The continental slope is dissected by numerous canyons, each of which is fed by several tributaries. The Danube Canyon (also known as Viteaz Canyon) is a large shelf-indenting canyon located in the north-western Black Sea and connected to the youngest channel-levee system of the Danube Fan (Popescu et al., 2004). The acoustic methods are a useful way for investigate the shelf break and the continental slope giving us information about landslides on the continental slope, the topography of the investigated area, the sedimentary zones affected by instability and to quantify the geometry of the underwater landslides. The measurements made on the continental slope from north-western part of the Black Sea gave us the possibility to make a digital terrain model. After processing the data the model offer information about the main access ways of the sediments through gravitational slide on the submarines canyons, with forming of turbidity currents, debris flows and also other transport/transformation phenomena of the sediments on the continental slope like submarine landslides and submarine collapse. References Dinu, C., Wong, H.K., Tambrea, D., Matenco, L., 2005. Stratigraphic and structural characteristics of the Romanian Black Sea shelf. Tectonophysics 410, 417-435. Popescu, I., Lericolais, G., Panin

  20. Slope-induced errors in radar altimetry over continental ice sheets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brenner, A. C.; Bindschadler, R. A.; Zwally, H. J.; Thomas, R. H.

    1983-01-01

    Altimeter measurements of ranges to modelled irregular surfaces are simulated and two correction schemes are used to reconstruct the modelled surfaces from the simulated data. When the cross-track slope is negligible, the problem can be treated as two-dimensional and the relocation method is preferred to the slope correction method. In a two-dimensional test case, 85 percent of the slope-induced rms error was removed by the relocation method. The mean error along profiles of about 75 km or longer is usually reduced more than the rms error. An alternative slope correction scheme, which uses the local slope to calculate the expected error, is less effective in the two-dimensional case. Over a simulated three-dimensional surface, where groundtracks are widely spaced and cross-track slopes are significant, the slope-correction method must be used in at least the cross-track direction.

  1. Multichannel seismic depth sections and interval velocities over outer continental shelf and upper continental slope between Cape Hatteras and Cape Cod: rifted margins

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grow, John A.; Mattick, Robert E.; Schlee, John S.

    1979-01-01

    Six computer-generated seismic depth sections over the outer continental shelf and upper slope reveal that subhorizontal Lower Cretaceous reflectors continue 20 to 30 km seaward of the present shelf edge. Extensive erosion on the continental slope has occurred primarily during the Tertiary, causing major unconformities and retreat of the shelf edge to its present position. The precise age and number of erosional events is not established, but at least one major erosional event is thought to be Oligocene and related to a marine regression in response to a worldwide eustatic lowering of sea level. Velocities derived from the multichannel data reveal distinctive ranges and lateral trends as functions of sediment age, depth of burial, and distance from the coastline. Seismic units beneath the shelf and slope of inferred Tertiary age range from 1.7 to 2.7 km/sec, increasing with age and depth of burial. Units interpreted as Upper Cretaceous rocks beneath the shelf range from 2.3 to 3.6 km/sec and show a distinct lateral increase across the shelf followed by a decrease beneath the present continental slope. Inferred Lower Cretaceous and Upper Jurassic rocks beneath the shelf increase from 3.7 to 4.8 km/sec from nearshore to offshore and indicate a change in facies from clastic units below the inner shelf to carbonate units beneath the outer shelf and upper continental slope. Both reflection and refraction data suggest that thin, high-velocity limestone units (5.0 km/sec) are present within the Lower Cretaceous and Upper Jurassic units beneath the outermost shelf edge, but that these change lithology or pinch out before reaching the middle shelf. Although lateral changes in velocity across the shelf and local velocity inversions appear, the interval velocities along the length of the margin show excellent continuity between Cape Hatteras and Cape Cod. The high-velocity horizons within the Lower Cretaceous and Upper Jurassic shelf-edge complex indicate the presence of a

  2. Seismic stratigraphic characteristics of upper Louisiana continental slope: an area east of Green Canyon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bouma, Arnold H.; Feeley, Mary H.; Kindinger, Jack G.; Stelting, Charles E.; Hilde, Thomas W.C.

    1981-01-01

    A high-resolution seismic reflection survey was conducted in a small area of the upper Louisiana Continental Slope known as Green Canyon Area. This area includes tracts 427, 428, 471, 472, 515, and 516, that will be offered for sale in March 1982 as part of Lease Sale 67. The sea floor of this region is, slightly hummocky and is underlain by salt diapirs that are mantled by early Tertiary shale. Most of the shale is overlain by younger Tertiary and Quaternary deposits, although locally some of the shale protrudes the sea floor. Because of proximity to older Mississippi River sources, the sediments are thick. The sediment cover shows an abundance of geologic phenomena such as horsts, grabens, growth faults, normal faults, and consolidation faults, zones with distinct and indistinct parallel reflections, semi-transparent zones, distorted zones, and angular unconformities. The major feature of this region is a N-S linear zone of uplifted and intruded sedimentary deposits formed due to diapiric intrusion. Small scale graben development over the crest of the structure can be attributed to extension and collapse. Large scale undulations of reflections well off the flanks of the uplifted structure suggest sediment creep and slumping. Dipping of parallel reflections show block faulting and tilting. Air gun (5 and 40 cubic inch) records reveal at least five major sequences that show masked onlap and slumping in their lower parts grading into more distinct parallel reflections in their upper parts. Such sequences can be related to local uplift and sea level changes. Minisparker records of this area show similar sequences but on a smaller scale. The distinct parallel reflections often onlap the diapir flanks. The highly reflective parts of these sequences may represent turbidite-type deposition, possibly at times of lower sea level. The acoustically more transparent parts of each sequence may represent deposits containing primarily hemipelagic and pelagic sediment. A complex

  3. Late Quaternary Paleoenvironmental History of the Peru-Chile Current System and Adjacent Continental Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lamy, F.; Hebbeln, D.; Kaiser, J.; Mohtadi, M.; Ninnemann, U.

    2004-12-01

    A combined analysis of terrigenous and biogenic compounds in marine sediments from the Chilean continental margin allows detailed reconstructions of the paleoclimatic and paleoceanographic history of this region during the last ca. 120,000 years. Based on several sediment cores recovered during two German cruises and ODP Leg 202 (Site 1233), we found evidence for changes both in continental rainfall, most likely induced by latitudinal shifts of the Southern Westerlies, and marine productivity as well as sea surface temperature and salinity changes within the Peru-Chile Current system on time scales ranging from Milankovitch to centennial-scale. On Milankovitch time-scales, we found strong evidence for precession-controlled shifts of the Southern Westerlies implying for example generally more humid conditions during the LGM and a trend towards more arid climates during the deglaciation culminating in the early Holocene. These shifts are paralleled by paleoceanographic changes indicating generally higher productivity during the LGM mainly caused by increased advection of nutrients from the south through an enhanced Peru-Chile current. North of 33°S, these general productivity patterns are complicated by additional impacts from the tropics resulting in maximum paleoproductivity during the deglaciation and prior to the LGM. On shorter time-scales, extremely high resolution sediment cores from the southern Chilean margin provide evidence of significant short-term Holocene climate variability with bands of variability centred at ca. 900 and 1500 years, periodicities also well known from Northern Hemisphere records. Recently drilled ODP Site 1233 allowed to prolong these records into the last glacial. The available data show millennial-scale SST changes that closely follow the temperature pattern known from Antarctic ice-cores. Including other records from the Southern Hemisphere mid-latitudes, our data suggest a quasi-hemisphere-wide response that is consistent with the

  4. Subsurface geology of upper Tertiary and Quaternary deposits, coastal Louisiana and adjacent Continental Shelf

    SciTech Connect

    McFarlan, E. Jr.; Leroy, D.O.

    1988-09-01

    Upper Tertiary and Quaternary deposits thicken seaward from a feather edge on the outcrop in the uplands of southern Louisiana to more than 7000 ft (2134 m) beneath the middle continental shelf. Through a study of cores and cuttings from 100 control wells and electric-log pattern correlations from 350 water and petroleum industry wells with seismic corroboration in the offshore area, these deposits have been divided into six major time-stratigraphic units, four of which correlate to outcropping terraces. This investigation presents a regional stratigraphic framework of the major upper Tertiary and Quaternary units from their updip pinch-outs in and beneath the terraced uplands, into the subsurface, across the coastal plain to the Louisiana offshore area.

  5. Heavy metal distribution in surface sediments from the continental shelf adjacent to Nazaré canyon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliveira, A.; Palma, C.; Valença, M.

    2011-12-01

    The continental shelf surface sediments around the Nazaré canyon have been analyzed for heavy metal contamination. Organic carbon content and grain size were also determined. The shelf area around the Nazaré canyon shows mean concentrations of Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb and Zn within the limits recommended by OSPAR (2008). Some enrichment and human impact was found for Cr and especially Pb. Local rivers, mainly the Mondego and southern creeks seem to be the major sources of heavy metals for the Nazaré area, showing similar contamination levels. A set of reference values for non-contaminated fine surface sediments (<63 μm) in the North-Eastern Atlantic are proposed for As, Al, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Li, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn.

  6. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon concentrations across the Florida Panhandle continental shelf and slope after the BP MC 252 well failure.

    PubMed

    Snyder, Richard A; Ederington-Hagy, Melissa; Hileman, Fredrick; Moss, Joseph A; Amick, Lauren; Carruth, Rebecca; Head, Marie; Marks, Joel; Tominack, Sarah; Jeffrey, Wade H

    2014-12-15

    The Florida Panhandle continental shelf environment was exposed to oil from the BP oil well failure in the Gulf of Mexico during 2010. Floating mats of oil were documented by satellite, but the distribution of dissolved components of the oil in this region was unknown. Shipek® grab samples of sediments were taken during repeated cruises between June 2010 and June 2012 to test for selected polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) as indicators of this contamination. Sediments were collected as composite samples, extracted using standard techniques, and PAHs were quantified by GC/MS-SIM. PAHs in samples from the continental slope in May 2011 were highest near to the failed well site and were reduced in samples taken one year later. PAHs from continental shelf sediments during the spill (June 2010) ranged from 10 to 165 ng g(-1). Subsequent cruises yielded variable and reduced amounts of PAHs across the shelf. The data suggest that PAHs were distributed widely across the shelf, and their subsequent loss to background levels suggests these compounds were of oil spill origin. PAH half-life estimates by regression were 70-122 days for slope and 201 days for shelf stations.

  7. Metal elements in the bottom sediments of the Changjiang Estuary and its adjacent continental shelf of the East China Sea.

    PubMed

    Cao, Lu; Hong, Gi Hoon; Liu, Sumei

    2015-06-15

    The metal elements (Al, Fe, Mn, Cr, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Pb and Ca) in the bottom sediment of the Changjiang Estuary and its adjacent continental shelf of the East China Sea were studied to map their spatial distribution and to assess their potential risk to the marine biota. These metal concentrations except Ca were generally higher in the inner shelf and northeastern part, and were found to decrease from the coast to the offshore of the Changjiang Estuary. Sedimentary Ca was most abundant in the outer shelf sediments and decreased in inner shelf. Arsenic (As) appeared to be contaminated due to economic development from 1980s in the inner shelf overall, but the potential ecological risk from the selected metals was low in the coastal sea off the Changjiang.

  8. The Alegre Lineament and its role over the tectonic evolution of the Campos Basin and adjacent continental margin, Southeastern Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calegari, Salomão Silva; Neves, Mirna Aparecida; Guadagnin, Felipe; França, George Sand; Vincentelli, Maria Gabriela Castillo

    2016-08-01

    The structural framework and tectonic evolution of the sedimentary basins along the eastern margin of the South American continent are closely associated with the tectonic framework and crustal heterogeneities inherited from the Precambrian basement. However, the role of NW-SE and NNW-SSE structures observed at the outcropping basement in Southeastern Brazil and its impact over the development of those basins have not been closely investigated. In the continental region adjacent to the Campos Basin, we described a geological feature with NNW-SSE orientation, named in this paper as the Alegre Fracture Zone (AFZ), which is observed in the onshore basement and can be projected to the offshore basin. The main goal of this work was to study this structural lineament and its influence on the tectonic evolution of the central portion of the Campos Basin and adjacent mainland. The onshore area was investigated through remote sensing data joint with field observations, and the offshore area was studied through the interpretation of 2-D seismic data calibrated by geophysical well logs. We concluded that the AFZ occurs in both onshore and offshore as a brittle deformation zone formed by multiple sets of fractures that originated in the Cambrian and were reactivated mainly as normal faults during the rift phase and in the Cenozoic. In the Campos Basin, the AFZ delimitates the western side of the Corvina-Parati Low, composing a complex fault system with the NE-SW faults and the NW-SE transfer faults.

  9. Seabed fluid expulsion along the upper slope and outer shelf of the U.S. Atlantic continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brothers, D.S.; Ruppel, C.; Kluesner, J.W.; ten Brink, U.S.; Chaytor, J.D.; Hill, J.C.; Andrews, B.D.; Flores, C.

    2014-01-01

    Identifying the spatial distribution of seabed fluid expulsion features is crucial for understanding the substrate plumbing system of any continental margin. A 1100 km stretch of the U.S. Atlantic margin contains more than 5000 pockmarks at water depths of 120 m (shelf edge) to 700 m (upper slope), mostly updip of the contemporary gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ). Advanced attribute analyses of high-resolution multichannel seismic reflection data reveal gas-charged sediment and probable fluid chimneys beneath pockmark fields. A series of enhanced reflectors, inferred to represent hydrate-bearing sediments, occur within the GHSZ. Differential sediment loading at the shelf edge and warming-induced gas hydrate dissociation along the upper slope are the proposed mechanisms that led to transient changes in substrate pore fluid overpressure, vertical fluid/gas migration, and pockmark formation.

  10. Effects of Soil Erosion on Ecohydrology of Constructed Slopes From Opencast Coal Mining in a Mediterranean-Continental Environment.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moreno, M.; Nicolau, J.; Espigares, T.; Merino, L.

    2007-12-01

    Numerous works have revealed strong links between hydrological processes, soil moisture, and the structure and function of biological communities. Nevertheless, the influence of soil erosion on soil-water-plant interactions has been poorly documented, particularly on constructed slopes, wherein soil erosion has a key role for restoration success. The main objective of this work is to investigate the eco-hydrological implications of soil erosion on constructed slopes from the opencast coal mining in a Mediterranean-Continental environment: the Teruel coalfield (Spain). Water deficit is the main limiting factor for revegetation success in Mediterranean-Continental environments. Soil moisture in these artificial systems is controlled by feedback mechanisms between soil erosion and vegetation. Our hypothesis states that a major effect of soil erosion on plant communities deals with the increase of the climatic water deficit. Thus, the mechanisms involved are as follows: the crust formation, the reduction of soil superficial roughness and the efficient overland flow evacuation by means of rill network. The final result is a net reduction of water availability for plants through the increase of run-off and the decrease of infiltration and re- infiltration processes at slope scale. Moreover, the lack of vegetation development leads to increase run-off and soil erosion. This work has been carried out in five constructed slopes which were reclaimed with similar treatments and substrata, but differ in vegetation cover and erosion (from 0 up to 120 t/ha/year). These differences are mainly triggered by different amounts of run-on coming from external sources as mining tracks and banks. During 2005- 06 hydrological year, we monitored run-off and sediment yield as well as soil moisture and vegetation traits (cover, biomass, water potential) on these slopes. Our results reinforce the general hypothesis. In this way, on the least eroded slopes, biological control of hydrological

  11. Late-summer mass deposition of gelatinous phytodetritus along the slope of the N.W. European Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Wilde, P. A. W. J.; Duineveld, G. C. A.; Berghuis, E. M.; Lavaleye, M. S. S.; Kok, A.

    1998-12-01

    In the period 1993-1995 the OMEX area has been visited 3 times to address the question of across-slope transport of suspended matter from the shelf to the deep sea. By analyzing phytopigments and nucleic acids in the sediment and water of the N.W. European Continental slope and rise seasonal patterns of benthic food input were investigated and relation between input and the structure and activity of the benthic community were explored. Chloropigments in the surface sediments indicated that a spring bloom effect could be traced down to about 2500 m. During late August 1995 heavy deposits of gelatinous matter, characterized by high concentrations of chloropigments and nucleic acids, were detected all over the ocean floor of the outer slope and continental rise below 3500 m. It is estimated that this mucus layer had a carbon load of 250 mmol C m -2 over an area of 50,000 km 2. The recent state of the mucus allowed us to search for its origin. Characteristic pigment composition and the presence of coccoliths pointed to prymnesiophytes (coccolithophorids) as a major contributor, but dinoflagellates (peridinin) and green algae (chlorophyll-b, lutein) must have contributed as well. Simultaneous observations of the overlying water column, deep chlorophyll maximum, revealed the presence of a coccolithophorid bloom in a recent stage of disintegration at St. III. An obvious relation with the mucus carpet, however, could not be indicated. This, and the significant differences in pigment composition and pigment ratios at the various deep stations lead us to understand that the extended mucus field at the Celtic slope originates from different, more or less synoptically occurring surface blooms. The presence of large `vacuum-cleaning' sea-cucumbers is considered indicative of the occurrence of phytodetritus pulses.

  12. Seamount subduction and related deformation and seismicity of the continental slope off Manzanillo, Mexico, as evidenced by multibeam data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bandy, W. L.; Castillo Maldonado, M.; Mortera-Gutierrez, C. A.

    2014-12-01

    The west coast of Mexico presents a complex pattern of deformation related to the convergence and subduction of the Rivera plate beneath the Jalisco Block/North American plate. Previous single beam bathymetric data have evidenced a large bathymetric high at 104.6218oW, 18.7123oN, in the continental slope region off Manzanillo, Mexico. One school of thought held that this high was the offshore extension of the onshore Manzanillo horst, although the two features are offset in a right-lateral sense. Alternatively, given the presence of a large positive magnetic anomaly near the bathymetric high, the high could also be caused by the collision and subsequent subduction of a large seamount. Given that the offset between the two structures was the main evidence for proposing the existence of a forearc sliver in the offshore area of the Jalisco margin, resolving the nature of this bathymetric high is quite important in our attempts to understand the plate kinematics and tectonics of this region. Thus, to better define the deformation pattern associated with the bathymetric high, multibeam bathymetric data (obtained using the Kongsberg EM300 multibeam system), subbottom profiles (obtained using the Kongsberg TOPAS18 system), and total field magnetic data (obtained using the Geometrics G877 marine proton precession magnetometer) were collected in the continental slope region between Manzanillo, Colima, and Chamela, Jalisco, during several cruises of UNAM´s research vessel the B.O. EL PUMA. The morphology and structural deformation patterns obtained in this study indicate very clearly that a large seamount is in the process of subducting beneath the continental slope off Manzanillo. The results also indicate that not only has the seamount uplifted the slope but has resulted in slumping of the area of the slope landward of the seamount. Given these results the proposal of the existence of an independent forearc sliver in the offshore area of the southern Jalisco block needs

  13. The North Slope of Alaska and Adjacent Arctic Ocean (NSA/AAO) cart site begins operation: Collaboration with SHEBA and FIRE

    SciTech Connect

    Zak, D. B.; Church, H.; Ivey, M.; Yellowhorse, L.; Zirzow, J.; Widener, K. B.; Rhodes, P.; Turney, C.; Koontz, A.; Stamnes, K.; Storvold, R.; Eide, H. A.; Utley, P.; Eagan, R.; Cook, D.; Hart, D.; Wesely, M.

    2000-04-04

    Since the 1997 Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Science Team Meeting, the North Slope of Alaska and Adjacent Arctic Ocean (NSA/AAO) Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) site has come into being. Much has happened even since the 1998 Science Team Meeting at which this paper was presented. To maximize its usefulness, this paper has been updated to include developments through July 1998.

  14. Offshore-onshore correlation of upper Pleistocene strata, New Jersey Coastal Plain to continental shelf and slope

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sheridan, R.E.; Ashley, G.M.; Miller, K.G.; Waldner, J.S.; Hall, D.W.; Uptegrove, J.

    2000-01-01

    High-resolution seismic reflection profiles (~ 1-5 m resolution), including Geopulse(TM), Uniboom(TM), minisparker, small air gun, and water gun sources, are used to trace the ?? 18O stage 5 portion of the outcropping Cape May Formation across the shelf to the continental slope. The ?? 18O stage 5/6 boundary identified at Ocean Drilling Project (ODP) Site 903 on the continental slope anchors the onshore-offshore seismic correlations. Above the ?? 18O stage 5 sequence, there are distinguishable lowstand systems tracts (LST), transgressive systems tracts (TST) and highstand systems tracts (HST) that correlate with ?? 18O stages 4 through 1. Atlantic Margin Coring Project (AMCOR) holes 6009, 6010, 6011, 6020, and 6021C provide age and paleoenvironmental indicators that agree with these correlations. The sub-arctic paleoenvironmental indicators in sequences of ?? 18O stage 3 agree with the cooler temperatures and lower sea-level highstands of that time. Thicker ?? 18O stage 3 and 4 sequences are preserved in the Paleo-Hudson River incised valley across the shelf. The expanded ice sheets during stage ?? 18O 3 compared to ?? 18O stages 1 and 5 probably increased sediment discharge in the Hudson River drainage system. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Offshore-onshore correlation of upper Pleistocene strata, New Jersey Coastal Plain to continental shelf and slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheridan, R. E.; Ashley, G. M.; Miller, K. G.; Waldner, J. S.; Hall, D. W.; Uptegrove, J.

    2000-07-01

    High-resolution seismic reflection profiles (˜1-5 m resolution), including Geopulse™, Uniboom™, minisparker, small air gun, and water gun sources, are used to trace the δ18O stage 5 portion of the outcropping Cape May Formation across the shelf to the continental slope. The δ18O stage 5/6 boundary identified at Ocean Drilling Project (ODP) Site 903 on the continental slope anchors the onshore-offshore seismic correlations. Above the δ18O stage 5 sequence, there are distinguishable lowstand systems tracts (LST), transgressive systems tracts (TST) and highstand systems tracts (HST) that correlate with δ18O stages 4 through 1. Atlantic Margin Coring Project (AMCOR) holes 6009, 6010, 6011, 6020, and 6021C provide age and paleoenvironmental indicators that agree with these correlations. The sub-arctic paleoenvironmental indicators in sequences of δ18O stage 3 agree with the cooler temperatures and lower sea-level highstands of that time. Thicker δ18O stage 3 and 4 sequences are preserved in the Paleo-Hudson River incised valley across the shelf. The expanded ice sheets during stage δ18O 3 compared to δ18O stages 1 and 5 probably increased sediment discharge in the Hudson River drainage system.

  16. Organic matter preservation on continental slopes: importance of mineralogy and surface area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ransom, Barbara; Kim, Dongseon; Kastner, Miriam; Wainwright, Sonya

    1998-04-01

    Theoretical considerations, calculations, and data reported by Keil et al. (1994a) were used to assess the recent hypotheses that mineral surface roughness controls the specific surface area of continental margin sediments and that the matrix-linked organic carbon content of continental margin sediments occurs as a monolayer or 'monolayer-equivalent' coating of organic compounds on the surfaces of detrital minerals and other detrital nonorganic grains (Mayer, 1994). Results of our analysis indicate that it is not the surface roughness of the terrigenous detrital framework grains that controls the specific surface area of most continental margin sediments, even in the sand and silt fractions, but rather the presence of nonspherical, high surface area-to-volume particles, primarily clays but also oxy-hydroxides and ultra-structured nonorganic bioclasts such as diatom frustules. Analysis of the mineralogy, organic carbon content, surface area, and in situ microfabric of continental margin sediments off California in the Mendocino and San Luis Obispo areas and off the state of Washington indicate a strong correlation between the amount of matrix-linked organic matter present and the suite of clay minerals. Data indicate that organic carbon appears to be preferentially sequestered in smectite-rich sediments compared to those whose clay fractions are dominated by chlorite. We suggest that this association is a function of differences in the site density and chemistry of the clays and differences in their flocculation behavior. Our data also indicate that organic carbon preservation on the three California transects, all of which have a suboxic oxygen minimum zone that impinges on the sea floor, is not significantly influenced by differences in bottom water oxygen concentration; and carbon stable isotope data suggest no preferential preservation of continental organic matter over that of marine origin.

  17. Bottom currents observed in and around a submarine valley on the continental slope of the northern South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Lunyu; Xiong, Xuejun; Li, Xiaolong; Shi, Maochong; Guo, Yongqing; Chen, Liang

    2016-12-01

    Bottom currents at about 1000 m depth in and around a submarine valley on the continental slope of the northern South China Sea were studied by a 14-month long experiment from July 2013 to September 2014. The observations reveal that bottom currents are strongly influenced by the topography, being along valley axis or isobaths. Power density spectrum analysis shows that all the currents have significant peaks at diurnal and semi-diurnal frequencies. Diurnal energy is dominant at the open slope site, which is consistent with many previous studies. However, at the site inside the valley the semi-diurnal energy dominates, although the distance between the two sites of observation is quite small (11 km) compared to a typical horizontal first-mode internal tide wavelength (200 km). We found this phenomenon is caused by the focusing of internal waves of certain frequencies in the valley. The inertial peak is found only at the open slope site in the first deployment but missing at the inside valley site and the rest of the deployments. Monthly averaged residual currents reveal that the near-bottom currents on the slope flow southwestward throughout the year except in August and September, 2013, from which we speculate that this is a result of the interaction between a mesoscale eddy and the canyon/sag topography. Currents inside the valley within about 10 mab basically flow along slope and in the layers above the 10 mab the currents are northwestward, that is, from the deep ocean to the shelf. The monthly mean current vectors manifest an Ekman layer-like vertical structure at both sites, which rotate counter-clockwise looking from above.

  18. Collision of a loop current anticyclonic ring against the continental shelf slope of the western Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vidal, VíCtor M. V.; Vidal, Francisco V.; PéRez-Molero, José M.

    1992-02-01

    A Loop Current anticyclonic ring ˜330 km in diameter and extending to a depth of >1500 m was observed to collide in January of 1984 against the continental shelf slope of the western Gulf of Mexico between 21.5° and 23°N. The collision occurred precisely at the time we conducted our Argos 84-1 hydrographic cruise in the western gulf (26°00' to 19°20'N) aboard the R/V Justo Sierra. The Caribbean Subtropical Underwater (SUW) was used as a tracer to identify the Loop Current anticyclonic ring within the western gulf. The collision was identified from temperature and salinity distributions and from the dynamic topography distribution relative to 500 m. The ring's collision zone was identified by the presence of a horizontal baroclinic flow divergence, to the east of Tamiahua, that divides the surface circulation into northward and southward baroclinic currents parallel to the western gulf's continental shelf break, with speeds of 85 and 32 cm s-1, respectively. Horizontal divergence and vertical convergence (ring asymmetries) resulted at the focus of the anticyclonic ring's collision and originated the alongshore self advection and northward translation of the colliding anticyclone. Upon colliding the anticyclonic ring shed approximately one third of its volume (˜2 × 104 km3), mass, and transferred angular momentum to the south flanking water mass, thus generating a cyclonic ring to the south of the collision zone. The observed alongshelf southward current results from mass conservation and volume continuity requirements associated with the anticyclonic ring's volume shedding and most probably constitutes the colliding ring's potential vorticity conservation mechanism. The weakening of the anticyclonic ring's relative vorticity due to the collision is most likely made up by gain of vorticity from lateral shear in the northward and southward current jets parallel to the continental shelf break. The core of both the anticyclonic and cyclonic rings had typical SUW

  19. The stoichiometric ratio during biological removal of inorganic carbon and nutrient in the Mississippi River plume and adjacent continental shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, W.-J.; Cai, W.-J.; Powell, R. T.; Lohrenz, S. E.; Wang, Y.; Jiang, L.-Q.; Hopkinson, C. S.

    2012-02-01

    The stoichiometric ratios of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and nutrients during biological removal have been widely assumed to follow the Redfield ratios (especially the C/N ratio) in large river plume ecosystems. However, this assumption has not been systematically examined and documented because DIC and nutrients are rarely studied simultaneously in a river plume area, a region in which they can be affected by strong river-ocean mixing as well as intense biological activity. We examined stoichiometric ratios of DIC, total alkalinity (TA), and nutrients (NO3, PO43- and Si(OH)4) data during biological removal in the Mississippi River plume and adjacent continental shelf in June 2003 and August 2004 with biological removals defined as the difference between measured values and values predicted on the basis of conservative mixing determined using a multi-endmember mixing model. Despite complex physical and biogeochemical influences, relationships between DIC and nutrients were strongly dependent on salinity range and geographic location, and influenced by biological removal. Lower C/Si and N/Si ratios in one nearshore area were attributed to a potential silicate source induced by water exchange with coastal salt marshes. When net biological uptake was separated from river-ocean mixing and the impact of marshes and bays excluded, stoichiometric ratios of C/N/Si were similar to the Redfield ratios, thus supporting the applicability of the Redfield-type C/N/Si ratios as a principle in river-plume biogeochemical models.

  20. Inverse-Ray Imaging of Gas Hydrates Along a MCS/OBS Profile at the Continental Slope Offshore SW Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, T. K.; Chen, C.; Yang, B.; Lee, C.

    2006-12-01

    Prevalence of gas hydrates offshore SW Taiwan has been proposed due to lots of bottom-simulated reflectors (BSR) appeared on the seismic data. In this paper, we analyze a MCS/OBS profile with intensive BSR signals at the continental slope of the northern South China Sea. Firstly, MCS data with 160 channels collected by R/V Maurice-Ewing in September 1995 is re-processed through vertical velocity analysis, horizon velocity analysis, and prestack depth migration. Then, OBS data collected by the first Micro-OBS survey from NTOU team in August 2005 is analyzed through travel-time inversion of reflected and refracted arrivals for which the initial model is constructed from the MCS result. Finally, a novel technique of inverse reflected rays by considering both MCS and OBS data is applied for layer-stripping imaging of sedimentary layers. Velocity models imaged from three methods are confirmed the prevalence of BSR at 100-400 m depth below the sea floor along the whole profile. Relatively smooth sedimentary layers are observed below the lower slope of the continent whereas several mud diapers are imaged below the upper slope of the continent. Above the mud diapers, we find gas hydrates with high velocity of about 1.9-2.1 km/s and thickness of about 100 m immediately above the strong BSR. Similarly, near the mud diapers, free gas with low velocity of about 1.4-1.7 km/s and thickness of about 200 m is imaged. Migration of free gas through diapirism may result in lots of gas hydrates accumulated below the upper slope of the continent offshore SW Taiwan.

  1. Phytoplankton distribution across the southeast Adriatic continental and shelf slope to the west of Albania (spring aspect).

    PubMed

    Viličić, Damir; Silović, Tina; Kuzmić, Milivoj; Mihanović, Hrvoje; Bosak, Sunčica; Tomažić, Igor; Olujić, Goran

    2011-06-01

    We present the first insight to the oceanography of the southeastern Adriatic Sea, where coastal water influenced by Albanian rivers comes into contact with the inflowing oligotrophic Eastern Adriatic Current (Ionian Surface Water and Levantine Intermediate Water). A distinct plankton distribution was observed on each side of the shelf break hydrographic boundary in May 2009, during gradual warming of the surface waters. The prochlorophytes accumulated along the nutricline above the shelf and continental slope. The phosphorus limited inshore waters were dominated by a small diatom Chaetoceros circinalis, dinoflagellates, cryptophytes, autotrophic picoplankton, and heterotrophic nanoplankton. The offshore surface layer was characterized by bigger nanoplankton (coccolithophorids, green flagellates). Low nutrient concentrations influence relatively low productivity not only above the Albanian shelf but also further to the north along the Montenegrine and Croatian coastal Adriatic Sea.

  2. Volcanic Rocks Collected With ROV Tiburon From Rodriguez Seamount, Located at the Continental Slope of the California Borderland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davis, A. S.; Clague, D. A.; Paduan, J. B.

    2004-12-01

    Volcanic rocks were collected from Rodriguez Seamount at the outer margin off the Continental Borderland with MBARI's ROV Tiburon in October 2003 and April 2004. Six dives recovered lava and volcaniclastic samples from the deep flanks ( ˜2120 m) to the summit at 630 m. Whole rock compositions of plagioclase-olivine-clionpyroxene bearing lava samples are predominantly alkalic basalt (<8% MgO) and hawaiite with minor mugearite (MgO=1.5%). Glass compositions of pillow rims and of volcaniclastic fragments in breccia and bedded sandstone are predominantly hawaiite, mugearite and minor evolved alkalic basalt. The lava samples include one rhyolite and one basaltic andesite with subduction-related chemistry; they are probably erratics. Other clearly identifiable erratics include granite, quartzite, amphibolite, and bored, erosion-sculpted sandstone, resembling typical beach deposits. Most of these erratics are pebble- to small cobble-size and occur in conglomerate and crossbedded sandstone that surround the summit at a break in slope that most likely marks the shoreline when Rodriguez was an island. The lava outcrops on the gently domed platform of the summit are dense, oxidized àà-like flows without glassy rinds. Sulfur content of glass, collected from the flanks of the volcano, ranges from 1300 ppm of a glass inclusion in an olivine crystal to ˜160 ppm of volcaniclastic grains, indicating extensive degassing. Petrographically and chemically these lavas are virtually identical to those erupted on Miocene seamounts offshore central California (e.g. Davidson, Guide, Pioneer, Gumdrop seamounts, Davis et al, 2002) as well as Northeast Bank on the continental shelf south of Rodriguez and seamounts farther offshore from the Continental Borderland (e.g. Little Joe, San Marcos, San Juan seamounts, Clague et al, unpublished; Davis et al., 1995). Trace element abundances and ratios (e.g. LREE, Zr/Nb, Ta/Nb) also completely overlap with those from the other sites, suggesting

  3. Suggestions for Mitigation of Methane Clathrate Destabilization Along Continental Slopes Offshore and Discrimination Between Fossil and Recent Methane in the Atmosphere with Remote Sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vincent, R. K.; Vincent, R. A.

    2010-12-01

    When a hydrocarbon-rich stratum intersects the outer edge of a continental shelf, at the continental slope, methane clathrates act as a partially impermeable barrier that prevents their easy escape at the end of the “layer cake” of continental sediments. If the clathrates on the continental slope melt because of rising sea bottom temperatures, hydrocarbons (natural gas and oil) can escape into the ocean, and finally into the atmosphere in the case of methane. A mitigation method is discussed that would drill vertically into the continental shelf, then horizontally toward the continental slope, and resulting production of oil and gas would reduce the pressure and the amount of methane escape to the ocean and the atmosphere. Remote sensing for lower tropospheric methane plumes will be needed to determine where drilling is needed, as well as to assess the effects of mitigation in reducing methane escape. A remote sensing method employing carbon isotopic ratios is proposed for discriminating fossil methane in natural gas from recent methane produced by decaying organic material. This is important because recent methane is recycled over decadal time frames and does not add greatly to global warming, whereas fossil methane releases carbon that has been sequestered for millions of years and is a principal cause of increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and its concomitant global warming.

  4. Circulation and exchange at the continental shelf and slope, SEEP-II

    SciTech Connect

    Houghton, R.W.; Ou, Hsien-Wang.

    1990-01-01

    This project is a component of the SEEP-2 program to study shelf-slope exchange in the southern Middle Atlantic bight (MBA). It represents the physical oceanographic portion of the SEEP-2 research at Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory (L-DGO). Since the work consists of two parts: data analysis and theoretical modeling, this report will be divided into two parts to describe the progress of each activity. It covers work performed during the time interval March to December 1990 and is a sequel to the report submitted in February 1990. 25 figs.

  5. Temporal and spatial variability of ADCP backscatter on a continental slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sindlinger, Laurie R.; Biggs, Douglas C.; DiMarco, Steven F.

    2005-01-01

    Previous research has shown that acoustic volume backscatter intensity (ABI) from an acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) can be a proxy for zooplankton and micronekton biomass over time or space. As part of NOAA's Sperm Whale and Acoustic Monitoring Program (SWAMP) and a follow-on ichthyoplankton survey (SEAMAP), a ship-mounted 300-kHz broadband ADCP collected current velocity and ABI data from July to September 2001 in the northeast Gulf of Mexico. The present study sought to compare/contrast the variability in ABI both spatially and temporally using the data obtained from the SWAMP and SEAMAP cruises. The ADCP data were averaged over 2 min and 4 m vertical bins from 16 to 56 m below sea surface. Usually, ABI in this epipelagic realm averaged 3 dB higher at night than during the day because of diel vertical migration of zooplankton and micronekton into these near surface waters, while in a region having cyclonic circulation along the continental margin of the northeast Gulf, ABI averaged 6 dB higher than in an anticyclonic warm filament there. Wet displacement volumes (WDV) were measured using Bongo net tows to estimate that a 6 dB increase in ABI was equivalent to an increase from 9 to 10.5 ml WDV of plankton+micronekton per 100 m 3. Sperm whale abundance has been shown to be positively correlated with regions of locally high ABI, and sperm whale sightings during SWAMP were also compared to our ABI measurements. Spectral and Empirical Orthogonal Function analyses were performed on subsets of the ABI data for which 10-14 day time series were available and showed 2-3 day periodicity near-surface, corresponding to spatial scales of 10 1-10 2 km. During summer 2001, the mesoscale circulation along the subtropical continental margin in the northeastern Gulf was found to be the principal forcing factor for low frequency ABI variation. Increased backscatter observations are also correlated with offshore flow from the continental margin to the deep ocean

  6. Neogene depositional processes on the Texas-Louisiana continental slope revealed by high-resolution seismic studies

    SciTech Connect

    Damuth, J.E.; Olson, H.C. ); Twichell, D.C. )

    1991-03-01

    Systematic interpretation of high-resolution seismic profiles (3.5-10 kHz echograms and 100 Hz air gun) from the continental slope and rise of offshore Texas and Louisiana from the shelf break across the highly deformed zone of salt diapirs, folds, and intraslope basins to water depths greater than 3,500 m seaward of the Sigsbee Escarpment reveals the geometries, scales, distributions, and depositional processes of deep-water deposits in this region. The 3.5-10 kHz data indicate that redistribution of sediment by mass-transport processes a ubiquitous, and a wide spectrum of slumps, slide blocks, and debris flows are observed from small, isolated deposits in intraslope basins to large, complex deposits covering hundreds of kilometers. The reflection character (echo character) of many intraslope basin and canyon floors indicates sand-rich deposits; however, aggradational leveed-channel systems, characteristic of deep-sea fans, are not observed in the steep-walled intraslope basins. In contrast, some large submarine-fan channel-levee complexes do extend seaward from the mouths of these large canyons and basins at the base of the Sigsbee Escarpment to form one or more large deep-sea fans on the continental rise. Apparently, large quantities of terrigenous sediments can be transported by turbidity flows through the intricate network of rugged intraslope basins and canyons to feed these fans. Evidence of sediment redistribution by bottom currents (contour currents) is also observed in the form of sediment waves and drift deposits across a large area of the continental rise seaward of the southeastern base of the Sigsbee Escarpment.

  7. Revised Ages for Laminated Sediment and a Holocene-Marker Diatom from the Northern California Continental Slope

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hemphill-Haley, E.; Gardner, J.V.

    1994-01-01

    Conventional and accelerator mass spectrometry 14C ages indicate that laminated sediment in three cores from the northern California continental slope near 38??N and 39??N were deposited between 42,000 and 25,000 yr B.P. This revises and refines our previous estimates that laminated sediment accumulated during the late Pleistocene to early Holocene (J. V. Gardner and E. Hemphill-Haley, 1986, Geology 14, 691-694). Preservation of laminated sediment on the upper slope in this area suggests a period of intense coastal upwelling, high primary productivity, and resultant depletion of oxygen in bottomwaters preceding the onset of global glacial conditions. The transition from Pleistocene to Holocene conditions, and the establishment of a modern climatic regime driven by the California Current, included the incursion of the subtropical diatom, Pseudoeunotia doliola. P. doliola is common in sediment younger than about 10,000 yr and thus is a reliable marker species for identifying Holocene deposits off northern California.

  8. Late Quaternary sedimentology of Continental Slope (longitude 94/degrees/ to 95/degrees/30'), northwestern Gulf of Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Satterfield, W.M.; Behrens, E.W.

    1988-09-01

    Recent analysis of high-resolution seismic (3.5 kHz), piston core, multichannel seismic, and side-scan sonar data from the continental slope has been used to determine the distribution of acoustic facies and sediment types and to interpret the depositional processes and their controls. Although hemipelagic drape is aerially the most extensive sediment, much thicker sequences of slumps, slides, debris flows, and turbidites are concentrated in intraslope basins and troughs created by salt/shale tectonics. Sedimentation concentrated by tectonics also affects diapir tectonism, producing a cyclic feedback of sediments. This tectonosedimentary cyclicity is superimposed on and interrelated to larger scale sequences resulting from glacio-eustatic cycles. A recently discovered interbasin channel shows a pathway through which sand has been transported to a midslope basin where the channel ends. This pathway crosses two filled upper slope basins, showing a succession of downslope basin-filling. Enigmatically, basins farther downslope contain sands indicating other, unknown channels or quite rapid destruction of downslope sediment conduits by salt tectonism.

  9. Trophic interactions of fish communities at midwater depths enhance long-term carbon storage and benthic production on continental slopes.

    PubMed

    Trueman, C N; Johnston, G; O'Hea, B; MacKenzie, K M

    2014-07-22

    Biological transfer of nutrients and materials between linked ecosystems influences global carbon budgets and ecosystem structure and function. Identifying the organisms or functional groups that are responsible for nutrient transfer, and quantifying their influence on ecosystem structure and carbon capture is an essential step for informed management of ecosystems in physically distant, but ecologically linked areas. Here, we combine natural abundance stable isotope tracers and survey data to show that mid-water and bentho-pelagic-feeding demersal fishes play an important role in the ocean carbon cycle, bypassing the detrital particle flux and transferring carbon to deep long-term storage. Global peaks in biomass and diversity of fishes at mid-slope depths are explained by competitive release of the demersal fish predators of mid-water organisms, which in turn support benthic fish production. Over 50% of the biomass of the demersal fish community at depths between 500 and 1800 m is supported by biological rather than detrital nutrient flux processes, and we estimate that bentho-pelagic fishes from the UK-Irish continental slope capture and store a volume of carbon equivalent to over 1 million tonnes of CO2 every year.

  10. Development and sexual dimorphism of the sonic system in deep sea neobythitine fishes: The upper continental slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ali, Heba A.; Mok, Hin-Kiu; Fine, Michael L.

    2016-09-01

    The anatomy of sound production in continental-slope fishes has been ignored since the work of NB Marshall in the 1960s. Due to food scarcity at great depths, we hypothesize that sonic muscles will be reduced in deep-water neobythitine cusk-eels (family Ophidiidae). Here we describe and quantify dimensions of the swimbladder and sonic muscles of three species from the upper slope. They have four pairs of well-developed sonic muscles (two medial and two lateral) with origins on the skull and insertions on the medial swimbladder (medial pair) or on modified epineural ribs that attach to the lateral swimbladder (lateral pair). Despite minor differences, relatively similar swimbladder dimensions, muscle length and external morphology suggest a conservative body plan. However, there are major differences in sonic muscle mass: medial muscles are heavier in males and made of relatively small fibers (ca 10 μm in diameter). Lateral muscles are generally larger in females and consist of larger fibers, as in epaxial trunk muscle. Muscle weight varies between species, and we suggest males produce advertisement calls that vary in amplitude and duration in different species. Due to differences in fiber size, we hypothesize that lateral muscles with larger fibers remain contracted during sound production, and medial muscles with smaller fibers will oscillate to drive swimbladder sound production.

  11. Trophic interactions of fish communities at midwater depths enhance long-term carbon storage and benthic production on continental slopes

    PubMed Central

    Trueman, C. N.; Johnston, G.; O'Hea, B.; MacKenzie, K. M.

    2014-01-01

    Biological transfer of nutrients and materials between linked ecosystems influences global carbon budgets and ecosystem structure and function. Identifying the organisms or functional groups that are responsible for nutrient transfer, and quantifying their influence on ecosystem structure and carbon capture is an essential step for informed management of ecosystems in physically distant, but ecologically linked areas. Here, we combine natural abundance stable isotope tracers and survey data to show that mid-water and bentho-pelagic-feeding demersal fishes play an important role in the ocean carbon cycle, bypassing the detrital particle flux and transferring carbon to deep long-term storage. Global peaks in biomass and diversity of fishes at mid-slope depths are explained by competitive release of the demersal fish predators of mid-water organisms, which in turn support benthic fish production. Over 50% of the biomass of the demersal fish community at depths between 500 and 1800 m is supported by biological rather than detrital nutrient flux processes, and we estimate that bentho-pelagic fishes from the UK–Irish continental slope capture and store a volume of carbon equivalent to over 1 million tonnes of CO2 every year. PMID:24898373

  12. Pervasive evidence for seabed fluid expulsion along upper slope of the U.S. Atlantic continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brothers, D. S.; Ruppel, C. D.; Kluesner, J. W.; Chaytor, J. D.; Ten Brink, U. S.; Hill, J. C.

    2013-12-01

    results have implications for the spatial distribution of hydrate-bearing sediments along the upper continental slope of the USAM, the development of vertically oriented substrate permeability pathways, and the relationships among ocean warming, hydrate dissociation and slope failure.

  13. Continental slope morphology in northern Gulf of Mexico mapped with long-range (GLORIA) side-scan data

    SciTech Connect

    McGregor, B.A.; Garrison, L.E.; Kenyon, N.H.

    1985-02-01

    GLORIA II long-range side-scan data provide a mosaic of the continental slope in the northern Gulf of Mexico, seaward of the Texas-Louisiana coast. A swath as wide as 30 km and a 10% overlap of the data between parallel track lines provide a continuous picture of the complex slope morphology, which is largely controlled by salt deformation. Morphologic features range from piercement structures approximately 2 km in diameter to basins as much as 30 km across. The GLORIA data delineate the East Breaks submarine slide, where surface lineations are suggestive of deformation features. High-resolution 10 kHz seismic-reflection profiles indicate that the very irregular surface on the slide has a relief of 10 m. The 3 types of intraslope basins (blocked canyon, interdomal, and collapse) described by A.H. Bouma can be identified on the GLORIA data. The walls of Gyre basin, an example of a blocked canyon, have what are interpreted to be gullies, which are commonly associated with submarine canyons. Another basin downslope has similar gully-like features on the walls, which suggest that it may have been part of the original canyon system. Although many canyon-like features direct the movement of sediment downslope, the present data show that all conduits end in closed basins. No system of basins can be shown to transport sediment across the entire slope between the Mississippi Canyon and the East Breaks slide. Small-scale slumps, which can be identified on the flanks of some of the diapiric structures, also contribute sediments to basins such as Gyre basin.

  14. Submarine gravity slides on the Paleozoic continental slope at the western edge of the Great Basin, east-cental California: A mechanism for development of unconformities in slope environments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stevens, C.H.; Stone, P.

    2006-01-01

    The middle Paleozoic continental slope, represented by rocks exposed near Badger Flat in the northwestern Inyo Mountains, at the western edge of the Great Basin in east-central California, failed by submarine gravity sliding twice during Silurian and Devonian time. Each time a major unconformity was developed between the surface exposed beneath the slides and the much younger rocks deposited after the slope failures. The first slope-failure event took place between the late Early Silurian and the end of the Late Silurian when much of the upper member of the Late Ordovician-Early Silurian Ely Springs Dolomite was detached and displaced as a coherent slab ???1 km down slope. The second event occurred in the Middle Devonian when rocks of the Ely Springs Dolomite were again detached, this time forming a rockslide that traveled about 10km down slope to the northwest where it was deposited as a chaotic breccia >250m thick. These events took place as the region was undergoing substantial geomorphic change. The first detachment resulted from an abrupt steepening of the slope, an event previously recognized as having occurred all along the continental margin from eastern California to central Idaho. The second event probably was triggered by a pronounced drop in sea level on the already rather steep slope. At least one similar detachment resulting in an unconformity has been recognized along the middle Paleozoic margin in central Nevada. Recognition of these slope-failure events in an area of unusually complete exposure of middle Paleozoic slope deposits provides an excellent example of a mechanism other than submarine erosion or nondeposition to explain the development of unconformities in ancient slope sequences.

  15. Submarine Sand Dunes on the Continental Slope in the South China Sea and Their Impact on Internal Wave Transformation and Acoustic Propagation

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-09-30

    acoustical, and optical oceanographers to work on interdisciplinary problems. I collaborate frequently with numerical modelers to improve predictive skill...continental slope APPROACH The approach is to characterize the space and time scales of the dune field via repeated multibeam bottom surveys

  16. Methane sources feeding cold seeps on the shelf and upper continental slope off central Oregon, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torres, Marta E.; Embley, Robert W.; Merle, Susan G.; TréHu, Anne M.; Collier, Robert W.; Suess, Erwin; Heeschen, Katja U.

    2009-11-01

    We report on a bathymetric mapping and remotely operated vehicle surveys along the 100-600 m region offshore Oregon from 43°50'N to 44°18'N. We interpret our results in light of available geophysical data, published geotectonic models, and analogous observations of fluid venting and carbonate deposition from 44°30'N to 45°00'N. The methane seepage is defined by juxtaposition of a young prism, where methane is generated by bacterial activity and its release is modulated by gas hydrate dynamics, against older sequences that serve as a source of thermogenic hydrocarbons that vent in the shelf. We hypothesize that collision of a buried ridge with the Siletz Terrane results in uplift of gas hydrate bearing sediments in the oncoming plate and that the resulting decrease in pressure leads to gas hydrate dissociation and methane exolution, which, in turn, may facilitate slope failure. Oxidation of the released methane results in precipitation of carbonates that are imaged as high backscatter along a 550 ± 60 m benthic corridor.

  17. Seismic evidence for timing of shallow salt emplacement on the continental slope

    SciTech Connect

    Beckley, L.M. ); Behrens, W.E. )

    1993-09-01

    The mechanics and timing of salt emplacement are important elements in the evaluation of potential hydrocarbon traps. In a mid-slope study area offshore Texas, several seismic sequences thicken (especially upslope) off several salt structures. Very tentative correlations of two boundaries of such sequences, with Sangamon and Trim-A horizons, indicate that the structures have been positive bathymetric elements (thus salt has been intruded) for at least 0.5 m.y. and have acted as at least partial dams to downslope sediment transport. Faults over the salt structures commonly terminate within off-salt-expanding sequences indicating movement of the salt within the respective time intervals and little, if any, lag from the time of forcing sediment loading. Within the study area and upslope from it, salt structures are discreet and penetrate to within 200-300 m of the water bottom. The salt surfaces are approximately symmetrically dome shaped in the strike direction (northeast-southwest) and commonly dip basinward (southeast). Downslope and south of the study areas, salt appears predominantly as extensive flat surfaces (sheets or canopies ) at about 1 km depth. The studied structures are interpreted to have originated as a wall of salt periodically reactivated by upslope sedimentation. Segmentation of the wall, further flow from depth, and/or salt crest subsidence lead to growth of tongues extending downslope for the original stocks. This or alternative interpretations of the seismic records may be tested with heat flow observations made over two of the diapiric features in this area.

  18. Epibenthic megacrustaceans from the continental margin and slope of the Southwestern Gulf of Mexico: factors responsible for variability in species composition and diversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaytan-Caballero, A.; Escobar, E.; Villalobos-Hiriart, J. L.

    2007-05-01

    Specimens collected from trawls on board UNAM's R/V Justo Sierra along 4 years has allowed us to describe the community structure of megacrustaceans collected on the continental margin (45 to 156 m) and upper slope (251 to 705m) in the Mexican Ridges and the Campeche Bank of the southern Gulf of Mexico. The species composition, species richness, density and diversity varied among geographic regions and in the depth gradient. A total of 76 species were identified and grouped in 2 orders, 5 infraorders, 37 families and 53 genera. This study extends the known geographic ranges of the species Homolodromia monstrosa and the proposal of Munida constricta and Munidopsis polita. The largest number of species was recorded in the Mexican Ridges (9+3.16) and on the upper continental shelf (10+3.5); lower values were found on the continental margin. The largest densities were recorded on the continental margin in the Mexican Ridges. Megacrustaceans show in general low frequencies and low abundances, characterizing them as rare components of benthic assemblages. In spite of the great similarity among continental shelf and upper continental slope, two subgroups were recognized reflecting specific habitat and time variation

  19. Gravity deposits in deep sea fans and on Continental Slopes, Black Sea

    SciTech Connect

    Ivanov, M.K.; Konyukhov, A.I.

    1988-08-01

    The Danube fan has a classical structure. It is clearly expressed in the bottom relief and traced by reflection profiles for more than 200 km. The fan body is levee valley, which splits in a mid-fan area into numerous meandering distributaries. The fan consists of gravity and hemipelagic deposits. These are mainly turbidites of various compositions. Channels are filled with grain-flow deposits (sand), debris-flow deposits (sandy clay with shells), and slides from valley walls (mud, sapropelic mud). Levees in upper and mid-fan areas are formed by specific turbidite sequences: mudstone crumbs in the base, thinly laminated silt and clays in the middle, blue mud on the top. Hemipelagic sediments increase noticeably on outer slopes of the levees. In the Pleistocene sequences these are mud; in the Holocene, sapropelic mud and coccolith-diatom ooze. Distal turbidites are widespread in the lower fan areas. In the base of each cycle is a thin sand-silt layer with unclear graded bedding; the upper part is represented by mud. Reflection profiles demonstrate an ancient fan system with buried channels and levees. Configurations of these bodies are very similar to those of the modern fans. The sedimentary lens on the sea floor opposite the mouths of submarine canyons of the Rioni, Inguri, Kodori, Supsa, and Chorokh Rivers was formed by overlapped modern and ancient fans. The Inguri and Rioni produced a practically single submarine fan, the largest in this area. It is rather well expressed morphologically and traced by reflection profiles for more than 100 km. In its lower part it overlays a number of small fans. The Rioni-Inguri fan is smaller than the Danube, but the whole system of overlapped fans occupies an area of about 17,000 km/sup 2/, being more than 3 km thick. The composition and structure of sediments in this deep-sea system change sharply, depending on the geomorphological position.

  20. Seven new species and one new species record of Sabatieria (Nematoda: Comesomatidae) from the continental slope of New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Leduc, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    Sabatieria is the most abundant nematode genus on the upper continental slope of New Zealand but no Sabatieria species have yet been recorded/described from the region's deep-sea habitats. The present study describes seven new and one known species of this genus from the continental margin of New Zealand. S. bitumen Botelho et al. 2007 was originally described from the South Atlantic Ocean, and is recorded from the first time in the Pacific Ocean. Sabatieria challengerensis sp. n. is characterised by a combination of short cephalic setae, large fovea amphidialis with 3 turns, short arcuate spicules without distal hook, and short tail with cylindrical proximal portion and blunt, rounded distal portion. Sabatieria parapraedatrix sp. n. is characterised by having a slender body, cuticle with striations resulting from fusion of every second lateral row of dots,fovea amphidialis with 2.0-2.5 turns, spicules with distal hook, and short conico-cylindrical tail. Sabatieria bubulba sp. n. is characterised by the presence of a large muscular pharyngeal bulb, secretory-excretory system with large ventral gland at level of intestine and with cuticularised pore opening. Sabatieria exculta sp. n. is characterised by having a slender body, cuticle with faint annulations resulting from fusion of every second or third lateral row of dots, short cephalic setae, a large ventral gland, and long, narrow gubernacular apophyses. Sabatieria balbutiens sp. n. is characterised by having a dorsally-directed mouth opening and assymetrical mouth cavity and spicules with small distal hook. Sabatieria pumila sp. n. is characterised by the combination of short body length, short cephalic setae, spicules with distal hook and short distal lamella, and 8-9 precloacal supplements. Sabatieria bathycopia sp. n. is characterised by having a stout body, short cephalic setae, curved gubernaculum, and spicules with swollen, lightly cuticularised distal tip.

  1. Cenozoic global sea level, sequences, and the New Jersey transect: Results from coastal plain and continental slope drilling

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, K.G.; Mountain, Gregory S.; Browning, J.V.; Kominz, M.; Sugarman, P.J.; Christie-Blick, N.; Katz, M.E.; Wright, J.D.

    1998-01-01

    The New Jersey Sea Level Transect was designed to evaluate the relationships among global sea level (eustatic) change, unconformity-bounded sequences, and variations in subsidence, sediment supply, and climate on a passive continental margin. By sampling and dating Cenozoic strata from coastal plain and continental slope locations, we show that sequence boundaries correlate (within ??0.5 myr) regionally (onshore-offshore) and interregionally (New Jersey-Alabama-Bahamas), implicating a global cause. Sequence boundaries correlate with ??18O increases for at least the past 42 myr, consistent with an ice volume (glacioeustatic) control, although a causal relationship is not required because of uncertainties in ages and correlations. Evidence for a causal connection is provided by preliminary Miocene data from slope Site 904 that directly link ??18O increases with sequence boundaries. We conclude that variation in the size of ice sheets has been a primary control on the formation of sequence boundaries since ~42 Ma. We speculate that prior to this, the growth and decay of small ice sheets caused small-amplitude sea level changes (<20 m) in this supposedly ice-free world because Eocene sequence boundaries also appear to correlate with minor ??18O increases. Subsidence estimates (backstripping) indicate amplitudes of short-term (million-year scale) lowerings that are consistent with estimates derived from ??18O studies (25-50 m in the Oligocene-middle Miocene and 10-20 m in the Eocene) and a long-term lowering of 150-200 m over the past 65 myr, consistent with estimates derived from volume changes on mid-ocean ridges. Although our results are consistent with the general number and timing of Paleocene to middle Miocene sequences published by workers at Exxon Production Research Company, our estimates of sea level amplitudes are substantially lower than theirs. Lithofacies patterns within sequences follow repetitive, predictable patterns: (1) coastal plain sequences consist

  2. Characterization and Timing of Siliciclastic Sediment Fluxes to Continental Slopes of the Coral Sea During the Late Quaternary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Francis, J. M.; Dickens, G. R.; Page, M. C.

    2003-12-01

    The continental margins of southern Papua New Guinea and northeastern Australia together form the world's largest extant tropical mixed siliciclastic-carbonate depositional system where both rivers and shallow marine organisms supply large amounts of sediment to the shelf. The flux and composition of sediment shed from these margins to surrounding slopes and basins changes dramatically over the late Quaternary. This is to be expected given mixed sediment sources and large amplitude variations in sea-level and climate during this time. Importantly, though, the observed accumulation of the siliciclastic material on slopes deviates significantly from generic sequence stratigraphic models. Recent studies on the northeast Australian margin clearly show greatly increased fluxes coincident with late transgression ca. 12-7 ka rather than lowstand ca. 25-18 ka (Dunbar and Dickens, Sed. Geology, in press; Page et al., Geology, in press). In this study we examine the mineralogy and grain size of the siliciclastic fraction down a series of well-dated cores along the slope of the northeastern Australian margin to further characterize this phenomenon. Sediment samples were taken at ~10 cm intervals down drill cores (collected on ODP Leg 133) and piston cores. Each sample was reacted with weak acetic acid to digest the carbonate component. The remaining siliciclastic component was analyzed for mineralogy using an XRD and for grain size using a Laser Particle Size Analyzer. Preliminary results from ODP Site 820 show that the siliciclastic component deposited during early transgression is dominated by silt but that, from ca. 10 ka until present, the sand percent of this component increased. These results may support either of two end-member models to explain elevated siliciclastic accumulation during late transgression. In the first model, margin physiography controlled siliciclastic accumulation, whereby sediment was stored behind an exposed barrier reef during lowstand, and

  3. Shallow structure and stratigraphy of the carbonate West Florida continental slope and their implications to sedimentation and geohazards

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Doyle, Larry J.

    1983-01-01

    An 1800-joule sparker survey of the West Florida continental slope between about 26?N and 29?15?N showed a top bed of Pleistocene age forming an irregular drape over a surface that is probably Pliocene. The contact between the top two layers is unconformable in the south and, in some places, shows karst collapse and solution features. Karst topography grades into a more hummocky erosional surface to the north, which in turn smoothes out; the contact become conformable still further north. A period of folding, which is widespread over the outer portion of the study area and which may be related to large scale mass wasting, occurred at about the same time represented by the unconformity. Significant subsidence has occurred as late as Pleistocene. The surface layer thins to a minimum (0 in the south) at about 525-meters water depth and then thickens again dramatically to the west, downslope. This thinning is interpreted to be due to the Loop Current, which flows from north to south in the area and which acts to block deposition and scour the bottom. Despite the fact that the margin is dominated by carbonates, usually associated with low sedimentation rates, there is widespread evidence of mass wasting affecting ancient and surficial deposits on the outer part of the upper slope. Three potential groups of geohazards identified are: 1. Potential bottom failure in areas where a thin top layer overlies the karst surface. 2. Potential for sliding and slumping. 3. Scour due to currents which could also affect drilling and engineering activities.

  4. Discovery of a recent, natural whale fall on the continental slope off Anvers Island, western Antarctic Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Kathryn E.; Thatje, Sven; Singh, Hanumant; Amsler, Margaret O.; Vos, Stephanie C.; McClintock, James B.; Brothers, Cecilia J.; Brown, Alastair; Ellis, Daniel; Anderson, Jeffrey S.; Aronson, Richard B.

    2014-08-01

    Whale falls provide a substantial, nutrient-rich resource for species in areas of the ocean that may otherwise be largely devoid of food. We report the discovery of a natural whale fall at 1430 m depth in the cold waters of the continental slope off the western Antarctic Peninsula. This is the highest-latitude whale fall reported to date. The section of the carcass we observed-the tail fluke-was more complete than any previously reported natural whale fall from the deep sea and in the early stages of decomposition. We estimate the entire cetacean to measure 5-8 m in length. The flesh remained almost intact on the carcass but the skin was missing from the entire section except for the end of the fluke, clearly exposing blubber and soft tissue. The absence of skin indicates rapid and Homogeneous loss. The dominant macrofauna present were crustaceans, including most prominently the lithodid crab Paralomis birsteini, and zoarcid fish typical of the ‘mobile-scavenger' successional stage. The density of mobile macrofauna was greatest on the carcass and declined to background levels within 100 m, indicating that they were attracted to the whale fall. This whale fall offers an important opportunity to examine the decomposition of a carcass under deep-sea conditions at polar latitudes.

  5. Observation of near-inertial internal waves on the continental slope in the northwestern South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Jie; Tian, Jiwei; Liang, Hui

    2017-04-01

    Based on nearly 3 months of moored acoustic Doppler current profiler records on the continental slope in the northwestern South China Sea (SCS) in 2006, this study examines temporal and vertical characteristics of near-inertial internal waves (NIW). Rotary frequency spectrum indicates that motions in the near-inertial frequency are strongly polarized, with clockwise (CW) energy exceeding counterclockwise (CCW) by about a factor of 10. Wavelet analysis exhibits an energy peak exceeding the 95% confidence level at the frequency of local inertial during the passage of typhoon Xangsane (24 September to 4 October). This elevated near-inertial kinetic energy (NIKE) event possesses about a 4 days delay correlation with the time integral of energy flux induced by typhoon, indicating an energy source of wind. Further analysis shows that the upward phase velocity of this event is 3.8 m h-1 approximately, corresponding to a vertical wavelength of about 125 m if not taking the redshift of local inertial frequency into account. Rotary vertical wavenumber spectrum exhibits the dominance of clockwise-with-depth energy, indicating downward energy propagation and implying a surface energy source. Dynamical modes suggest that mode 1 plays a dominant role at the growth stage of NIW, whereas major contribution is from higher modes during the penetration of NIKE into the ocean interior.

  6. Deepwater Program: Studies of Gulf of Mexico lower continental slope communities related to chemosynthetic and hard substrate habitats

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ross, Steve W.; Demopoulos, Amanda W.J.; Kellogg, Christina A.; Morrison, Cheryl L.; Nizinski, Martha S.; Ames, Cheryl L.; Casazza, Tara L.; Gualtieri, Daniel; Kovacs, Kaitlin; McClain, Jennifer P.; Quattrini, Andrea M.; Roa-Varon, Adela Y.; Thaler, Andrew D.

    2012-01-01

    This report summarizes research funded by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in collaboration with the University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW) on the ecology of deep chemosynthetic communities in the Gulf of Mexico. The research was conducted at the request of the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE; formerly Minerals Management Service) to complement a BOEMRE-funded project titled "Deepwater Program: Investigations of Chemosynthetic Communities on the Lower Continental Slope of the Gulf of Mexico." The overall research partnership, known as "Chemo III," was initiated to increase understanding of the distribution, structure, function, and vulnerabilities of these poorly known associations of animals and microbes for water depths greater than 1,000 meters (m) in the Gulf of Mexico. Chemosynthetic communities rely on carbon sources that are largely independent of sunlight and photosynthetic food webs. Despite recent research directed toward chemosynthetic and deep coral (for example, Lophelia pertusa) based ecosystems, these habitats are still poorly studied, especially at depths greater than 1,000 m. With the progression into deeper waters by fishing and energy industries, developing sufficient knowledge to manage these deep ecosystems is essential. Increased understanding of deep-sea communities will enable sound evaluations of potential impacts and appropriate mitigations.

  7. Geochemistry of pore waters from Shell Oil Company drill holes on the continental slope of the northern Gulf of Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Manheim, F. T.; Bischoff, J.L.

    1969-01-01

    Pore waters were analyzed from 6 holes drilled from M.V. "Eureka" as a part of the Shell Oil Co. deeper offshore study. The holes were drilled in water depths of 600-3,000 ft. (approximately 180-550 m) and penetrated up to 1,000 ft. (300 m) of Pliocene-Recent clayey sediments. Salt and anhydrite caprock was encountered in one diapiric structure on the continental slope. Samples from holes drilled near diapiric structures showed systematic increases of pore-water salinity with depth, suggestive of salt diffusion from underlying salt plugs. Anomalous concentrations of K and Br indicate that at least one plug contains late-stage evaporite minerals. Salinities approaching halite saturation were observed. Samples from holes away from diapiric structures showed little change in pore-water chemistry, except for loss of SO4 and other variations attributable to early-stage diagenetic reactions with enclosing sediments. Thus, increased salt concentrations in even shallow sediments from this part of the Gulf appear to provide an indicator of salt masses at depth. ?? 1969.

  8. Hooked from the deep: a rare new species of Taeniogyrus (Holothuroidea, Chiridotidae) from the continental slope of Brazil, southwestern Atlantic.

    PubMed

    Moura, Rafael Bendayan De; Campos, Lúcia De Siqueira; Esteves, André Morgado

    2015-06-13

    Most species of Taeniogyrus Semper, 1867 are known from shallow water in the Indo-Pacific, with other records in Antarctica, Mediterranean Sea, and the Atlantic. A new species of Taeniogyrus is described and illustrated here from the continental slope of Campos Basin, southeast of Brazil. In this species, sigmoid hooks (336-405 µm) are much larger than in any other in the genus, bearing a long and conspicuous hook region. Wheels with six spokes (86-169 µm), inner margin with 60-125 continuous teeth, are confined to round papillae along each interradius. Polian vesicles are ventral, numerous (15-21), of different sizes, and tubular shaped with a terminal round region. This new species represents the deepest record of the genus Taeniogyrus. It increases to three the number of chiridotids in Brazilian waters, and the number of Taeniogyrus species in the Atlantic. Additionally, Taeniogyrus furcipraeditus (Salvini-Plawen, 1972) from the Mediterranean Sea and Taeniogyrus havelockensis (Rao, 1975) from the Andaman Sea are proposed as new combinations.

  9. Comparative non-shivering thermogenesis in adjacent populations of the common spiny mouse (Acomys cahirinus) from opposite slopes: the effects of increasing salinity.

    PubMed

    Scantlebury, Michael; Afik, Daniel; Shanas, Uri; Haim, Abraham

    2002-01-01

    We compared non-shivering thermogenesis between two adjacent populations of the common spiny mouse Acomys cahirinus from different habitats, in relation to increasing salinity. Individuals were captured from the north- and south-facing slopes of the same valley, that represent "Mediterranean" and "desert" habitats, respectively. We hypothesized that the two populations of mice would differ in their thermoregulatory capacities, reflecting their need to cope with the environmental stress in each habitat. We measured resting metabolic rate by recording oxygen consumption, body temperature and response to an injection of exogenous noradrenaline. Mice were maintained on diets with increasing levels of salt intake to examine their abilities to cope with increasing osmotic stress. Mice from north-facing slopes generally had a higher resting metabolic rate and a higher increase in oxygen consumption in response to noradrenaline than mice from south-facing slopes. Increasing salinity decreased resting metabolic rate values, body temperature, and oxygen consumption in response to noradrenaline in both populations, and diminished slope-dependant differences. We suggest that these differences could be a result of an ongoing adaptive process to different climatic conditions, typical of the Mediterranean region, that are a demonstrable example of evolution in action.

  10. Metazoan meiofauna in deep-sea canyons and adjacent open slopes: A large-scale comparison with focus on the rare taxa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bianchelli, S.; Gambi, C.; Zeppilli, D.; Danovaro, R.

    2010-03-01

    Metazoan meiofaunal abundance, total biomass, nematode size and the richness of taxa were investigated along bathymetric gradients (from the shelf break down to ca. 5000-m depth) in six submarine canyons and on five adjacent open slopes of three deep-sea regions. The investigated areas were distributed along >2500 km, on the Portuguese to the Catalan and South Adriatic margins. The Portuguese and Catalan margins displayed the highest abundances, biomass and richness of taxa, while the lowest values were observed in the Central Mediterranean Sea. The comparison between canyons and the nearby open slopes showed the lack of significant differences in terms of meiofaunal abundance and biomass at any sampling depth. In most canyons and on most slopes, meiofaunal variables did not display consistent bathymetric patterns. Conversely, we found that the different topographic features were apparently responsible for significant differences in the abundance and distribution of the rare meiofaunal taxa (i.e. taxa accounting for <1% of total meiofaunal abundance). Several taxa belonging to the temporary meiofauna, such as larvae/juveniles of Priapulida, Holothuroidea, Ascidiacea and Cnidaria, were encountered exclusively on open slopes, while others (including the Tanaidacea and Echinodea larvae) were found exclusively in canyons sediments. Results reported here indicate that, at large spatial scales, differences in deep-sea meiofaunal abundance and biomass are not only controlled by the available food sources, but also by the region or habitat specific topographic features, which apparently play a key role in the distribution of rare benthic taxa.

  11. Epibenthic megacrustaceans from the continental margin, slope and abyssal plain of the Southwestern Gulf of Mexico: Factors responsible for variability in species composition and diversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Escobar-Briones, Elva G.; Gaytán-Caballero, Adriana; Legendre, Pierre

    2008-12-01

    The community structure of megacrustaceans (orders Lophogastrida, Isopoda, and Decapoda) collected in trawls on the continental margin, upper slope and abyssal plain of the southern Gulf of Mexico was studied to determine to what extent broad-scale variation in community composition and diversity was influenced by geographic regions environmental variability and depth. Trawls were collected in the Mexican Ridges, the Campeche Bank, and the Sigsbee abyssal plain. There was variability in species composition, density and diversity among geographic regions and along the depth gradient. A total of 106 species were identified and grouped in three orders; five infraorders, 40 families, and 70 genera. This study extends the known geographic ranges of the species Homolodromia monstrosa and Ephyrina benedicti. The largest number of species was recorded in the Mexican Ridges and on the upper continental shelf; lower values were found on the continental margin and in the abyssal plain. The largest densities were recorded on the continental margin in the Mexican Ridges. Megacrustaceans show in general low frequencies and low abundances in trawls, characterizing them as rare components of benthic assemblages. Contrary to an accepted paradigm about deep-sea biodiversity, the highest H' diversity values were recorded in the Sigsbee abyssal plain, followed by values from the upper continental slope; diversity values were correlated with evenness. Canonical Redundancy analysis results showed a significant affinity to regions for 18 crustacean species; 33 species showed a significant affinity to both regions and depth zones within regions.

  12. The Kongsfjorden Channel System offshore NW Spitsbergen, European Arctic: evidence of down-slope processes in a contour-current dominated setting on the continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forwick, Matthias; Sverre Laberg, Jan; Hass, H. Christian; Osti, Giacomo

    2016-04-01

    The Kongsfjorden Channel System (KCS) is located on the continental slope in the eastern Fram Strait, off northwest Spitsbergen. It provides evidence that the influence of down-slope sedimentary processes locally exceeds regional along-slope sedimentation. Compared to other submarine channel systems on and off glaciated continental margins, it is a relatively short system (~120 km) occurring at a large range of water depths (~250-4000 m). It originates with multiple gullies on the Kongsfjorden Trough Mouth Fan merging to small channels that further downslope merge to a main channel. The overall location of the channel system is controlled by variations in slope gradients (0-20°) and the ambient regional bathymetry: widest and deepest incisions occur in areas of steepest slope gradients. The KCS has probably been active since ~1 Ma when glacial activity on Svalbard increased and grounded ice expanded to the shelf break off Kongsfjorden repeatedly. Activity within the system was probably highest during glacials. However, reduced activity presumably took place also during interglacials. The presentation summarizes the work of Forwick et al. (2015). Reference: Forwick, M., Laberg, J.S., Hass, H.C. & Osti, C., 2015. The Kongsfjorden Channel System offshore NW Svalbard: downslope sedimentary processes in a contour-current-dominated setting. Arktos 1, DOI: 10.1007/s41063-015-0018-4.

  13. Relationship Between Subduction Erosion, Seamount Subduction, Fluid Venting and Mound Formation on the Slope of the Costa Rican Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petersen, C.; Klaucke, I.; Weinrebe, W.

    2006-12-01

    confirms that fracturing of the continental slope by subducting oceanic relief is a major mechanism which causes the opening of pathways for fluids to migrate upwards.

  14. Expanding Sloping bog Systems Under a Continental Climate in South-Central Alaska: Possible Causes and Carbon-Cycle Implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loisel, J.; Yu, Z.; Jones, M. C.; Booth, R. K.

    2008-12-01

    Boreal peatlands play a key role in the global carbon (C) cycle, as they have accumulated up to about a third of the global soil carbon during the Holocene. Whilst numerous peat-based paleoecological records have been published on boreal Canadian and Siberian peatlands, there are few detailed C accumulation history studies on Alaskan peatlands. Here we report our field observations and preliminary data along several transects from a sloping (blanket) bog complex in the Susitna Valley of south-central Alaska and discuss possible causes for their occurrence in this continental setting and for their recent expansion. We observed, in the field and from satellite images, the presence of extensive peatland complexes in the Susitna River watershed, including both minerotrophic and ombrotrophic peatlands. Six peat cores were collected from a vast (> 1 km2) sloping bog complex (with pH from 3.92 to 4.46), located at ~ 450 m altitude and ~ 120 km NW of Talkeetna. These cores show a clayey, thick (15-30 cm thick) tephra layer at ~ 60 cm below the peatland surface that is attributable to the Hayes volcano eruptions at 4.4-3.6 cal ka. Preliminary macrofossil analyses along these cores indicate a transition from eutrophic conditions before the tephra, to mesotrophic/oligotrophic conditions after the tephra. We suggest that the tephra layer may have modified hydrology and chemistry of the site and facilitated the development of a nutrient-poor system. Active paludification (i.e., lateral expansion) was also observed at the margins of these peatland complexes, suggesting ideal hydroclimatic conditions for peat accumulation at the present. Given that the modern climatic envelope of peatland distribution indicates that ombrotrophic mires (e.g., raised and blanket bogs) usually occur under higher mean annual precipitation than what is measured in the study region, we suggest that the hydroclimatic regime of these peatlands is determined by a complex interaction among local substrate

  15. Evidence for Freshwater Discharge at a Gas Hydrate-Bearing Seafloor Mound on the Beaufort Sea Continental Slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pohlman, J.; Lorenson, T. D.; Hart, P. E.; Ruppel, C. D.; Joseph, C.; Torres, M. E.; Edwards, B. D.

    2011-12-01

    . Strontium concentrations in the fresher waters are depleted with respect to chloride and the 87Sr/86Sr isotopic composition is slightly more radiogenic than seawater, which indicates the freshwater fluids originated from and interacted with continental crust. Thus, the most likely origins for fluids emanating from this deep, offshore mound originated from low salinity water trapped within deeply buried Cenozoic sedimentary sequences on the North Slope extending into the Beaufort Sea. While the observation of freshwater origins for an offshore seep is unusual, widespread occurrences of landward verging compressional folds, and other mounds in the region suggest deep submarine fresh water discharging seeps are likely to be prevalent along the Eastern Alaskan Beaufort Sea margin.

  16. A theoretical, two-layer, reduced-gravity model for descending dense water flow on continental shelves/slopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jia; Ikeda, Moto; Saucier, Francois J.

    2003-05-01

    A theoretical, two-layer, reduced-gravity model for descending dense water flow on continental shelves/slopes has been developed to investigate the dynamics of bottom dense water plumes. The model is nonsteady state and includes vertical viscosity, the Coriolis force, and bottom friction. An integral solution rather than a perfect analytical expression is derived and, thus, the Simpson's 1/3 rule to approximate the integral is applied. At the very bottom, the dense water plume moves about 45° to the right (left) in the Northern (Southern) Hemisphere, looking downslope. From the bottom, the velocity vector rotates anticyclonically upward, indicating a bottom Ekman spiral that mimics the atmospheric Ekman boundary layer. The dense water within the bottom Ekman layer obeys a three-force balance, while the dense water above the bottom Ekman layer is governed by a two-force balance, which is a geostrophic flow with superimposed cycloidal inertial oscillations oriented from about 25° to 140° to the right (left) of the downslope direction in the Northern (Southern) Hemisphere. The transport within the bottom Ekman layer is directed about 60-70° to the right (left) of the downslope direction in the Northern (Southern) Hemisphere, forming an offshore (cross-isobath) transport in the absence of eddy flux and wind-forcing. The ratio of offshore transport to alongshore transport within the bottom Ekman layer is about 0.19 (19%), while the ratio above the bottom Ekman layer (i.e., geostrophic layer of the dense water) is only 3% (negligible compared to its alongshore transport), which, however, is equivalent in magnitude to its counterpart in the bottom Ekman layer if O(DE/h) ˜ 0.1 (where DE is the bottom Ekman layer thickness and h is the dense water layer thickness). In other words, the bottom Ekman layer and the geostrophic (dense) layer contribute equivalent dense water offshore (each contributes 50%). The magnitude of the descending dense water velocity depends

  17. Provenance and depositional history of continental slope sediments in the Southwestern Gulf of Mexico unraveled by geochemical analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Armstrong-Altrin, John S.; Machain-Castillo, María Luisa; Rosales-Hoz, Leticia; Carranza-Edwards, Arturo; Sanchez-Cabeza, Joan-Albert; Ruíz-Fernández, Ana Carolina

    2015-03-01

    The aim of this work is to constrain the provenance and depositional history of continental slope sediments in the Southwestern Gulf of Mexico (~1089-1785 m water depth). To achieve this, 10 piston sediment cores (~5-5.5 m long) were studied for mineralogy, major, trace and rare earth element geochemistry. Samples were analyzed at three core sections, i.e. upper (0-1 cm), middle (30-31 cm) and lower (~300-391 cm). The textural study reveals that the core sediments are characterized by silt and clay fractions. Radiocarbon dating of sediments for the cores at different levels indicated a maximum of ~28,000 year BP. Sediments were classified as shale. The chemical index of alteration (CIA) values for the upper, middle, and lower sections revealed moderate weathering in the source region. The index of chemical maturity (ICV) and SiO2/Al2O3 ratio indicated low compositional maturity for the core sediments. A statistically significant correlation observed between total rare earth elements (∑REE) versus Al2O3 and Zr indicated that REE are mainly housed in detrital minerals. The North American Shale Composite (NASC) normalized REE patterns, trace element concentrations such as Cr, Ni and V, and the comparison of REE concentrations in sediments and source rocks indicated that the study area received sediments from rocks intermediate between felsic and mafic composition. The enrichment factor (EF) results indicated that the Cd and Zn contents of the upper section sediments were influenced by an anthropogenic source. The trace element ratios and authigenic U content of the core sediments indicated the existence of an oxic depositional environment.

  18. Distribution and generic composition of culturable marine actinomycetes from the sediments of Indian continental slope of Bay of Bengal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Das, Surajit; Lyla, P. S.; Ajmal Khan, S.

    2008-05-01

    Actinomycetes population from continental slope sediment of the Bay of Bengal was studied. Samples were collected during two voyages of FORV Sagar Sampada in 2004 (May-June) and 2005 (July) respectively from 11 transects (each transect had ca. 200 m, 500 m, and 1 000 m depth stations). The physicochemical parameters of overlying water, and sediment samples were also recorded. The actinomycete population ranged from 5.17 to 51.94 CFU/g dry sediment weight and 9.38 to 45.22 CFU/g dry sediment weight during the two cruises respectively. No actinomycete colony was isolated from stations in 1 000 m depth. Two-way analysis of variance showed significant variation among stations (ANOVA two-way, P<0.05), but no significance was found between the two cruises (ANOVA two-way, P<0.05). Populations in stations in 500 m depth in both cruises were higher than that of 200 m depth stations with statistically insignificant difference (ANOVA two-way, P>0.05). Three actinomycetes genera were identified. Streptomyces was found to be the dominating one in both the cruises, followed by Micromonospora, and Actinomyces. The spore of Streptomyces isolates showed the abundance in spiral spore chain. Spore surface was smooth. Multiple regression analysis revealed that the influencing physico-chemical factors were sediment pH, sediment temperature, TOC, porosity, salinity, and pressure. The media used in the present study was prepared with seawater. Thus, they may represent an autochthonous marine flora and deny the theory of land runoff carriage into the sea for adaptation to the salinity of the seawater and sediments.

  19. Cenozoic climate change and diversification on the continental shelf and slope: evolution of gastropod diversity in the family Solariellidae (Trochoidea)

    PubMed Central

    Williams, S T; Smith, L M; Herbert, D G; Marshall, B A; Warén, A; Kiel, S; Dyal, P; Linse, K; Vilvens, C; Kano, Y

    2013-01-01

    Recent expeditions have revealed high levels of biodiversity in the tropical deep-sea, yet little is known about the age or origin of this biodiversity, and large-scale molecular studies are still few in number. In this study, we had access to the largest number of solariellid gastropods ever collected for molecular studies, including many rare and unusual taxa. We used a Bayesian chronogram of these deep-sea gastropods (1) to test the hypothesis that deep-water communities arose onshore, (2) to determine whether Antarctica acted as a source of diversity for deep-water communities elsewhere and (3) to determine how factors like global climate change have affected evolution on the continental slope. We show that although fossil data suggest that solariellid gastropods likely arose in a shallow, tropical environment, interpretation of the molecular data is equivocal with respect to the origin of the group. On the other hand, the molecular data clearly show that Antarctic species sampled represent a recent invasion, rather than a relictual ancestral lineage. We also show that an abrupt period of global warming during the Palaeocene Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) leaves no molecular record of change in diversification rate in solariellids and that the group radiated before the PETM. Conversely, there is a substantial, although not significant increase in the rate of diversification of a major clade approximately 33.7 Mya, coinciding with a period of global cooling at the Eocene–Oligocene transition. Increased nutrients made available by contemporaneous changes to erosion, ocean circulation, tectonic events and upwelling may explain increased diversification, suggesting that food availability may have been a factor limiting exploitation of deep-sea habitats. Tectonic events that shaped diversification in reef-associated taxa and deep-water squat lobsters in central Indo-West Pacific were also probably important in the evolution of solariellids during the Oligo

  20. Cenozoic climate change and diversification on the continental shelf and slope: evolution of gastropod diversity in the family Solariellidae (Trochoidea).

    PubMed

    Williams, S T; Smith, L M; Herbert, D G; Marshall, B A; Warén, A; Kiel, S; Dyal, P; Linse, K; Vilvens, C; Kano, Y

    2013-04-01

    Recent expeditions have revealed high levels of biodiversity in the tropical deep-sea, yet little is known about the age or origin of this biodiversity, and large-scale molecular studies are still few in number. In this study, we had access to the largest number of solariellid gastropods ever collected for molecular studies, including many rare and unusual taxa. We used a Bayesian chronogram of these deep-sea gastropods (1) to test the hypothesis that deep-water communities arose onshore, (2) to determine whether Antarctica acted as a source of diversity for deep-water communities elsewhere and (3) to determine how factors like global climate change have affected evolution on the continental slope. We show that although fossil data suggest that solariellid gastropods likely arose in a shallow, tropical environment, interpretation of the molecular data is equivocal with respect to the origin of the group. On the other hand, the molecular data clearly show that Antarctic species sampled represent a recent invasion, rather than a relictual ancestral lineage. We also show that an abrupt period of global warming during the Palaeocene Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) leaves no molecular record of change in diversification rate in solariellids and that the group radiated before the PETM. Conversely, there is a substantial, although not significant increase in the rate of diversification of a major clade approximately 33.7 Mya, coinciding with a period of global cooling at the Eocene-Oligocene transition. Increased nutrients made available by contemporaneous changes to erosion, ocean circulation, tectonic events and upwelling may explain increased diversification, suggesting that food availability may have been a factor limiting exploitation of deep-sea habitats. Tectonic events that shaped diversification in reef-associated taxa and deep-water squat lobsters in central Indo-West Pacific were also probably important in the evolution of solariellids during the Oligo-Miocene.

  1. Submarine Sand Dunes on the Continental Slope in the South China Sea and Their Impact on Internal Wave Transformation and Acoustic Propagation

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-30

    South China Sea and Their Impact on Internal Wave Transformation and Acoustic Propagation Steven R. Ramp Soliton Ocean Services, Inc. 691 Country...sea floor to form and maintain the large (>16 m) sand dunes over the Chinese continental slope NE of Dongsha Island • Study how enhanced bottom...ES) Soliton Ocean Services, Inc,691 Country Club Drive,Monterey,CA,93924 8. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION REPORT NUMBER 9. SPONSORING/MONITORING AGENCY

  2. Hydrographic data from the Texas Continental Shelf and Northwest Continental Slope of the Gulf of Mexico: TAMU (Texas A and M University) ecosystem research group Rings Cruise 88g-05. Technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1988-11-22

    The cruise continued and extended the cooperation between Texas A and M University and Mexico's naval oceanographic division begun in the fall of 1987 on GYRE cruises 87G-11 and 87G-12. As in the fall of 1987, the cruise track covered the upper continental slope as well as the continental shelf of the northwest Gulf of Mexico with a grid of closely-spaced CTD and XBT stations. Projects included the following: (1) a survey of the T/S and nutrients + oxygen + chlorophyll signature of a mesoscale warm-core ring in the northwest Gulf; (2) collections with drifting sediment traps near the center of the warm ring; (3) standard stations in water depths of 20 m, 50 m, 100 m, and 200 m off Galveston and Corpus Christi; (4) collections with a 30-ft otter trawl at 200 m, 300 m, and 400 m along the upper continental slope just seaward of the shelf transects off Galveston and Corpus Christi; (5) daily measurements of 14C production to compare primary productivity of shelf with slope regions of the northwest Gulf.

  3. 3D Bathymetry and Magnetic Evidence of no Existence of Volcanic Edifices on the Gulf of Mexico Continental Slope Offshore the Veracruz Coast, México

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mortera-Gutierez, C. A.; Bandy, W. L.; Prol-Ledezma, R. M.; Canet-Miguel, C.; Ortega-Ramirez, J. R.; Urrutia-Fucugauchi, J.; Perez-Mortera, H.; Pelaez-Gaviria, J. R.; Pardo-Castro, G.; Serrato-Diaz, G. S.; Mendoza-Cervantes, K.; Rodrigues-Chavez, F.; Manea, M.; Manea, V. C.; Cruz-Ocampo, J. C.; Molina-Cruz, A.; Machain-Castillo, M. L.; Arellano-Torres, E.; Flores-Ruiz, J. H.

    2002-12-01

    In 1974, a regional marine geophysical study in the southwest of the Gulf of Mexico indicated that four volcanic seamounts possibly existed along the continental slope in front of the Veracruz coast in Mexico. Since then the existence of these submarine volcanoes has been accepted in the scientific literature based only on the observed geomorphology from scattered bathymetry profiles and without further test. In April 2002, we realized a marine geological and geophysical study on board the B/O Justo Sierra, research vessel of the National University of Mexico (UNAM) to map the bathymetry and magnetic of the seafloor and collect marine rocks and sediments in four regions where the seamounts suppose to be along the slope. Our objectives with this survey were to characterized the genesis of these seamounts and its possible relation to magmatic activity along the western continental margin of the Gulf, in particular either with the volcanic rocks along the Transversal Chain of volcanoes across Mexico or the Centro-American Volcanic chain through the Tuxtla Volcanic Massif at the southern end of the State of Veracruz. Preliminary results of the bathymetry show forms of erosion relief along the slope that do not appear to be seamounts. Local maps of magnetic anomalies neither show forms that could be associated with edifices of volcanic seamounts in the four regions. Sediments samples were collected across and along the slope, and their initial petrologic analysis has not provided minerals that could be associated to fresh magmatic rocks. These results have not provided any hard evidence to support the existence of four volcanoes at the seafloor along the continental slope of the Gulf of Mexico southwest margin.

  4. Records of sedimentary dynamics in the continental shelf and upper slope between Aveiro-Espinho (N Portugal)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martins, Virgínia; Abrantes, Isabel; Grangeia, Carlos; Martins, Paula; Nagai, Renata; Sousa, Sílvia H. M.; Laut, Lazaro L. M.; Dias, João M. Alveirinho; Dias, João M.; da Silva, Eduardo Ferreira; Rocha, Fernando

    2012-08-01

    The sedimentary unconsolidated cover of the Aveiro-Espinho continental shelf and upper slope (NW Portugal) records a complex interplay of processes including wave energy and currents, fluvial input, sediment transport alongshore and cross-shelf, geological and oceanographic processes and sediment sources and sinks. In order to study this record, a set of surface sediment samples was studied. Sediment grain size and composition, as well as the mineralogical composition (by XRD) of the fine (< 63 μm) and clay (< 2 μm) fractions and benthic microfaunal (foraminifera) data were analysed. Cluster analysis applied to the sedimentological data (grain size, sediment composition and mineralogy) allowed the establishment of three main zones corresponding to the: inner-, mid- and outer-shelf/upper slope. On the inner-shelf, the sedimentary coverture is composed of siliciclastic fine to very fine sand, essentially comprising modern (immature) terrigenous particles. The sediment grain size, as well as mineralogical and microfaunal composition, denote the high energetic conditions of this sector in which the alongshore transport of sand is predominantly southward and occurs mostly during the spring-summer oceanographic regime, when the main river providing sediments to this area, the River Douro, undergoes periods of drought. This effect may emphasize the erosive character of this coastal sector at present, since the Ria de Aveiro provides the shelf with few sediments. On the mid-shelf, an alongshore siliciclastic band of coarse sand and gravel can be found between the 40 m and 60 m isobaths. This gravelly deposit includes relic sediments deposited during lower sea-level stands. This structure stays on the surface due to the high bottom energy, which promotes the remobilization of the fine-grained sediments, and/or events of sediments bypassing. Benthic foraminifera density and "Benthic Foraminifera High Productivity" (BFHP) proxy values are in general low, which is consistent

  5. Observed internal tides and near-inertial waves on the continental shelf and slope off Jaigarh, central west coast of India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Subeesh, M. P.; Unnikrishnan, A. S.

    2016-05-01

    The characteristics of internal tides (ITs) and near-inertial waves (NIWs) on the continental shelf and slope off Jaigarh (17∘N), central west coast of India were studied. Eight-month (March-October) long Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) measurements made in the year 2008 were used in the present study. Analysis of sea surface heights from satellite altimeter data, where the tracks of the satellites are oriented nearly in the direction of the semimajor axis of barotropic tides, reveals the presence of diurnal and semidiurnal internal tides with surface amplitudes of about 2 cm. Baroclinic current spectra of horizontal velocities show peaks in IT frequencies of M2, S2, K1 and O1 and in inertial frequency (f). The observed current spectra show higher energies than those in Garrett-Munk reference spectra by about 2-3 times. Based on the estimates of "critical topography" (where the topographic slope is equal to the slope of IT) and computed barotropic body force (Baines, 1982), the shelf-edge, mid-slope and deep part of the slope region are found to be the possible generation sites of internal tides in the region. Over the period of observation, the IT on the slope is found to be energetic, with a strong IT during March to mid-April (pre-monsoon period). Whereas, on the shelf, IT is weak during the pre-monsoon and found to be strong in the southwest monsoon. The available hydrographic data and model simulated hydrography suggest that this difference is linked with the stratification changes on the shelf and slope during these seasons, where the stratification is found to be weak on the shelf and strong on the slope during pre-monsoon. Strong low-mode NIW is observed on the shelf associated with the storm events while the NIW is found to be less energetic on the slope.

  6. The stability of gas hydrate field in the northeastern continental slope of Sakhalin Island, Sea of Okhotsk, as inferred from analysis of heat flow data and its implications for slope failures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Y.; Lee, S.; Jin, Y.; Baranov, B.; Obzhirov, A.; Salomatin, A.; Shoji, H.

    2012-12-01

    The sudden release of methane in shallow water due to ocean warming and/or sea level drop, leading to extensive mass wasting at continental margins, has been suggested as a possible cause of global climate change. In the northeastern continental slope of the Sakhalin Island (Sea of Okhotsk), numerous gas hydrate-related manifestations occur, including hydroacoustic anomaly (gas flare) in the water column, pockmarks and mounds on the seafloor, seepage structures and bottom-simulating reflectors (BSRs). The gas hydrate found at 385 mbsl represents the shallowest occurrence ever recorded in the Okhotsk Sea. In this study, we modeled the gas hydrate stability zone (GHSZ) using methane gas composition, water temperature and geothermal gradient to see if it is consistent with the observed depth of BSR. An important distinction can be made between the seafloor containing seepage features and normal seafloor in terms of their thermal structure. The depth of BSR matches well with the base of GHSZ estimated from the background heat flow (geothermal gradient). A large slope failure feature is found in the northern Sakhalin continental slope. We explore the possibility that this failure was caused by gas hydrate dissociation, based on the past climate change history and inference from the GHSZ modeling. Prediction of the natural landslide is difficult; however, new stratigraphic evidence from subbottom profiles suggests that the landslide occurred at 20 ka which is roughly consistent with the period of sea level drop during the Last Glacial Maximum. Furthermore, this region has witnessed a rapid sea water temperature increase (~0.6°C) in the last 50 years. If such a trend continues, additional slope failure can be expected in the near future in this region.

  7. Mesobathic chondrichthyes of the Juan Fernández seamounts: are they different from those of the central Chilean continental slope?

    PubMed

    Andrade, Isabel; Pequeño, Germán

    2008-03-01

    We compared the geographic distribution of groups of chondrychthid fishes of two physically proximal, although geographically different, regions that include the Juan Fernández seamounts and the central Chilean continental slope, both sampled at mesopelagic and mesobenthonic depths. The ridge is in the Nazca Plate, while the slope region in on the South American Plate, and is closer to the South American continent. We found six species of Chondrichthyes for the seamounts (four orders, four families). The slope sampling produced ten species of Chondrichthyes, of which Torpedo tremens De Buen 1959, was the only species in common with the Juan Fernandez area. There are clear differences between the Chondrichthyes of the two regions. These fisheries require adequate administrative modes.

  8. Pesticide transport pathways from a sloped Litchi orchard to an adjacent tropical stream as identified by hydrograph separation.

    PubMed

    Duffner, Andreas; Ingwersen, Joachim; Hugenschmidt, Cindy; Streck, Thilo

    2012-01-01

    This study was performed to identify the transport pathways of pesticides from a sloped litchi ( Sonn.) orchard to a nearby stream based on a three-component hydrograph separation (baseflow, interflow, surface runoff). Dissolved silica and electrical conductivity were chosen as representative tracers. During the study period (30 d), 0.4 and 0.01% of the applied mass of atrazine and chlorpyrifos, respectively, were detected in the stream after 151 mm of rainfall. Baseflow (80-96%) was the dominant hydrological flow component, followed by interflow (3-18%) and surface runoff (1-7%). Despite its small contribution to total discharge, surface runoff was the dominant atrazine transport pathway during the first days after application because pesticide concentrations in the surface runoff flow component declined quickly within several days. Preferential transport with interflow became the dominant pathway of atrazine. Because chlorpyrifos was detected in the stream water only twice, it was not included in the hydrograph separation. A feature of the surface runoff pathway was the coincidence of pesticide and discharge peaks. In contrast, peak concentrations of pesticides transported by interflow occurred during the hydrograph recession phases. Stormflow generation and pesticide transport depended on antecedent rainfall. The combination of high-resolution pesticide concentration measurements with a three-component hydrograph separation has been shown to be a suitable method to identify pesticide transport pathways under tropical conditions.

  9. Analysis of hydrocarbon potential of outer continental shelf, slope, and rise of the Niger Delta, Nigeria, from seismic and geological data

    SciTech Connect

    Babalola, O.O.

    1983-03-01

    Whereas hydrocarbon potential studies of most parts of the Nigerian sedimentary regions have been documented, no similar assessment has yet been made for the outer continental shelf (OCS), slope, and rise of the Niger delta. The shelf, slope, and rise of the delta are frontier areas in which no wells have been drilled to date. On the basis of an assumed average velocity of 2.0 km/sec, the seismic data indicate a sedimentary thickness of about 2 km (1.3 mi) in the deeper portions of the rise. This thickness increases shoreward to more than 3 km (1.9 mi) at the foot of the continental slope and 5 to 7 km (3 to 4.3 mi) beneath the outer continental shelf. The distal relationship of the OCS, shelf, and rise to the sedimentary discharge of the Niger delta have made these areas of essentially deep-water marine sediments. With the high organic carbon content commonly associated with these areas, the thick shales in this distal deltaic environment would be very rich in kerogen. Coarse-grained clastics are identifiable on the seismic sections by their distinct and continuous reflection character. These potential reservoirs are common and widespread on the shelf and rise. The reservoir rocks occur as deep-sea fans, turbidites, canyon fills, and as onlap fills between diapiric intrusions, and are enclosed by shale, thus providing favorable conditions for the formation of stratigraphic traps. The diapirism in the slope and outer shelf provides favorable conditions for structural traps.

  10. Geological studies of the COST No. B-3 Well, United States Mid-Atlantic continental slope area

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scholle, Peter A.

    1980-01-01

    The COST No. B-3 well is the first deep stratigraphic test to be drilled on the Continental Slope off the Eastern United States. The well was drilled in 2,686 ft (819 m) of water in the Baltimore Canyon trough area to a total depth of 15,820 ft (4,844 m) below the drill platform. It penetrated a section composed of mudstones, calcareous mudstones, and limestones of generally deep water origin to a depth of about 8.200 ft (2,500 m) below the drill floor. Light-colored, medium- to coarse-grained sandstones with intercalated gray and brown shales, micritic limestones, and minor coal and dolomite predominate from about 8,200 to 12,300 ft (2,500 to 3,750 m). From about 12,300 ft (3,750 m) to the bottom, the section consists of limestones (including oolitic and intraclastic grainstones) with interbedded fine-to medium-grained sandstones, dark-colored fissile shales, and numerous coal seams. Biostratigraphic examination has shown that the section down to approximately 6,000 ft (1,830 m) is Tertiary. The boundary between the Lower and Upper Cretaceous sections is placed between 8,600 and 9,200 ft (2,620 and 2,800 m) by various workers. Placement of the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary shows an even greater range based on different organisms; it is placed variously between 12,250 and 13,450 ft (3,730 and 5,000 m). The oldest unit penetrated in the well is considered to be Upper Jurassic (Kimmeridgian) by some workers and Middle Jurassic (Callovian) by others. The Lower Cretaceous and Jurassic parts of the section represent nonmarine to shallow-marine shelf sedimentation. Upper Cretaceous and Tertiary units reflect generally deeper water conditions at the B-3 well site and show a general transition from deposition at shelf to slope water depths. Examination of cores, well cuttings, and electric logs indicates that potential hydrocarbon-reservoir units are present throughout the Jurassic and Cretaceous section. Porous and moderately permeable limestones and sandstones have been

  11. Evidence of low density sub-crustal underplating beneath western continental region of India and adjacent Arabian Sea: Geodynamical considerations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pandey, O. P.; Agrawal, P. K.; Negi, J. G.

    1996-07-01

    The known high mobility of the Indian subcontinent during the period from 80 to 53 Ma has evoked considerable interest in recent times. It appears to have played an important role in shaping the subcontinental structures of western India and the adjoining Arabian Sea. During this period, a major catastrophic event took place in the form of Deccan volcanism, which coincides with the biological mass extinction at the K-T boundary, including the death of dinosaurs. The origin of Deccan volcanism is still being debated. Geophysically, western India and its offshore regions exhibit numerous prominent anomalies which testify to the abnormal nature of the underlying crust-lithosphere. In this work, we develop a two-dimensional structural model of these areas along two long profiles extending from the eastern basin of the Arabian Sea to about 1000 km inland. The model, derived from the available gravity data in the oceanic and continental regions, is constrained by seismic and other relevant information in the area, and suggests, for the first time, the presence of an extensive low-density (2.95-3.05 g/cm 3) sub-crustal underplating. Such a layer is found to occur between depths of 11 and 20 km in the eastern basin of the Arabian Sea, and betweeen 45 and 60 km in the continental region where it is sandwiched in the lower lithosphere. The low density may have been caused as a result of serpentinization or fractionation of magma by a process related in some way to the Deccan volcanic event. Substantial depletion of both oceanic and continental lithosphere is indicated. We hypothesize that the present anatomy of the deformed lithosphere of the region at the K-T boundary is the result of substantial melt generated owing to frictional heat possibly giving rise to a hot cell like condition at the base of the lithosphere, resulting from the rapid movement of the Indian subcontinent between 80 and 53 Ma.

  12. iSIMM (Integrated Seismic Imaging and Modelling of Margins): Seismic Acquisition on the Faroes Shelf, Hatton Bank and adjacent Continental Margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, B.; Kusznir, N.; Christie, P.; Roberts, A. M.; Lunnon, Z.; Roberts, A. W.; Hurst, N.; Smith, L.; Parkin, C.; Surendra, A.; Davies, A.

    2002-12-01

    The iSIMM project is using state-of-the art seismic techniques with long-offset and wide-angle data, to image the crust formed on volcanic continental margins in parallel with developing and testing new quantitative models of rifted margin formation, incorporating heterogeneous stretching, the effects of melt generation and emplacement and varying thermal anomalies in the mantle. During June-July 2002, we used RRS Discovery to acquire wide angle and normal incidence seismic data on the Faroes Shelf and adjacent continental margin, Hatton-Rockall Basin, Hatton Bank and the adjacent oceanic crust using OBS and MCS. In August 2002, WesternGeco's Topaz used three single-sensor, Q-Marine streamers, 12km plus two 4km, to overshoot the wide-angle profiles on the Faroes Shelf and adjacent continental margin. In the Faroes region we deployed 85 4-component ocean bottom seismometers (OBS) and 5 vertical arrays along a 350km-long profile extending from the Faroes-Shetland Channel across the Faroes Shelf and continental margin into the oceanic crust of the Norwegian Sea. The entire profile was shot twice. First with a 6,300 cubic inch airgun array towed at 20 m depth and tuned to enhance the initial peak output pressure pulse. Second, with the airguns reconfigured to enhance the low-frequency bubble waveform, producing a source rich in low frequency energy (centred on 10-12 Hz), and with a broad bandwidth. Shots were spaced at either 75 m or 100 m, giving shot repetition rates in excess of 60 secs, thus avoiding contaminating with wrap-round energy from the previous shot. The Q-Marine acquisition used a 48-gun, 10,170 cu. in. airgun array, also tuned to enhance the low-frequency bubble signature, shooting at 50m/20s intervals and recorded on individual sensors for optimal grouping. The streamer configuration provides swath coverage at shorter offsets, while the long offsets record diving waves and wide-angle reflections. Shot-by-shot source signature recording will facilitate

  13. A regional assessment of potential environmental hazards to and limitations on petroleum development of the Southeastern United States Atlantic continental shelf, slope, and rise, offshore North Carolina

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Popenoe, Peter; Coward, E.L.; Cashman, K.V.

    1982-01-01

    More than 11,000 km of high-resolution seismic-reflection data, 325 km of mid-range sidescan-sonar data, and 500 km of long-range sidescan-sonar data were examined and used to construct an environmental geology map of the Continental Shelf, Slope, and Rise for the area of the U.S. Atlantic margin between lats. 32?N. and 37?N. Hardgrounds and two faults described in previous literature also are shown on the map. On the Continental Shelf, at least two faults, the Helena Banks fault and the White Oak lineament, appear to be tectonic in origin. However, a lack of historical seismicity associated with these faults indicates that they are probably not active at the present time. Hardgrounds are widely scattered but are most abundant in Onslow Bay. Although paleostream channels are common nearshore, they do not appear to be common on the central and outer shelf except off Albemarle Sound where extensive Pleistocene, Pliocene, and late Miocene channels extend across the shelf. Mobile bottom sediments are confined mainly to the shoals off Cape Romain, Cape Fear, Cape Lookout, and Cape Hatteras. Elsewhere the sand cover is thin, and older more indurated rocks are present in subcrop. No slope-instability features were noted on the Florida-Hatteras slope off North Carolina. The lack of features indicates that this slope is relatively stable. Evidence for scour by strong currents is ubiquitous on the northern Blake Plateau although deep-water reefs are sparse. The outer edge of the plateau is dominated by a major growth fault and numerous splay and antithetic faults. These faults are the product of salt tectonism in the Carolina trough and thus are not associated with seismicity. Displacements observed near the sea floor and breached diapirs offshore indicate that the main fault is still moving. Associated with the faults are collapse features that are interpreted to be caused by karst solution and cavernous porosity in Eocene and Oligocene limestones at depth. Major slumps

  14. Gulf of Mexico continental slope study annual report, year 2. Volume 2. Primary volume. Interim report 1985-1986. [Sampling for hydrocarbons

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1986-09-01

    This report, which was prepared in three volumes (Executive Summary, Primary Volume, and Appendix), details the findings of two years of sampling on the continental slope of the northern Gulf of Mexico at depths of 300-3000 m. Preliminary results from a third year of sampling are also presented. Physical and chemical measurements included: CTD casts at 35 stations; sediment characteristics, including hydrocarbons and bulk sediment parameters from 60 stations; tissue hydrocarbon levels of representative benthic organisms; and delta carbon-13 values from sediments and organisms, including comparison of areas of natural petroleum seepage to prevailing slope conditions. The biological oceanography section provides detailed enumeration of megafaunal specimens collected by trawling and of macro- and meiofaunal specimens collected with a 600 sq cm box core. Major megafaunal groups treated are Arthropoda, Echinodermata, and demersal fishes.

  15. Seafloor morphology of the continental slope in front the Petacalco Bay and its tsunamigenic relationship at the Mexican sector of the Middle American subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mortera-Gutierrez, C. A.; Bandy, W. L.; Millan-Motolinia, C.; Ponce-Nuñez, F.; Ortega-Ramirez, J.

    2014-12-01

    The recent occurrence of offshore, large, earthquake ruptures in the western limit of the Guerrero Seismic Gap and the scattered data of seafloor morphology of the continental slope along this sector at the Mexican Mid American subduction zone have encouraged the UNAM marine geophysical group to initiate a mapping program at the Guerrero margin, from the shelf break to the Middle American Trench. The main objective of this initiative is to have a complete cover of the seafloor morphology of the Guerrero slope as the background data for comparative studies of the seafloor deformation in case of future offshore earthquake ruptures in this region. At he first stage of this initiative, we have mapped the continental slope in front the Petacalco Bay, west of the Guerrero Seismic Gap, where three important large earthquakes occurred and caused great damages in Mexico City: Petatlán earthquake (Mw=7.6) at 1979, Michoacán earthquake (Mw=8.1) and its aftershock (Mw=7.9) at 1985. Geophysical results of two campaigns carry in 2012 (MAMRIV12) and 2013 (BABPET13) on board the BO EL PUMA are presented which include multibeam data and subbottom profiles. These data sets cover an area between 101°W and 103°W, and from the shelf-slope break to the trench. The multibeam chart shows details of the hydrological erosion induced by many submarine cannons at the upper slope, whereas the seafloor relief in the lower slope is dominated by tectonic structures. The subbottom profiles and the seafloor morphology evidence zones of big slumps and faults. For first time the Rio Balsas submarine cannon is completed chart, reaching the trench basin. The river course is deflected, possibly by shear faulting. There are slump sites near the trench that probably one is associated to the 1925 tsunami at Zihuatanejo, Guerrero. The 1985 Michoacán aftershock was accompany by a small Tsunami. At that time, the lack of morphology data in this slope inhibited further studies of seafloor-deformation and

  16. Mechanical Stability of Stratified Sediments along the upper continental Slope off Vesterålen, northern Norway - Insights from in situ CPTU Tests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voelker, D.; Stegmann, S.; Kreiter, S.; L'Heureux, J. S.; Vanneste, M. W. B.; Baeten, N. J.; Knudsen, S.; Rise, L.; Longva, O.; Brendryen, J.; Haflidason, H.; Chand, S.; Mörz, T.; Kopf, A.

    2015-12-01

    High-resolution single channel-seismic data (3.5 kHz) reveal small-scale submarine landslide structures and superficial deformation features (e.g. tension cracks) along the gently dipping (3°) upper continental slope west of the Vesterålen Archipelago off northern Norway. Previous laboratory-based geotechnical studies attest that the slope is per sestable and that seismic events in an order of magnitude M5.7 may have triggered the slope sediments to fail. Here we present geotechnical in situ data (sedimentary strength, pore pressure), which were obtained with RV Poseidon in summer 2014 using the static CPTU system GOST. The CPTU system provided high-resolution geotechnical profiles of the uppermost sediments to a maximum penetration depth of ~ 20 m at six sites within the landslide features and beside them in undisturbed slope sediments as reference. The CPTU data reveal the occurrence of mechanically weaker zones (MWZ) by the drop of sedimentary strength. These zones are interbedded by coarser, more competent layers. The occurrence of sensitive fine-grained material may be responsible for the loss of strength in the deeper portion (appx. 12 to 18 m below seafloor). An 1D infinite pseudo-static stability analysis attests that the mechanically weaker zones (MWZ) correlate well with portions, where the Factor of Safety (FoS) ≤ 1 (meta-stable to unstable) indicates permanent deformation or failure in case additional dynamic load is induced by an earthquake. Thus, the mechanically weak layers can be considered as one important pre-condition for landslide activity. In conclusion, the integration of in situ CPTU data with geophysical data improves soil characterization and hence foster a better understanding of the pre-conditioning factors for slope instability at the upper continental slope off Vesterålen. Risk assessment for the present-day slope off Vesterålen is particularly crucial, because the opening of the region for offshore oil and gas exploration is

  17. Sediment movement and dispersal patterns on the Grand Banks continental shelf and slope were tied to the dynamics of the Laurentide ice-sheet margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rashid, H.; MacKillop, K.; Piper, D.; Vermooten, M.; Higgins, J.; Marche, B.; Langer, K.; Brockway, B.; Spicer, H. E.; Webb, M. D.; Fournier, E.

    2015-12-01

    The expansion and contraction of the late Pleistocene Laurentide ice-sheet (LIS) was the crucial determining factor for the geomorphic features and shelf and slope sediment mobility on the eastern Canadian continental margin, with abundant mass-transport deposits (MTDs) seaward of ice margins on the upper slope. Here, we report for the first time sediment failure and mass-transport deposits from the central Grand Banks slope in the Salar and Carson petroleum basins. High-resolution seismic profiles and multibeam bathymetry show numerous sediment failure scarps in 500-1600 m water depth. There is no evidence for an ice margin on the upper slope younger than MIS 6. Centimeter-scale X-ray fluorescence analysis (XRF), grain size, and oxygen isotope data from piston cores constrain sediment processes over the past 46 ka. Geotechnical measurements including Atterberg limit tests, vane shear measurements and triaxial and multi-stage isotropic consolidation tests allowed us to assess the instability on the continental margin. Cores with continuous undisturbed stratigraphy in contourite silty muds show normal downcore increase in bulk density and undrained peak shear strength. Heinrich (H) layers are identifiable by a marked increase in the bulk density, high Ca (ppm), increase in iceberg-rafted debris and lighter δ18O in the polar planktonic foram Neogloboquadrina pachyderma (sinistral): with a few C-14 dates they provide a robust chronology. There is no evidence for significant supply of sediment from the Grand Banks at the last-glacial maximum. Mass-transport deposits (MTD) are marked by variability in the bulk density, undrained shear strength and little variation in bulk density or Ca (ppm) values. The MTD are older than 46 ka on the central Grand Banks slope, whereas younger MTDs are present in southern Flemish Pass. Factor of safety calculations suggest the slope is statically stable up to gradients of 10°, but more intervals of silty mud may fail during earthquake

  18. Phylogeographical structure of the Dover sole Microstomus pacificus: the larval retention hypothesis and genetic divergence along the deep continental slope of the northeastern Pacific Ocean.

    PubMed

    Stepien, C A

    1999-06-01

    Population genetic variability and phylogeographical structure of the Dover sole, Microstomus pacificus (Teleostei: Pleuronectidae), were examined along the continental slope of the north-eastern Pacific Ocean using sequences of the left domain of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region. Six sites were sampled in three primary biogeographical provinces (based on surface water temperatures), ranging from the subarctic to the warm temperate zones. Many haplotypes were discerned, totalling 90 for 110 individuals. Neighbour joining and parsimony analyses of the entire data set showed that some groups of haplotypes of adult Dover sole were widely distributed, suggesting either panmixia or homoplasy and reversals. However, a substantial number of groups of related haplotypes were geographically circumscribed, and there were significant differences among sites in the distribution of restricted haplotypes (based on a reduced number of characters), supporting geographical structure. Geographical differentiation of populations appeared to be consistent with the member-vagrant hypothesis for retention of the pelagic larvae in currents and recruitment to adult habitats, reducing long-distance dispersal. Results of this study indicate phylogeographical structure among some populations, despite extended pelagic larval periods, and apparent environmental homogeneity in the adult habitats along the continental slope.

  19. The statistical structure of synoptic variability ocean currents at the continental slope of the Laptev Sea and features of their generation by anemobaric forces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zakharchuk, E. A.; Sukhachev, V. N.; Tikhonova, N. A.

    2016-09-01

    Based on vector-algebraic analysis of random processes, we study the statistical structure of the synoptic variability of currents measured by an ADCP in the upper mixed layer in the central part of the continental slope of the Laptev Sea in 2006-2007. The results of statistical analysis show that in some cases the synoptic currents in the surface layer of the sea are signs of wind drift currents. This is indicated by the high correlation between the tangential friction of wind and currents, as well as the reversal of the depth of current vectors and the major axes of the ellipses of the mean-square deviation of the Ekman spiral. Due to the large variability of wind flows and stratification of water masses, the penetration depth of these currents is small and varies from 6 to 30 m, with pronounced seasonal variation. In deeper layers, no relationship between the currents and anemobaric forces is traced. It is concluded that the fluctuations of synoptic scale currents in the area of the continental slope of the Laptev Sea represent a superposition of Ekman drift currents and movements associated with free baroclinic Kelvin waves. These currents are the dominant contributor in the upper 30-m layer of the ocean, while waves play a key role in deeper waters.

  20. Morphology and shallow geological structure of the continental slope located between Manzanillo, Colima and Chamela, Jalisco, Mexico, using multibeam bathymetry and high resolution seismic reflection data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castillo, M.; Bandy, W. L.; Mortera-Gutierrez, C. A.

    2013-05-01

    The west coast of Mexico presents a complex array of tectonic processes related with the subduction of the Rivera plate beneath the Jalisco Block/North American plate including seamount subduction and forearc slivering. To better understand these processes and related deformation, an analysis and integration of marine geophysical data was undertaken to map the morphology and shallow geologic structure of the continental slope located between Manzanillo, Colima and Chamela, Jalisco, Mexico (Longitude: 104 ° 20 'to 106 ° 0 Latitude: 18 ° 24 'to 19 ° 48'). These data include multibeam bathymetry and seafloor backscatter data (Kongsberg EM300 system) and high-resolution seismic reflection data (Kongsberg TOPAS system) collected during the MORTIC07 campaign aboard the oceanographic vessel "El Puma". 3D models of the bathymetry and acoustic backscatter strength were constructed along with maps of the major geological and structural features, such as landslides and active faults and folds. The analysis indicates that the continental slope in this area has undergone significant vertical and horizontal movements producing several large slump blocks, a prominent sedimentary filled basin, and a series of transpressional ridges suggestive of a recent collision and subduction of a seamount, or similar bathymetric features.

  1. Geologic Assessment of Undiscovered, Technically Recoverable Coalbed-Gas Resources in Cretaceous and Tertiary Rocks, North Slope and Adjacent State Waters, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Roberts, Stephen B.

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) National Oil and Gas Assessment is to develop geology-based hypotheses regarding the potential for additions to oil and gas reserves in priority areas of the United States, focusing on the distribution, quantity, and availability of oil and natural gas resources. The USGS has completed an assessment of the undiscovered, technically recoverable coalbed-gas resources in Cretaceous and Tertiary rocks underlying the North Slope and adjacent State waters of Alaska (USGS Northern Alaska Province 5001). The province is a priority Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) province for the National Assessment because of its potential for oil and gas resources. The assessment of this province is based on geologic principles and uses the total petroleum system concept. The geologic elements of a total petroleum system include hydrocarbon source rocks (source rock maturation, hydrocarbon generation and migration), reservoir rocks (stratigraphy, sedimentology, petrophysical properties), and hydrocarbon traps (trap formation and timing). In the Northern Alaska Province, the USGS used this geologic framework to define one composite coalbed gas total petroleum system and three coalbed gas assessment units within the petroleum system, and quantitatively estimated the undiscovered coalbed-gas resources within each assessment unit.

  2. Physico-chemical parameters of the SW and post NE monsoon (2009) seawater along the continental slope, Tamil Nadu, east coast of India, Bay of Bengal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nisha, V.; Achyuthan, H.

    2014-01-01

    Variations in sea water temperature, salinity, light intensity and availability of nutrients strongly influence the phytoplankton distribution that forms an important part of the coastal food chain. In this paper, we present the results of the physico-chemical parameters and nutrient concentrations in seawaters sampled during the 2009 South West (SW) and post North East (NE) monsoon periods along the continental shelf from Chennai to Nagapattinam, east coast, Tamil Nadu. This study was conducted to assess the status of the coastal biogeochemical environment and for this purpose, seawater samples were collected from the sea surface and also at varying depths (surface to 150 m depth) at six different locations. The nutrient analyses and the CTD data reveal a distinct variation with water depth along the continental slope and also the physico-chemical properties of seawater are not homogenous. The observed values of nutrients for the post NE monsoon period are low compared to the SW monsoon period. Contour plots indicate seasonal and spatial variations in physico-chemical parameters along the continental shelf of the east coast of India. The data suggests that during the 2009 SW monsoon period, a significant increase of freshwater input into the Bay of Bengal could have elevated nutrient concentration compared to that observed during the post 2009 NE monsoon.

  3. Geotechnical properties and preliminary assessment of sediment stability on the continental slope of the northwestern Alboran Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baraza, J.; Ercilla, G.; Lee, H.J.

    1992-01-01

    Laboratory analysis of core samples from the western Alboran Sea slope reveal a large variability in texture and geotechnical properties. Stability analysis suggests that the sediment is stable under static gravitational loading but potentially unstable under seismic loading. Slope failures may occur if horizontal ground accelerations greater than 0.16 g are seismically induced. The, Alboran Sea is an active region, on which earthquakes inducing accelerations big enough to exceed the shear strength of the soft soil may occur. Test results contrast with the apparent stability deduced from seismic profiles. ?? 1992 Springer-Verlag New York Inc.

  4. Sedimentary features of the south Texas continental slope as revealed by side-scan sonar and high-resolution seismic data

    SciTech Connect

    Rothwell, R.G.; Kenyon, N.H. ); McGregor, B.A. )

    1991-02-01

    Sedimentary provinces on the south Texas slope have been identified by their acoustic character on long-range side-scan sonar records and high-resolution seismic profiles. Probable lithofacies within these provinces have been identified by core data and by analogy with previously cored acoustic facies. In the northern part of the study area, the East Breaks Slide is a prominent mass-transport feature. Revised bathymetry shows that the slide originated on the upper slope (200-1,000 m), in front of a sandy late Wisconsinan shelf-margin delta, where the gradient is up to 3{degree}. Side-scan sonar data indicates that the slide is a strongly backscattering feature extending more than 110 km downslope from the shelf edge. it consists of two lobes that are separated by a diapiric high. Diapiric highs on the middle slope have blocked most of the flow. borehole data shows that the slide deposit contains intercalated sands and contorted bedding. The slide is therefore attributed to failure of sandy deltaic material deposited close to the shelf edge during the last period of low sea level (late Wisconsinan, circa 11-29 Ka). Core data suggests that the weakly backscattering acoustic facies adjacent to the slide are fine-grained sediments (mudturbidites and hemipelagites) of a slope mud drape. The middle slope in front of the sandy late Wisconsinan shelf-margin delta of the Rio Grande has an intermediate level of backscattering with numerous channels leading to the Sigsbee Deep. Acoustic facies mapping using long-range side-scan sonar matches well with acoustic facies mapping using 3.5-kHz high-resolution seismic profiles.

  5. Association of Syscenus infelix (Crustacea: Isopoda: Aegidae) with benthopelagic rattail fishes, Nezumia spp. (Macrouridae), along the western North Atlantic continental slope

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ross, S.W.; Sulak, K.J.; Munroe, T.A.

    2001-01-01

    During submersible surveys along the continental slope (summers of 1991 and 1992, 184-847 m) between False Cape, Virginia, and Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, USA, we observed the aegid isopod, Syscenus infelix Harger, attached to the macrourid Nezumia bairdii (Goode and Bean). This is the first report of S. infelix attached to fishes in the western North Atlantic. The association of this blind isopod with its host appears species specific. The large, conspicuous isopod always attached to a fish in the same location, the dorsal midline, immediately behind the first dorsal fin. Attachment appears to be long term, with the isopod forming a characteristic scar consisting of a distinct discolored oval depression with seven small, dark impressions that coalesce as the fish grows. Only one S. infelix was found on each host fish. The isopod occurred on 23.7% of N. bairdii observed from submersible on the middle continental slope off Virginia and North Carolina, compared with 16.6% of 1236 museum specimens of the same species (based on inspection for scars) collected at latitudes 26??-64??N. Prevalence of the fish-isopod association was not correlated with depth or latitude. We also found identical scars on preserved specimens of N. aequalis (2.6% of 660 specimens), N. sclerorhynchus (1.2% of 86 specimens), and N. suilla (14.3% of 7 specimens), mostly from areas outside the range of N. bairdii. No scars were found on museum specimens of N. atlantica (n = 27), N. cyrano (n = 57), or N. longebarbata (n = 7). The low incidence of isopod attachment on these species suggests that N. bairdii is the preferred host. Infestation by the isopod appears to result in erosion of host fish scales and tissue. We propose that S. infelix is an obligate associate of its host fish and should be considered parasitic.

  6. Structural framework, stratigraphy, and petroleum geology of the area of oil and gas lease Sale No. 49 on the U.S. Atlantic continental shelf and slope

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mattick, Robert E.; Hennessy, Jacqueline L.

    1980-01-01

    On September 23, 1977, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced the tentative selection of 136 tracts for Sale No. 49 of oil and gas leases in the Baltimore Canyon Trough on the U.S. Atlantic Continental Shelf and Slope. This report summarizes the geology and petroleum potential of the area. The Baltimore Canyon Trough is an elongate, seaward-opening sedimentary basin filled by as much as 14 km of Mesozoic and Cenozoic sedimentary rocks. The basin first formed under the New Jersey shelf and gradually spread west and south as the area subsided after the rifting that formed the Atlantic basin. Rocks of the Triassic and Jurassic Systems together are more than 8 km thick in a depocenter areally restricted to the northern part of the trough. Basal Jurassic rocks are apparently nonmarine sedimentary rocks bedded with evaporite deposits. Direct evidence that some salt is in the basal Jurassic section comes from the Houston Oil and Minerals 676-1 well, which penetrated salt at a depth of about 3.8 km. During the Middle and Late Jurassic, more open marine conditions prevailed than in the Early Jurassic, and carbonate banks and reefs formed discontinuously along the seaward side of the shelf. Sand flats likely occupied the central part of the shelf, and these probably graded shoreward into nonmarine red beds that accumulated in a bordering coastal plain. Thick nonmarine sands and silty shales of Late Jurassic age were deposited in what is now the nearshore and midshelf area. These sedimentary rocks probably grade into thick marine carbonate rocks near the present shelf edge. During the Cretaceous, less sediment accumulated (about 4 km) than during the Jurassic, and most was deposited during Early Cretaceous time. The Cretaceous units show two main trends through time-a diminishing rate of sediment accumulation and an increase in marine character of sediments. During the Middle and Late Cretaceous, calcareous sand and mud filled the basin, buried the shelf-edge reefs and

  7. An anomalous near-bottom cross-shelf intrusion of slope water on the southern New England continental shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ullman, D. S.; Codiga, D. L.; Pfeiffer-Herbert, A.; Kincaid, C. R.

    2014-03-01

    Hydrographic surveys and moored observations in Rhode Island Sound (RIS) in water depths of 30-50 m, off the southern New England coast, revealed a near-bottom intrusion of anomalously warm and saline water in late fall 2009. The properties of this water mass, with peak salinity of nearly 35, are typical of slope water that is normally found offshore of the shelfbreak front, located approximately 100 km to the south. The slope water intrusion, with a horizontal spatial scale of about 45 km, appears to have been brought onto the outer shelf during the interaction of a Gulf Stream warm core ring with the shelfbreak east (upshelf) of RIS. The along-shelf transport rate of the intrusion can be explained as due to advection by the mean outer-shelf along-isobath current, although the transit time of the intrusion is also consistent with the self-advection of a dense bolus on a sloping shelf. The mechanism responsible for the large onshore movement of the intrusion from the outer shelf is not entirely clear, although a wind-driven upwelling circulation appeared to be responsible for its final movement into the RIS region. Depth-averaged salinity at all RIS mooring sites increased by 0.5-1 over the 3-4 week intrusion period suggesting that the intrusion mixed irreversibly, at least partially, with the ambient shelf water. The mixing of the salty intrusion over the shelf indicates that net cross-isobath fluxes of salt and other water properties have occurred.

  8. Seasonal variability of water masses and transport on the Antarctic continental shelf and slope in the southeastern Weddell Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graham, Jennifer A.; Heywood, Karen J.; Chavanne, Cédric P.; Holland, Paul R.

    2013-04-01

    An array of five moorings was deployed from February 2009 to February 2010 across the Antarctic shelf and slope in the southeastern Weddell Sea (~18°W). Observations demonstrate the key processes responsible for variability in water masses and transport in the region. Rapid fluctuations in temperature and salinity throughout the year are linked with variability in wind stress over the array. This causes the deepening or shoaling of the pycnocline, past the depth of the moorings. In the upper 500 m, the seasonal cycle in salinity shows freshening in autumn, with the strongest freshening at the shallowest mooring (~250 m), furthest on-shelf. The sea ice concentration over the array exceeds 90% during this period and contributes a positive salt flux into the ocean during autumn. Freshening begins during strong along-shore (easterly) winds in late April 2009. This demonstrates that variations in Ekman transport and wind-driven mixing play a key role in determining the salinity of shelf waters around Antarctica. Transport of the Antarctic Slope Current also shows a seasonal cycle with a maximum during late April. Model simulations show the importance of along-shore advection, as the arrival of a fresh anomaly from upstream determines the timing of the salinity minimum at the array. These processes are likely to be important for other regions around the Antarctic continent.

  9. Nd isotopic variation of Paleozoic-Mesozoic granitoids from the Da Hinggan Mountains and adjacent areas, NE Asia: Implications for the architecture and growth of continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Qidi; Wang, Tao; Guo, Lei; Tong, Ying; Zhang, Lei; Zhang, Jianjun; Hou, Zengqian

    2017-02-01

    There is a long-standing controversy regarding the tectonic division, composition and structure of the continental crust in the Da Hinggan Mountains and adjacent areas, which are mainly part of the southeastern Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB). This paper approaches these issues via neodymium isotopic mapping of Paleozoic-Mesozoic (480 to 100 Ma) granitoids. On the basis of 943 published and 8 new whole-rock Nd isotopic data, the study area can be divided into four Nd isotopic provinces (I, II, III and IV). Province I (the youngest crust, Nd model ages (TDM) = 0.8-0.2 Ga) is a remarkable region of Phanerozoic crustal growth, which may reflect a major zone for closures of the Paleo-Asian Ocean. Province II (slightly juvenile crust, TDM = 1.0-0.8 Ga), the largest Nd isotopic province in the southeastern CAOB, is considered to reflect the recycling of the initial crustal material produced during the early stage (Early Neoproterozoic) evolution of the Paleo-Asian Ocean. Province III (slightly old crust, TDM = 1.6-1.1 Ga) is characterized by ancient crustal blocks, such as the central Mongolian, Erguna, Dariganga and Hutag Uul-Xilinhot blocks, which represent micro-continents and Precambrian basements in the southeastern CAOB. Several parts of Province III are located along the northern margin of the North China Craton (NCC), which is interpreted as a destroyed cratonic margin during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic. Province IV (the oldest crust, TDM = 2.9-1.6 Ga) mainly occurs within the NCC and reflects its typical Precambrian nature. These mapping results indicate that the boundary between Provinces II and III (the northern margin of the NCC) along the Solonker-Xar Moron Fault can be regarded as the lithospheric boundary between the CAOB and NCC. Provinces I and II account for 20% and 44% of the area of the southeastern CAOB, respectively, and therefore the ratio of continental growth is 64% from the Neoproterozoic to the Mesozoic, which is typical for this part of the

  10. Concentrations and isotope ratios of mercury in sediments from shelf and continental slope at Campos Basin near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Araujo, Beatriz Ferreira; Hintelmann, Holger; Dimock, Brian; Almeida, Marcelo Gomes; Rezende, Carlos Eduardo

    2017-07-01

    Mercury (Hg) may originate from both anthropogenic and natural sources. The measurement of spatial and temporal variations of Hg isotope ratios in sediments may enable source identification and tracking of environmental processes. In this study we establish the distribution of mercury concentrations and mercury isotope ratios in surface sediments of three transects along the continental shelf and slope in Campos Basin-RJ-Brazil. The shelf showed on average lower total Hg concentrations (9.2 ± 5.3 ng g(-1)) than the slope (24.6 ± 8.8 ng g(-1)). MMHg average concentrations of shelf 0.15 ± 0.12 ng g(-1) and slope 0.13 ± 0.06 ng g(-1) were not significantly different. Distinct differences in Hg isotope ratio signatures were observed, suggesting that the two regions were impacted by different sources of Hg. The shelf showed more negative δ(202)Hg and Δ(199)Hg values ranging from -0.59 to -2.19‰ and from -0.76 to 0.08‰, respectively. In contrast, the slope exhibited δ(202)Hg values from -0.29 to -1.82‰ and Δ(199)Hg values from -0.23 to 0.09‰. Mercury found on the shelf, especially along the "D" and "I" transects, is depleted in heavy isotopes resulting in more negative δ(202)Hg compared to the slope. Isotope ratios observed in the "D" and "I" shelf region are similar to Hg ratios commonly associated with plants and vegetation and very comparable to those detected in the estuary and adjoining mangrove forest, which suggests that Hg exported from rivers may be the dominating source of Hg in near coastal regions along the northern part of the shelf.

  11. Ecohydrological interactions in the evolution of constructed slopes in a Mediterranean-Continental environment: the role of runoff

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicolau, José Manuel; Merino-Martín, Luis; Moreno de las Heras, Mariano; Espigares, Tíscar

    2013-04-01

    It is well known that overland flow plays a major role in the functioning of natural ecosystems in drylands, where water is the main limiting factor. However, in reclaimed ecosystems its role is not so well understood. This study shows a synthesis of the research conducted in constructed slopes from coal mining reclamation at El Moral field site (Teruel coalfield, Spain). Three trajectories have been identified and modeled, associated to runoff volume, particularly to external run-on coming from the upper part of slopes. When rill networks are formed, arrested succession occurs. Rills efficiently drain runoff away from slopes, reducing rainfall infiltration and increasing water deficit. Vegetation dynamics becomes severely affected: seedling emergence, plant establishment and seed production are limited along a gradient of rill erosion. Soil moisture content is spatially redistributed, being higher near rills and lower on inter-rills. This determines the spatial pattern of the dominant species (Medicago sativa). At intermediate levels of runoff amount, micro-landforms as rill fans and splays are generated. Vegetation is adapted to the micro-geomorphology developing a patchy mosaic structure. Seven types of ecohydrological units (classified as runoff sources or sinks) have been identified. A functional interaction between sources and sinks following the Trigger Transfer Reserve Pulse approach (Ludwig et al. 2005)* has been demonstrated. When runoff does not develop micro-landforms, natural plant colonization leads to another patchy mosaic structure based on individuals of the shrub Genista scorpius, which can be considered as natural islands of hydrological enhanced biotic productivity. This species develops a biotic control of the main hydrological processes, playing a key role in the succession of the ecosystem. These findings allow us to conclude that runoff can be considered as a driving force in the ecological succession of reclaimed ecosystems; therefore, an

  12. Moored observations of the current and temperature structure over the continental slope off central California: 1. A basic description of the variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramp, Steven R.; Rosenfeld, Leslie K.; Tisch, Timothy D.; Hicks, Michael R.

    1997-10-01

    Current meter data have been analyzed from seven moorings on the continental slope along the central California coast, from Point Piedras Blancas to Point Reyes. The goal was to examine the subtidal variability in the 100 m to 1000 m depth range, particularly with regard to alongshore propagating events and interactions with eddies and meanders of the California Current offshore. The 2-year time series available off Point Sur were first analyzed in conjunction with the local and remote surface wind stress and coastal synthetic subsurface pressure, and then correlated with shorter coincident current records moored at similar depths to the north and south. The poleward flowing California Undercurrent was the most prominent feature at all the moorings except at one site located well into the Monterey Submarine Canyon. The strongest poleward flows over the slope occurred in 3- to 4-month bursts, not phase locked with the seasons, with vector speeds exceeding 40 cm s-1. South of the canyon, an approximately monthly signal was identified which propagated poleward, upward, and offshore. The behavior of this signal was consistent with that of an internal coastal Kelvin wave generated at the surface by remote wind stress to the south and was likely not of equatorial origin. The wave was apparently scattered by the abrupt topography of the canyon, since its energy persisted to the north of the canyon but with unstable phase. At least three eddy-meander interaction events were observed. These warm, deep (>1000 m), anticyclonic features reversed the flow over the slope to equatorward when they moved onshore and interrupted the flow of the undercurrent. One event forced anomalously strong (>15 cm s-1) onshore flows off Monterey Bay and offshore flows off Point Sur. While quantitative transport estimates could not be made with this sparse data set, it seems apparent that such events play a significant role in the exchange of water properties between the shelf and the deep ocean.

  13. Quaternary sea-level lowstand features on the southern Florida Keys upper continental slope: Seismic, submersible, and outcrop data

    SciTech Connect

    Toscano, M.A.; Hine, A.C. . Dept. of Marine Science)

    1992-01-01

    The low-gradient slope, seaward of the Holocene reef tract and latest Pleistocene outlier reefs, is superimposed by mounds or bumps. These range in depth from 60 to 100 m MSL, and resemble reefal or dune deposits, or shoreline nickpoints. Seismic data were recently augmented by a series of 2-man submersible dives (DELTA) in and around these features, providing invaluable first-hand dimensional perspective on the undersea outcrops, as well as providing invaluable first-hand dimensional perspective on the undersea outcrops, as well as extensive video, still photography, and in situ outcrop samples. The outcropping grainstones contain abundant subtropical and tropical skeletal components useful for paleoclimatic and age analyses, paleoenvironmental and diagenetic studies, and interpretation of these deposits in terms of sea level position and relationship to climate. Quaternary sea-level lowstand deposits have not previously been sampled from the south Florida Platform, a current-dominated windward carbonate margin. Because this platform is neither subject to isostatic adjustments associated with glacial boundaries and clastic (deltaic) loading, nor with any dynamic tectonic regime, it should preserve a relatively pure signal of the amplitudes of sea level-fluctuations. High-frequency sea-level changes recorded by slope features provide data on modes for long-term platform development. Florida lowstand amplitudes in combination with available highstand data can be used to establish a maximum range for Quaternary sea level fluctuations. When considered in the context of paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental data from outcrop samples, the magnitude, timing, and duration of Quaternary sea levels in south Florida may be viewed as critical to a general understanding of processes associated with rapid climate change.

  14. Demersal fishes associated with Lophelia pertusa coral and hard-substrate biotopes on the continental slope, northern Gulf of Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sulak, Kenneth J.; Allen, Brooks R.; Luke, Kirsten E.; Norem, April D.; Randall, Michael; Quaid, Andrew J.; Yeargin, George E.; Miller, Jana M.; Harden, William M.; Caruso, John H.; Ross, Steve W.

    2007-01-01

    The demersal fish fauna of Lophelia pertusa (Linnaeus, 1758) coral reefs and associated hard-bottom biotopes was investigated at two depth horizons in the northern Gulf of Mexico using a manned submersible and remote sampling. The Viosca Knoll fauna consisted of at least 53 demersal fish species, 37 of which were documented by submersible video. On the 325 m horizon, dominant taxa determined from frame-by-frame video analysis included Stromateidae, Serranidae, Trachichthyidae, Congridae, Scorpaenidae, and Gadiformes. On the 500 m horizon, large mobile visual macrocarnivores of families Stromateidae and Serranidae dropped out, while a zeiform microcarnivore assumed importance on reef "Thicket" biotope, and the open-slope taxa Macrouridae and Squalidae gained in importance. The most consistent faunal groups at both depths included sit-and-wait and hover-and-wait strategists (Scorpaenidae, Congridae, Trachichthyidae), along with generalized mesocarnivores (Gadiformes). The specialized microcarnivore, Grammicolepis brachiusculus Poey, 1873, appears to be highly associated with Lophelia reefs. The coral "Thicket" biotope was extensively developed on the 500 m site, but fish abundance was low with only 95 fish per hectare. In contrast to Lophelia reefs from the eastern the North Atlantic, the coral "Rubble" biotope was essentially absent. This study represents the first quantitative analysis of fishes associated with Lophelia reefs in the Gulf of Mexico, and generally in the western North Atlantic.

  15. Mudwigglus gen. n. (Nematoda: Diplopeltidae) from the continental slope of New Zealand, with description of three new species and notes on their distribution.

    PubMed

    Leduc, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    Three new free-living nematode species belonging to the genus Mudwigglus gen. n. are described from the continental slope of New Zealand. The new genus is characterised by four short cephalic setae, fovea amphidialis in the shape of an elongated loop, narrow mouth opening, small, lightly cuticularised buccal cavity, pharynx with oval-shaped basal bulb, and secretory-excretory pore (if present) at level of pharyngeal bulb or slightly anterior. Mudwigglus gen. et sp. n. differs from other genera of the family Diplopeltidae in the combination of the following traits: presence of reflexed ovaries, male reproductive system with both testes directed anteriorly and reflexed posterior testis, and presence of tubular pre-cloacal supplements and pre-cloacal seta. Mudwigglus patumuka gen. et sp. n. is characterised by gubernaculum with dorso-caudal apophyses, vagina directed posteriorly, and short conical tail with three terminal setae. M. macramphidum gen. et sp. n. is characterised by long fovea amphidialis, cylindrical buccal cavity, gubernaculum without apophyses, vagina at right angle to body surface, and conico-cylindrical tail without terminal setae. M. plebeius gen. et sp. n. is characterised by cylindrical buccal cavity with cuticularised ring, gubernaculum with dorso-caudal apophyses, females with vagina directed posteriorly, and conico-cylindrical tail with two terminal setae. Diplopeluta nellyae Vinex and Gourbault, 1992 is transferred to Mudwigglus gen. n. based on observations of paratypes from New Caledonia, and of specimens from the New Zealand continental slope, which both show the presence of two testes facing anteriorly. M. macramphidum gen. et sp. n. was restricted to a single site on Chatham Rise crest (350 m water depth), whereas M. patumuka gen. et sp. was recorded from six sites on western Chatham Rise (350-2800 m). M. plebeius gen. et sp. n. was recorded from 13 sites on Chatham Rise and two sites on Challenger Plateau (264-2300 m). Mudwigglus nellyae

  16. Illustrations of the importance of mass wasting in the evolution of continental margins

    SciTech Connect

    Pratson, L.; Ryan, W. ); Twichell, D. )

    1990-05-01

    Side-looking sonar imagery and swath bathymetry from a variety of contemporary continental slopes all display erosional scars and debris aprons, illustrating the importance of mass wasting in the evolution of continental margins. The continental slopes examined include slopes fed directly from the fronts of ice sheets, slopes adjacent to continental shelves that were the sites of glacial outwash, slopes supplied exclusively by fluvial drainage, slopes at carbonate platforms, and slopes on accretionary prisms. Examples are drawn from the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Mediterranean Sea in both passive and active continental margin settings. The sonar imagery and bathymetry used in this study indicate that continental slopes in different tectonic and climatic environments show similar forms of mass wasting. However, in some cases the dominant mode of erosion and/or the overall degree of mass wasting appears to be distinct to particular sedimentary environments. Timing of both recent and older exhumed erosional surfaces identified in the imagery and in seismic reflection profiles is obtained by ground truth observations using submersibles, towed camera sleds, drilling, and coring. These observations suggest that eustatic fluctuations common to all the margins examined do not explain the range in magnitude and areal density of the observed mass wasting. More localized factors such as lithology, diagenesis, pore fluid conditions, sediment supply rates, and seismic ground motion appear to have a major influence in the evolution of erosional scars and their corresponding unconformities.

  17. Comparison of baited longlines and baited underwater cameras for assessing the composition of continental slope deepwater fish assemblages off southeast Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McLean, D. L.; Green, M.; Harvey, E. S.; Williams, A.; Daley, R.; Graham, K. J.

    2015-04-01

    Expansion of demersal fisheries into the deep sea has driven a need for methods to provide information on the status of deepwater fish assemblages, especially for vulnerable species. For this purpose, we compared co-located sampling by baited longlines and baited remote underwater video systems (BRUVs) off southeastern Australia and found these techniques observed different elements of the continental slope fish assemblage, but were complementary for monitoring needs. Of the 94 species surveyed in total, only 32% were common to both survey techniques, with BRUVs sampling fewer species, with 51 species detected compared with 73 species captured by longlines. Species detected exclusively by BRUVs (21 spp) included those not vulnerable to longline hooks, and those with large-body size-including several chondrichthyans. One group of chondrichthyans, gulper sharks (Centrophorus) were the focus of this study because they are listed as conservation dependent under Australia's Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, and are subject to a management plan that requires their recovery to be monitored. Very few gulper sharks were observed by BRUVs (n=10). Longlines captured 773 gulper sharks suggesting this technique provides a more effective means of sampling. However, most longline caught sharks were either dead or in poor condition on capture, further depleting this vulnerable species. BRUVs are non-lethal, but a high sampling intensity is likely to be needed to detect changes in gulper shark abundance within typical management timeframes (years).

  18. Fatty acid profiles of marine benthic microorganisms isolated from the continental slope of bay of bengal: a possible implications in the benthic Food web

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Das, Surajit; Lyla, P. S.; Khan, S. Ajmal

    2007-12-01

    Marine bacteria, actinomycetes and fungal strains were isolated from continental slope sediment of the Bay of Bengal and studied for fatty acid profile to investigate their involvement in the benthic food-web. Fifteen different saturated and unsaturated fatty acids from bacterial isolates, 14 from actinomycetes and fungal isolates were detected. The total unsaturated fatty acids in bacterial isolates ranged from 11.85 to 37.26%, while the saturated fatty acid ranged between 42.34 and 80.74%. In actinomycetes isolates, total unsaturated fatty acids varied from 27.86 to 38.85% and saturated fatty acids ranged from 35.29 to 51.25%. In fungal isolates unsaturated fatty acids ranged between 44.62 and 65.52% while saturated FA ranged from 20.80 to 46.30%. The higher percentages of unsaturated fatty acids from the microbial isolates are helpful in anticipating the active participation in the benthic food-web of Bay of Bengal.

  19. Seasonal Control of Surface-Water Dissolved Iron Concentrations by Suspended Particle Concentrations on the Northern Gulf of Alaska Continental Shelf and Slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crusius, J.; Schroth, A. W.; Campbell, R.; Cullen, J. T.; Dillman, D.; Resing, J.

    2012-12-01

    shelf break suggest offshore transport of Fe in this location. These outer shelf and slope Fe concentrations are substantially higher than observed on the outer shelf and slope along the GAK line (offshore of Seward, AK) by Wu et al 2009 and Lippiatt et al, 2010. We suggest that the higher concentrations over the outer shelf and slope region in our work are due to offshore transport, whereas the GAK line experienced Ekman-induced onshore transport. We will explore possible mechanisms for offshore transport of Fe in surface waters in in our work. All of these studies have in common the suggestion that particles from the continental shelf exert an important control on dFe concentrations both over and beyond the shelf. Understanding the processes of cross-shelf transport will be important for understanding the high productivity in the region.

  20. Arctic Submarine Slope Stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winkelmann, D.; Geissler, W.

    2010-12-01

    the consequence. Its geometrical configuration and timing is different from submarine slides on other glaciated continental margins. Thus, it raises the question whether slope stability within the Arctic Ocean is governed by processes specific to this environment. The extraordinary thick slabs (up to 1600 m) that were moved translationally during sliding rise the question on the nature of the weak layers associated with this process. Especially theories involving higher pore pressure are being challenged by this observation, because either extreme pore pressures or alternative explanations (e.g. mineralogical and/or textural) can be considered. To assess the actual submarine slope stability and failure potential in the Arctic Ocean, we propose to drill and recover weak layer material of the HYM from the adjacent intact strata by deep drilling under the framework of Integrated Ocean Drilling Program. This is the only method to recover weak layer material from the HYM, because the strata are too thick. We further propose to drill into the adjacent deforming slope to identify material properties of the layers acting as detachment and monitor the deformation.

  1. Massive Rock Detachments from the Continental slope of the Balsas River Submarine Delta that occur due to Instability of Sediments which Produce Turbidity Currents and Tsunamis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sandoval-Ochoa, J.; Aguayo-Camargo, J.

    2007-05-01

    During the NOAA oceanographic delivery cruise of the US R/V "Roger Revelle" to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California in San Diego, California USA, in July 1996; a well calibrated bathymetric equipment, the SeaBeam* 2012, was tested. Good resolutions in data allowed bathymetric mapping to visualize the sea floor relief. Detailed colorful chartographic images showed a portion of the continental slope between the Balsas River Delta and the Middle America Trench and between the Balsas Canyon and La Necesidad Canyon. The surveyed area covered more than 3 000 square kilometers. After the delivery cruise, one of the goals was to measure and analyze the Morphobathymetry of the uneven lower portion of the Balsas River Submarine Delta. So far some of the findings with the morphometric analyses consist of several isolated slump scars that each comprise more than 12 cubic kilometers in volume and a multiple slump scar with an evident steep hollow about 200 cubic kilometers absent of rock. These volumes of rock apparently underwent a remobilization from the slope during the Late Quaternary. The rock detachments occured in relatively small portions but in instantaneous massive displacements because of their instability as well as other identified factors in the region. Over time more and more authors have accepted that coastal cuts or submarine slump scars have been left by sudden movements of rock and fluids. The phenomena that occur in the region in general, are accompanied on one side by potential and kinetic energies like falling bodies, flows and gravity waves, and on the other side, by mass transfer of rock and fluid mobilization like turbidity currents, accumulations, sea wave surges or tsunamis. In some cases the phenomena is produced by another natural triggering forces or by an earthquake. We propose that events like these, i.e. massive detachments and their products such as accumulations, turbidity currents and depositional debrites

  2. Morphology and formation mechanism of pyrite induced by the anaerobic oxidation of methane from the continental slope of the NE South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Mei; Konishi, Hiromi; Xu, Huifang; Sun, Xiaoming; Lu, Hongfeng; Wu, Daidai; Wu, Nengyou

    2014-10-01

    In order to understand the response of authigenic pyrite to gas hydrate geo-systems, pyrite tubes or rods at the sulfate-methane transition (SMT) zone of core GC10 from the northern continental slope of the South China Sea (SCS) were investigated. In situ X-ray diffraction (XRD) results show that the pyrite tube consists of pyrite micro-crystals with trace amount of graphite in the inner tube. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) observations of pyrite tubes indicate various aggregations in the form of framboidal, euhedral, and colloidal pyrite microcrystals. Typical framboidal pyrite is considered as packing of octahedral microcrystals. Interestingly, many framboids in the tubes consist of round or irregular microcrystals and have an outer crust that consists of secondary pyrite. The size of the framboids in the inner wall of the tube is larger than that in the middle wall or foraminifer-filled pyrite. High-resolution transmission electron microscopic (HRTEM) images show marcasite lamellae defects in the spherulitic pyrite crystals, which reveal different solution conditions during the pyrite precipitation. Nano-foil-like graphitic carbon was observed to be closely associated with the pyrite spherules. The occurrence of both marcasite layers and nano-foil-like graphitic carbon suggest that the migration of methane from deep sediment. It is suggested that the formation of pyrite serves as a catalyst during the reaction from methane to elemental carbon under the anaerobic oxidation of methane. Meanwhile, this reaction results in local acidification of the solution inside the pyrite tubes, which favors marcasite lamellae growth on the host pyrite substrate.

  3. 20,000 years of Nile River dynamics and environmental changes in the Nile catchment area as inferred from Nile upper continental slope sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Revel, Marie; Ducassou, E.; Skonieczny, C.; Colin, C.; Bastian, L.; Bosch, D.; Migeon, S.; Mascle, J.

    2015-12-01

    Multi-proxy analysis of two marine sediment cores (MS27PT and MD04-2726) from the Nile continental slope provides evidence of changes in Nile sediment discharge related to changes in Ethiopian African Monsoon (EAM) precipitation, and allows us to reconstruct changes in Nile River runoff, vegetation and erosion in the Nile headwaters. Sediment element composition and neodymium isotopic composition reveal significant changes in clastic sediment provenance, with sources oscillating between a Saharan aeolian contribution during the Last Glacial Maximum/deglacial transition and during the Late Holocene, and a Blue/Atbara Nile fluvial contribution during the African Humid Period (AHP). This study provides a new understanding of past environmental changes. Between 14.6 and 14.13 ka there was a major input of sediments from the Ethiopian Highlands, consistent with a stronger EAM at that time. Climate in the Nile basin was wetter between 14.8 and 8.4 ka, with a corresponding increase in Blue Nile water and sediment discharge via the main Nile into the Eastern Mediterranean. The gradual climatic transition from the AHP to the present-day dry climate was reflected in a decrease in Blue Nile sediment deposition and flood discharge between 8.4 and 3.7 ka, with aridity at a maximum between 3.7 and 2.6 ka. The onset of drier conditions in the Blue Nile basin seems to have begun before the 8.2 ka cooling event in the North Atlantic. We speculate that the climatic change from the wet AHP to the dry late Holocene may have been a result of a break in the low latitude dynamic equilibrium between climate, vegetation and erosion, which may in turn have affected the climate in higher latitudes. Reduced Nile flow may also have had an impact on Levantine Intermediate Water originating in the Eastern Mediterranean through an increase in intermediate water formation.

  4. 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.

  5. Productivity and sedimentary δ15N variability for the last 17,000 years along the northern Gulf of Alaska continental slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Addison, Jason A.; Finney, Bruce P.; Dean, Walter E.; Davies, Maureen H.; Mix, Alan C.; Stoner, Joseph S.; Jaeger, John M.

    2012-03-01

    Biogenic opal, organic carbon, organic matter stable isotope, and trace metal data from a well-dated, high-resolution jumbo piston core (EW0408-85JC; 59° 33.3'N, 144° 9.21'W, 682 m water depth) recovered from the northern Gulf of Alaska continental slope reveal changes in productivity and nutrient utilization over the last 17,000 years. Maximum values of opal concentration (˜10%) occur during the deglacial Bølling-Allerød (B-A) interval and earliest Holocene (11.2 to 10.8 cal ka BP), moderate values (˜6%) occur during the Younger Dryas (13.0 to 11.2 cal ka BP) and Holocene, and minimum values (˜3.5%) occur during the Late Glacial Interval (LGI). When converted to opal mass accumulation rates, the highest values (˜5000 g cm-2 kyr-1) occur during the LGI prior to 16.7 cal ka BP, which points to a strong influence by LGI glacimarine sedimentation regimes. Similar patterns are also observed in total organic carbon and cadmium paleoproductivity proxies. Mid-Holocene peaks in the terrestrial organic matter fraction at 5.5, 4.7, 3.5, and 1.2 cal ka BP indicate periods of enhanced delivery of glaciomarine sediments by the Alaska Coastal Current. The B-A and earliest Holocene intervals are laminated, and enrichments of redox-sensitive elements suggest dysoxic-to-anoxic conditions in the water column. The laminations are also associated with mildly enriched sedimentary δ15N ratios, indicating a link between productivity, nitrogen cycle dynamics, and sedimentary anoxia. After applying a correction for terrestrial δ15N contributions based on end-member mixing models of terrestrial and marine organic matter, the resulting B-A marine δ15N (6.3 ± 0.4 ‰) ratios are consistent with either mild denitrification, or increased nitrate utilization. These findings can be explained by increased micronutrient (Fe) availability during episodes of rapid rising sea level that released iron from the previously subaerial coastal plain; iron input from enhanced terrestrial runoff

  6. Productivity and sedimentary δ15N variability for the last 17,000 years along the northern Gulf of Alaska continental slope

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Addison, Jason A.; Finney, Bruce P.; Dean, Walter E.; Davies, Maureen H.; Mix, Alan C.; Stoner, Joseph S.; Jaeger, John M.

    2012-01-01

    Biogenic opal, organic carbon, organic matter stable isotope, and trace metal data from a well-dated, high-resolution jumbo piston core (EW0408–85JC; 59° 33.3′N, 144° 9.21′W, 682 m water depth) recovered from the northern Gulf of Alaska continental slope reveal changes in productivity and nutrient utilization over the last 17,000 years. Maximum values of opal concentration (∼10%) occur during the deglacial Bølling-Allerød (B-A) interval and earliest Holocene (11.2 to 10.8 cal ka BP), moderate values (∼6%) occur during the Younger Dryas (13.0 to 11.2 cal ka BP) and Holocene, and minimum values (∼3.5%) occur during the Late Glacial Interval (LGI). When converted to opal mass accumulation rates, the highest values (∼5000 g cm−2 kyr−1) occur during the LGI prior to 16.7 cal ka BP, which points to a strong influence by LGI glacimarine sedimentation regimes. Similar patterns are also observed in total organic carbon and cadmium paleoproductivity proxies. Mid-Holocene peaks in the terrestrial organic matter fraction at 5.5, 4.7, 3.5, and 1.2 cal ka BP indicate periods of enhanced delivery of glaciomarine sediments by the Alaska Coastal Current. The B-A and earliest Holocene intervals are laminated, and enrichments of redox-sensitive elements suggest dysoxic-to-anoxic conditions in the water column. The laminations are also associated with mildly enriched sedimentary δ15N ratios, indicating a link between productivity, nitrogen cycle dynamics, and sedimentary anoxia. After applying a correction for terrestrial δ15N contributions based on end-member mixing models of terrestrial and marine organic matter, the resulting B-A marine δ15N (6.3 ± 0.4 ‰) ratios are consistent with either mild denitrification, or increased nitrate utilization. These findings can be explained by increased micronutrient (Fe) availability during episodes of rapid rising sea level that released iron from the previously subaerial coastal plain; iron input from enhanced

  7. Continental-Margin Processes Recorded in Shelf and Canyon Sediments. Sediment Deposition, Erosion and Accumulation on a Tidal Flat Adjacent to a River Mouth

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-01-01

    Sequence Stratigraphy , IAS Spec. Pub. 37, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, 549 pp. (2007). C.A. Nittrouer, J.A. Austin, M.E. Field, J.H. Kravitz, J.P.M...Continental Margin Sedimentation: From Sediment Transport to Sequence Stratigraphy , IAS Spec. Pub. 37, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, 1-48 (2007... Stratigraphy , IAS Spec. Pub. 37, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, 157-212 (2007). L.F. Pratson, C.A. Nittrouer, P.L.Wiberg, M.S. Steckler, J.B. Swenson

  8. Crustal structure of the eastern Algerian continental margin and adjacent deep basin: implications for late Cenozoic geodynamic evolution of the western Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bouyahiaoui, B.; Sage, F.; Abtout, A.; Klingelhoefer, F.; Yelles-Chaouche, K.; Schnürle, P.; Marok, A.; Déverchère, J.; Arab, M.; Galve, A.; Collot, J. Y.

    2015-06-01

    We determine the deep structure of the eastern Algerian basin and its southern margin in the Annaba region (easternmost Algeria), to better constrain the plate kinematic reconstruction in this region. This study is based on new geophysical data collected during the SPIRAL cruise in 2009, which included a wide-angle, 240-km-long, onshore-offshore seismic profile, multichannel seismic reflection lines and gravity and magnetic data, complemented by the available geophysical data for the study area. The analysis and modelling of the wide-angle seismic data including refracted and reflected arrival travel times, and integrated with the multichannel seismic reflection lines, reveal the detailed structure of an ocean-to-continent transition. In the deep basin, there is an ˜5.5-km-thick oceanic crust that is composed of two layers. The upper layer of the crust is defined by a high velocity gradient and P-wave velocities between 4.8 and 6.0 km s-1, from the top to the bottom. The lower crust is defined by a lower velocity gradient and P-wave velocity between 6.0 and 7.1 km s-1. The Poisson ratio in the lower crust deduced from S-wave modelling is 0.28, which indicates that the lower crust is composed mainly of gabbros. Below the continental edge, a typical continental crust with P-wave velocities between 5.2 and 7.0 km s-1, from the top to the bottom, shows a gradual seaward thinning of ˜15 km over an ˜35-km distance. This thinning is regularly distributed between the upper and lower crusts, and it characterizes a rifted margin, which has resulted from backarc extension at the rear of the Kabylian block, here represented by the Edough Massif at the shoreline. Above the continental basement, an ˜2-km-thick, pre-Messinian sediment layer with a complex internal structure is interpreted as allochthonous nappes of flysch backthrusted on the margin during the collision of Kabylia with the African margin. The crustal structure, moreover, provides evidence for Miocene

  9. A geodynamic model of the evolution of the Arctic basin and adjacent territories in the Mesozoic and Cenozoic and the outer limit of the Russian Continental Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laverov, N. P.; Lobkovsky, L. I.; Kononov, M. V.; Dobretsov, N. L.; Vernikovsky, V. A.; Sokolov, S. D.; Shipilov, E. V.

    2013-01-01

    The tectonic evolution of the Arctic Region in the Mesozoic and Cenozoic is considered with allowance for the Paleozoic stage of evolution of the ancient Arctida continent. A new geodynamic model of the evolution of the Arctic is based on the idea of the development of upper mantle convection beneath the continent caused by subduction of the Pacific lithosphere under the Eurasian and North American lithospheric plates. The structure of the Amerasia and Eurasia basins of the Arctic is shown to have formed progressively due to destruction of the ancient Arctida continent, a retained fragment of which comprises the structural units of the central segment of the Arctic Ocean, including the Lomonosov Ridge, the Alpha-Mendeleev Rise, and the Podvodnikov and Makarov basins. The proposed model is considered to be a scientific substantiation of the updated Russian territorial claim to the UN Commission on the determination of the Limits of the Continental Shelf in the Arctic Region.

  10. The limits of seaward spreading and slope instability at the continental margin offshore Mt Etna, imaged by high-resolution 2D seismic data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gross, Felix; Krastel, Sebastian; Geersen, Jacob; Behrmann, Jan Hinrich; Ridente, Domenico; Chiocci, Francesco Latino; Bialas, Jörg; Papenberg, Cord; Cukur, Deniz; Urlaub, Morelia; Micallef, Aaron

    2016-01-01

    Mount Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe. Instability of its eastern flank is well documented onshore, and continuously monitored by geodetic and InSAR measurements. Little is known, however, about the offshore extension of the eastern volcano flank, defining a serious shortcoming in stability models. In order to better constrain the active tectonics of the continental margin offshore the eastern flank of the volcano, we acquired a new high-resolution 2D reflection seismic dataset. The data provide new insights into the heterogeneous geology and tectonics at the continental margin offshore Mt Etna. The submarine realm is characterized by different blocks, which are controlled by local- and regional tectonics. A compressional regime is found at the toe of the continental margin, which is bound to a complex basin system. Both, the clear link between on- and offshore tectonic structures as well as the compressional regime at the easternmost flank edge, indicate a continental margin gravitational collapse as well as spreading to be present at Mt Etna. Moreover, we find evidence for the offshore southern boundary of the moving flank, which is identified as a right lateral oblique fault north of Catania Canyon. Our findings suggest a coupled volcano edifice/continental margin instability at Mt Etna, demonstrating first order linkage between on- and offshore tectonic processes.

  11. Organic storage of CO 2 on the continental slope off the mid-Atlantic bight, the southeastern Bering Sea, and the Peru coast

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walsh, John J.; Premuzic, Eugene T.; Gaffney, Jeffrey S.; Rowe, Gilbert T.; Harbottle, Garman; Stoenner, Raymond W.; Balsam, William L.; Betzer, Peter R.; Macko, Steven A.

    1985-07-01

    A comparison is made of organic content, sedimentation rates derived from 14C and 210Pb analyses, 13C and 15N isotope ratios, amorphous silica, particle size, and calcium carbonate within sediments from slopes off the mid-Atlantic bight, the southeastern Bering Sea, and the Peru coast. These sediments are mainly marine, diatom-rich, and about one-third of the organic carbon is recent, reflecting a possible transient of shelf export in response to man's increased activities since the industrial revolution. Using a combination of sedimentation and mixing rates of carbon, the C:N ratio of sediments within the upper 50 cm, and the amount of nitrogen thought to be released from the coastal zone, independent estimates suggest a carbon loading to world slopes of ˜0.3 to 0.5 × 10 9 tons C y -1. The Bering slope exhibits no anthropogenic transients, however, while increased carbon loading may have occurred off Peru in response to overfishing and off the mid-Atlantic bight in response to eutrophication. The generality of our results depends on which of the three systems is most representative of world slopes.

  12. Response of geomorphic and geological processes to insufficient and ample sediment supply along the upper continental slope in the north-western South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Hongjun; Zhan, Wenhuan; Wu, Shiguo

    2016-12-01

    We document upper slope sedimentary process and strata on the passive margin of the north-western South China Sea (SCS) using multibeam bathymetry and high-resolution seismic data. The upper slope can be divided into two segments based on geomorphology, strata, and sediment supply. (1) The east segment is characterised by deep incised canyons and gullies, and slope failure. Submarine canyons with both U- and V-shaped morphology (13-28 km long × 2-4 km wide) are oriented NNE-SSW or NNW-SSE and are approximately perpendicular to the slope. Erosion is dominant, with escarpments, slumps, and several mass transport deposits (MTDs). Shelf-margin clinoforms show strongly upward vertical aggradation with time and are strongly aggradational in style. Since 5.5 Ma, the shelf break line migrated southwards and then retreated to its present position. The segment is classified as erosion-dominated due to insufficient sediment supply. (2) The west segment has a smooth surface, gentle gradient, and a strongly progradational style, with MTDs triggered by high sedimentation rates. Shelf-margin clinoforms display a combination of progradational and aggradational stacking patterns. The shelf break line migrated southwards with time. The segment is classified as deposition-dominated, resulting from plentiful sediment supply. Depositional models have been constructed for each segment: a constant shelf break model with insufficient sediment supply in the east, and a migration shelf break model with plenty sediment supply in the west. This case study contributes to the understanding of the upper slope sedimentary process and stratigraphic style under different sediment supply conditions.

  13. H.R. 73: A Bill to protect the ecologically fragile coastal resources of south Florida by prohibiting offshore oil and gas activities and by cancelling Federal leases in the area of the Outer Continental Shelf adjacent to the south Florida coast. Introduced in the House of Representatives, One Hundred Fourth Congress, First session

    SciTech Connect

    1995-12-31

    This document contains H.R. 73, A Bill to protect the ecologically fragile coastal resources of south Florida by prohibiting offshore oil and gas activities and by cancelling Federal leases in the area of the Outer Continental Shelf adjacent to south Florida. This Bill was introduced in the House of Representatives, 104th Congress, First Session, January 4, 1995.

  14. Spectral analysis of the efficiency of vertical mixing in the deep ocean due to interaction of tidal currents with a ridge running down a continental slope

    SciTech Connect

    Ibragimov, Ranis N.; Tartakovsky, Alexandre M.

    2014-10-29

    Efficiency of mixing, resulting from the reflection of an internal wave field imposed on the oscillatory background flow with a three-dimensional bottom topography, is investigated using a linear approximation. The radiating wave field is associated with the spectrum of the linear model, which consists of those mode numbers n and slope values α, for which the solution represents the internal waves of frequencies ω = nω0 radiating upwrad of the topography, where ω0 is the fundamental frequency at which internal waves are generated at the topography. The effects of the bottom topography and the earth’s rotation on the spectrum is analyzed analytically and numerically in the vicinity of the critical slope, which is a slope with the same angle to the horizontal as the internal wave characteristic. In this notation, θ is latitude, f is the Coriolis parameter and N is the buoyancy frequency, which is assumed to be a constant, which corresponds to the uniform stratification.

  15. Pelagic-benthic coupling and diagenesis of nucleic acids in a deep-sea continental margin and an open-slope system of the Eastern Mediterranean.

    PubMed

    Dell'anno, Antonio; Corinaldesi, Cinzia; Stavrakakis, Spyros; Lykousis, Vasilis; Danovaro, Roberto

    2005-10-01

    Downward fluxes of nucleic acids adsorbed onto settling particles play a key role in the supply of organic phosphorus and genetic material to the ocean interior. However, information on pelagic-benthic coupling, diagenesis, and processes controlling nucleic acid preservation in deep-sea sediments is practically nonexistent. In this study, we compared nucleic acid fluxes, sedimentary DNA and RNA concentrations, and the enzymatically hydrolyzable fraction of DNA in a bathyal continental margin (North Aegean Sea) and an open-sea system (South Aegean Sea) of the Eastern Mediterranean. The two systems displayed contrasting patterns of nucleic acid fluxes, which increased significantly with depth in the North Aegean Sea and decreased with depth in the South Aegean Sea. These results suggest that in continental margin and open-ocean systems different processes control the nucleic acid supply to the sea floor. Differences in nucleic acid fluxes were reflected by nucleic acid concentrations in the sediments, which reached extremely high values in the North Aegean Sea. In this system, a large fraction of DNA may be buried, as suggested by the large fraction of DNA resistant to nuclease degradation and by estimates of burial efficiency (ca. eight times higher in the North than in the South Aegean Sea). Overall, the results reported here suggest that the preservation of DNA in deeper sediment layers may be favored in benthic systems characterized by high sedimentation rates.

  16. 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

  17. Compositional variability of selected sandy intervals in a muddy continental shelf-to-slope succession, Canterbury Basin, South Island, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marsaglia, K. M.; Bender-Whitaker, C.; Bailey, C. H.; Nolasco, J.

    2012-12-01

    Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 317 drilled four sites in the Canterbury Basin off South Island, New Zealand. The goal of the expedition was to provide a complete stratigraphic record of the shelf and slope for correlation with interpreted seismic stratigraphy. Recovered lithologies were mostly mud and sandy mud with lesser shell hash, sand, and muddy sand (Fulthorpe et al., 2010). The objective of our study was to determine the compositional variability of Holocene to Pliocene sandy intervals from both shelf (U1351, U1353, U1354) and slope (U1352) sites. Sandy sediment was sampled systematically throughout recovered intervals, which included several potential seismic sequence boundaries. Samples were sieved and sand fractions were made into thin sections. Thin sections were stained for feldspar identification and point counted (400 points) using the Gazzi-Dickinson method to minimize effects of grain size variation. A detailed classification scheme of monomineralic, lithic and bioclastic components was used. The sand samples are fairly uniform in composition: predominantly feldspathic, with lesser quartz and lithic components (average QFL%Q= 39; F= 48; % L= 13). The feldspar includes both plagioclase and potassium varieties, whereas the quartz is predominantly monocrystalline. Lithic components are mainly metamorphic (e.g., quartz-mica tectonite) and sedimentary (mudstone), with rare volcanic fragments. Other common minerals include chlorite and mica, with lesser dense minerals. Bioclastic debris ranges from 0 to 70% of the sand fraction. There are no significant differences in composition among the samples from shelf and slope sites. Sand samples near or at horizons linked to seismic sequence boundaries showed no consistent compositional trends in terrigenous components or percent carbonate (bioclastic debris) as compared to others. This is in contrast to results from other workers focusing on the composition of muddy lithofacies within the

  18. Hydrographic and biological observations on the Washington continental shelf and slope during the periods: 30 March-5 April, 8-15 June, and 6-11 September 1978

    SciTech Connect

    Postel, J.R.; Peterson, W.K.

    1981-01-01

    During 1978 several cruises were successfully completed along a shelf-slope section off the Washington coast. These cruises were undertaken to collect seasonal information on the processes affecting phytoplankton production and distribution and data on the settling rate of organic matter in the sea during spring, early summer, and autumn conditions. This report summarizes the data collected on three cruises aboard the R/V CAYUSE, which was operated by Oregon State University. All three cruises originated and terminated in Newport, Oregon. Sampling was conducted at established station locations along a transect off Copalis Beach, Washington. Water depth varied from about 10 m at the innermost station (approx. 3 km from the beach) to over 1500 m at the outermost station (approx. 120 km from the beach).

  19. The Wide Bay Canyon system: A case study of canyon morphology on the east Australian continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, P. W.; Hubble, T.; Airey, D.; Gallagher, S. J.; Clarke, S. L.

    2014-12-01

    A voyage was conducted aboard the RV Southern Surveyor in early 2013 to investigate the east Australian continental margin. From the continental slope of the Wide Bay region offshore Fraser Island, Queensland, Australia, remote sensing data and sediment samples were collected. Bathymetric data reveals that the continental slope of the region presents a mature canyon system. Eight dredge samples were recovered from the walls of Wide Bay Canyon and the adjacent, relatively intact continental slope along the entire length of the slope, from the start of the shelf break to the toe, in water depths ranging from 1100-2500 m. For these samples, sediment composition, biostratigraphic age, and bulk mineralogy data are reported. These slope-forming sediments are primarily comprised of calcareous sandy-silts. Occasional terrestrial plant fossils and minerals can be found in a mostly marine-fossiliferous composition, suggesting minor but significant riverine and aeolian input. Biostratigraphic dates extracted from the foraminiferal contents of these samples indicate that the intra-canyon and slope material was deposited between Middle Miocene to Pliocene, implying that the incision of this section of the margin and formation of the erosional features took place no earlier than the Pliocene. In conjunction with bathymetric data of the local continental slope, the depositional origins of this section of the east Australian continental margin, and the timing of major morphological events such as slope failure and canyon incision can be interpreted. The Wide Bay Canyon system can serve as a representative case study of local canyon formation, allowing a better understanding of the past or ongoing processes that are shaping the margin and giving way to similar morphologies.

  20. Source and sink characteristics of the continental slope-parallel Central Canyon in the Qiongdongnan Basin on the northern margin of the South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Chao; Lv, Chengfu; Chen, Guojun; Zhang, Gongcheng; Ma, Ming; Shen, Huailei; Zhao, Zhao; Guo, Shuai

    2017-02-01

    The "source-conduit-sink" model is crucial for studying deep-water sedimentary systems along a continental margin. Using seismic data, bulk rare earth element compositions of sediments and zircon U-Pb age data, we examined the supply and deposition (i.e., the source and sink) of the sediments in the Central Canyon of the South China Sea. Five phases of secondary canyon fill are present in the Central Canyon. The natural levees developed at the head of phase 1 of the secondary canyon deposits indicate that the Central Canyon initially developed at 10.5 Ma. The sediments in the Central Canyon were supplied by the Ledong submarine fan, and the provenance of the material in the Ledong submarine fan and Central Canyon was eastern Vietnam. Large amounts of sediments were transported through the Central Canyon to the Shuangfeng Basin and deposited during four phases of submarine fan development. Phases 1-3 of the Shuangfeng submarine fans are composed of deep-water branching channel and inter-channel sediments. Phase 4 of the Shuangfeng submarine fan consists of deep-water channel and lobe sediments. Tectonic events, including the broad uplift of the Tibetan Plateau and central-southern Vietnam during the late Miocene, reversal of the strike-slip Red River Fault, and rapid subsidence in the Qiongdongnan Basin at approximately 5.5 Ma, provided favourable conditions for the growth of the Ledong submarine fan, Central Canyon and Shuangfeng submarine fan system.

  1. Recognition of deep-water benthic assemblages in the fossil record: Taphonomy and community characteristics of Louisiana continental slope petroleum seep assemblages

    SciTech Connect

    Callender, W.R.

    1992-01-01

    Chemoautotrophic benthic assemblages associated with petroleum seepage form the only substantial shell accumulations below storm wave base on the northern Gulf of Mexico shelf and slope. Five biofacies are associated with petroleum seepage, dominated respectively by vestimentiferan tubeworms, lucinid, thyasirid and vesicomyid clams and mytilid mussels. The taphonomy of petroleum seep death assemblages includes dissolution as the most pervasive mode of shell alteration. The dominant species in each assemblage reflect the taphonomic signature of the assemblage they dominate. The taphonomic attributes of petroleum seep death assemblages are similar to those of ancient autochthonous benthic assemblages. Paleoecological characteristics representative of cold seep assemblages include: high density-low diversity molluscan assemblages dominated by large individuals, high molluscan biomass concentrations aligned in linear trends, carbons with depleted [delta][sup 13]C values associated with faunally depauperate shales, laminated or massive sedimentary structures, variable articulation frequencies, poor shell preservation, and a trophic structure dominated by one trophic group. The Campanian Tepee Buttes share many paleoecological characteristics with recognized ancient seep assemblages. Methane and hydrogen sulfide-rich fluids from underlying strata were transported along fault conduits to supply a localized nutrient source for lucinid-dominated benthic communities. The Tepee Butte assemblages were dominated by dense accumulations of Nymphalucina occidentalis with moderate to high articulation frequencies. The lucinids probably used H[sub 2]S as a nutrient source. Cold seeps can be recognized in the fossil record, based on criteria developed by the study of modern cold seep death assemblages, because the paleoecological characteristics of cold seep assemblages are very conservative.

  2. Late Quaternary changes of the oxygen conditions in the bottom and intermediate waters on the western Kamchatka continental slope, the Sea of Okhotsk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matul, A.; Abelmann, A.; Khusid, T.; Chekhovskaya, M.; Kaiser, A.; Nürnberg, D.; Tiedemann, R.

    2016-03-01

    Microfossil data on the foraminifers and radiolarians in the sediment core KOMEX LV28-44-3, the Kamchatka slope in the eastern Sea of Okhotsk, exhibit the changes in the water oxygen conditions during the last 146 ky. The paleoenvironmental proxies are the radiolarian species Cycladophora davisiana as indicator of the upper intermediate water ventilation, and the benthic/planktonic foraminifers as indicators of the bioproductivity and bottom water oxygenation. In case of sediment core LV28-44-3, the bottom water represents the lower intermediate one, so that conclusions on paleoenvironments are applicable for the most range of the local intermediate water. The well-oxygenated intermediate and near-bottom waters existed in the area of study during the penultimate glaciation of MIS 6, Early Weichselian initiation of the last glaciation within MIS 5b-d, and last glacial stages of MIS 3-2. The intervals of the short low-O2 bottom events with suboxic conditions (dissolved O2 in water 0.3-1.2 ml/l) occur during the last interglacial MIS 5e (Eemian stage) 125 to 113 ka, and during the last deglaciation 17.5 to 6.5 ka. Eemian low-O2 bottom events are associated with the high bioproductivity of the subsurface water but poor ventilation on the upper intermediate depths. The low-O2 bottom events during the last deglaciation occurred at the high bioproductivity of the subsurface water and active ventilation on the upper intermediate depths.

  3. Sedimentary Structures on the Bengal Shelf and the Upper Continental Slope of Bangladesh - First Results of the RV Sonne Cruise SO 188-2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwenk, T.; Spiess, V.; Kudrass, H.; Palamenghi, L.; Reinhard, L.; Ruehlemann, C.; Fekete, N.; Ding, F.; France-Lanord, C.

    2006-12-01

    The Bengal Shelf and Slope play a major role in the source to sink system Himalaya-Bengal Fan. They connect the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers, which drain the Himalayas and transport more than 1 billion tons per year of sediments, with the largest submarine fan on Earth. Around one third of the delivered sediments remain in the subaequos delta, whereas another third is deposited on the submarine delta and the last third is transported to the deep sea fan. This transport takes place through a deeply incised shelf-canyon, the so- called Swatch of No Ground, which acts as a temporary trap and releases the sediments episodically by turbidity currents to the deep sea fan. On our poster, we will present new data from the Sonne cruise SO188-2, which was carried out in July 2006. During the cruise, high-resolution multichannel seismic data, sediment echosounding data, swath sounding data and sediment cores were collected. The main aims of the cruise was to gain the sedimentary structure and budget of the submarine delta and the Swatch of No Ground as well as a high-resolution sequence stratigraphy of the shelf to reveal the build-up of the subsiding shelf with respect to sea-level changes. Additionally, the results shall be used to formulate an IODP drill proposal. On the shelf, the data were collected on W-E profiles and N-S profiles to image the topset, foreset and bottomset beds of the submarine delta, which shows a typical sigmoidal cross section and stretches in an E-W direction over a distance of 200 km. In the canyon, a dense grid of lines was shot along and across the axis including flanks and shoulders. This data reveal a thick (1 to 1.5 sec TWT) sedimentary fill of the SoNG, composed of well stratified and transparent to chaotic units, intercalated by channel systems.

  4. Partitioning the contributions of mega-, macro- and meiofauna to benthic metabolism on the upper continental slope of New Zealand: Potential links with environmental factors and trawling intensity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leduc, Daniel; Pilditch, Conrad A.; Nodder, Scott D.

    2016-02-01

    Understanding and predicting change in deep-sea benthic ecosystem function remains a major challenge. Here, we conducted analyses combining data on the abundance and biomass of benthic fauna and sediment community oxygen consumption (SCOC) on New Zealand's continental margin to estimate and compare the contributions of meio-, macro-, and megafauna to total benthic metabolism and identify potential links with environmental factors and trawling intensity. We focussed on two regions in close proximity-the high surface primary productivity Chatham Rise and low surface productivity Challenger Plateau. Mean megafauna biomass was twenty times greater on Chatham Rise than Challenger Plateau, likely reflecting differences in food supply between the two regions; this contrast in megafaunal biomass was mainly due to differences in mean body weight rather than abundance. Meio- and macrofauna made similar contributions to SCOC and together accounted for 12% of benthic metabolism on average. In contrast, the estimated contribution of megafauna never exceeded 1.5%. Significant positive correlations between faunal respiration and food availability indicate a link between food supply and benthic community function. Our analyses also show that fauna made a greater contribution to SCOC in conditions of high food availability, and that microorganisms (i.e., the proportion of SCOC not accounted for by the fauna) tended to be more dominant at sites with low food availability. These findings provide support for the concept that large organisms are more strongly affected by a reduction in food resources than small organisms, which in turn underlies one of the most widely described patterns in the deep-sea benthos, i.e., the reduction in organism body size with depth. Because metabolism in deep-sea sediments is typically dominated by microorganisms and small fauna, the absence of a relationship between bottom trawling intensity and the respiration of benthic fauna in the present study may

  5. Influence of explosive volcanic events on the activation versus de-activation of a modern turbidite system: the example of the Dohrn canyon-fan in the continental slope of the Campania volcanic district (Naples Bay, Italy - Western Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roca, M.; Budillon, F.; Pappone, G.; Insinga, D.

    2015-12-01

    The interplay between volcanic activity, volcano-clastic yield and activation/deactivation of a turbidite system can be evaluated along the continental margin of Campania region (Tyrrhenian Sea - Italy), an active volcanic area, where three wide canyon-fans occur at short distances one to another. Actually, the Dohrn, Magnaghi and Cuma canyons cut the continental slope and shelf off Ischia and Procida volcanic islands and off the Campania Plain where Phlegraean Field and Mt. Vesuvius active vents are located. This research, partly supported by the Italian Flagship Project Ritmare, is based on single-channel, high-resolution seismic profiles (Sparker-One 16 kJ, 0.5 s twtt), swath-bathymetry and litho- and tephra-stratigraphy of gravity cores. We focused on the stratigraphic constraint of paleo-thalweg features and channel/levees deposits in seismics, debris flow, turbidites and hemipelagites in cores, to learn more on the activation/deactivation stages of the canyon Dohrn, in the frame of relative eustatic sea level variations over the Middle Pleistocene-Holocene time span.Preliminary outcomes suggest that even major volcanic events occurred in the last 300 ky, such as ignimbrite eruptions or large fallouts, have caused the infilling of the canyon head and the cover of pre-existing seabed morphology. As a consequence, the temporary deactivation of the turbidite system has occurred, despite the volcano-clastic overload in the coastal environment. Phases of renewed activities of the thalweg are observed to be in step with falling stages of sea level, which have driven the re-incision of canyon valleys through continuous volcano-clastic debris and turbidites down-flows. Since Holocene, the quiescence of the Dohrn Canyon has been documented, despite the intense volcano-tectonic activity in the area.

  6. Stages in evolution of Paleozoic carbonate platform and basin margin types - western United States passive Continental Margin

    SciTech Connect

    Cook, H.E.; Taylor, M.E.

    1987-05-01

    Late Precambrian rifting along the western edge of North America established a passive continental margin that became the site of 5000 m of platform and basin carbonate sediments over a 150-m.y. interval (Cambrian-Devonian). This megaplatform evolved through several stages: (1) Cambrian-Silurian, distally steepened nonrimmed ramp with base-of-slope fan (Hales Limestone) to homoclinal ramp (Hanson Creek Formation); to (2) Silurian-Devonian, rimmed platform (Lone Mountain Dolomite) having low-angle depositional slopes and slope aprons (Roberts Mountains Formation) and basinal debris sheets (Tor Limestone); to (3) Devonian, rimmed platforms having high-angle bypass slopes, slides, and base-of-slope aprons (McColley Canyon Formation and Devils Gate Limestone). The position of the rifted continental margin controlled the overall trend of the platform-slope break. Postrift subsidence with superimposed eustatic sea level changes allowed the platform to accumulate 5000 m of sediment. The stratigraphic progression from nonrimmed ramps in the Cambrian to rimmed platforms with high-angle bypass slopes in the Devonian was a function of both the gradual steepening of the slope, as the platform margin built up and prograded seaward, and the evolution of reef and bank-building organisms through time. Evolution of adjacent basinal carbonates was strongly influenced by slope declivity and relative sea level changes. As slope declivity increased through time, sedimentary processes on the slope changed from small-scale sediment gravity flows that accreted on the slope (ex: Roberts Mountains Formation slope apron) to large-scale sediment gravity flows that deposited debris in base-of-slope settings (ex: Devils Gate Limestone base-of-slope apron).

  7. Long-Term Aspect of 1980's Submersible-Observed Methane Venting on the Northern Gulf of Mexico Upper Continental Slope: Mapping of Areal Extent and Aggregation: R/V Okeanos Explorer EX1203

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carney, R. S.; Roberts, H. H.; Malik, M.

    2012-12-01

    Since the initial discovery of hydrocarbon seeps and associated communities on the upper Louisiana continental slope in 1984 there has been extensive and nearly continuous multidisciplinary exploration of these systems for scientific and regulatory purposes. Four sites within a 45km by 25km rectangle centered at 27° 41' 26.92"N, 91° 28' 4.26"W in the Green Canyon seafloor leasing area were the initial sites confirmed as seep systems by direct observation using the submersible Johnson SeaLink. Hydrocarbon gas venting at these sites ranged from small volume intermittent flow to continuous bubble plumes. The points of emergence ranged from consolidated sediment in mineral-prone environments to fluid muds and brine. The latter two fluid-prone environments represented an active and a quiescent expulsion features. The NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program 2012 expedition 1203 carried out multibeam mapping of this region 6-8 May using both a Konsberg EM 302 288 beam system and a Simrad EK60 scientific echo sounder. Returns from both systems were processed for water column signals. More than 75 indications of bubble plumes were observed representing one of the highest densities as well as magnitudes of individual plumes found to date in the Gulf of Mexico. The plumes were aggregated on the flanks of salt diapirs, ridges between salt-withdrawal basins and areas of multiple slope failures. Correlation with observations begun in the 1980's is good indicating long-term venting. Previous research on gas mix and isotopic content indicated a regionally complex pattern of biogenic and thermogenic methane sources.

  8. Geomorphology of the Iberian Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maestro, Adolfo; López-Martínez, Jerónimo; Llave, Estefanía; Bohoyo, Fernando; Acosta, Juan; Hernández-Molina, F. Javier; Muñoz, Araceli; Jané, Gloria

    2013-08-01

    The submarine features and processes around the Iberian Peninsula are the result of a complex and diverse geological and oceanographical setting. This paper presents an overview of the seafloor geomorphology of the Iberian Continental Margin and the adjacent abyssal plains. The study covers an area of approximately 2.3 million km2, including a 50 to 400 km wide band adjacent to the coastline. The main morphological characteristics of the seafloor features on the Iberian continental shelf, continental slope, continental rise and the surrounding abyssal plains are described. Individual seafloor features existing on the Iberian Margin have been classified into three main groups according to their origin: tectonic and/or volcanic, depositional and erosional. Major depositional and erosional features around the Iberian Margin developed in late Pleistocene-Holocene times and have been controlled by tectonic movements and eustatic fluctuations. The distribution of the geomorphological features is discussed in relation to their genetic processes and the evolution of the margin. The prevalence of one or several specific processes in certain areas reflects the dominant morphotectonic and oceanographic controlling factors. Sedimentary processes and the resulting depositional products are dominant on the Valencia-Catalán Margin and in the northern part of the Balearic Promontory. Strong tectonic control is observed in the geomorphology of the Betic and the Gulf of Cádiz margins. The role of bottom currents is especially evident throughout the Iberian Margin. The Galicia, Portuguese and Cantabrian margins show a predominance of erosional features and tectonically-controlled linear features related to faults.

  9. 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.

  10. A seismic-reflection investigation of gas hydrates and sea-floor features of the upper continental slope of the Garden Banks and Green Canyon regions, northern Gulf of Mexico: report for cruise G1-99-GM (99002)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cooper, Alan; Twichell, David; Hart, Patrick

    1999-01-01

    During April 1999, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) conducted a 13-day cruise in the Garden Banks and Green Canyon regions of the Gulf of Mexico. The R/V Gyre, owned by Texas A&M University, was chartered for the cruise. The general objectives were (1) to acquire very high resolution seismic-reflection data and side-scan sonar images of the upper and middle continental slope (200-1200-m water depths), (2) to study the acoustic character and features of the sea floor for evidence of sea-floor hazards, and (3) to look for evidence of subsurface gas hydrates and their effects. The Gulf of Mexico is well known for hydrocarbon resources, with emphasis now on frontier deep-water areas. For water depths greater than about 250 m, the pressure-termperature conditions are correct for the development of shallow-subsurface gas hydrate formation (Anderson et al., 1992). Gas hydrates are ice-like mixtures of gas and water (Kvenvolden, 1993). They are known to be present from extensive previous sampling in sea-floor cores and from mound-like features observed on the sea floor in many parts of the northern Gulf, including the Green Canyon and Garden Banks areas (e.g., Roberts, 1995). Seismic-reflection data are extensive in the Gulf of Mexico, but few very-high-resolution data like those needed for gas-hydrate studies exist in the public domain. The occurrence and mechanisms of gas hydrate formation and dissociation are important to understand, because of their perceived economic potential for methane gas, their potential controls on local and regional sea-floor stability, and their possible effects on earth climates due to massive release of methane greenhouse gas into the atmosphere. Three high-resolution seismic-reflection systems and one side-scan sonar system were used on the cruise to map the surface reflectance and features of the sea floor and the acoustic geometries and character of the shallow sub-surface. The cruise was designed to acquire regional and detailed local

  11. Transform continental margins - part 1: Concepts and models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basile, Christophe

    2015-10-01

    This paper reviews the geodynamic concepts and models related to transform continental margins, and their implications on the structure of these margins. Simple kinematic models of transform faulting associated with continental rifting and oceanic accretion allow to define three successive stages of evolution, including intra-continental transform faulting, active transform margin, and passive transform margin. Each part of the transform margin experiences these three stages, but the evolution is diachronous along the margin. Both the duration of each stage and the cumulated strike-slip deformation increase from one extremity of the margin (inner corner) to the other (outer corner). Initiation of transform faulting is related to the obliquity between the trend of the lithospheric deformed zone and the relative displacement of the lithospheric plates involved in divergence. In this oblique setting, alternating transform and divergent plate boundaries correspond to spatial partitioning of the deformation. Both obliquity and the timing of partitioning influence the shape of transform margins. Oblique margin can be defined when oblique rifting is followed by oblique oceanic accretion. In this case, no transform margin should exist in the prolongation of the oceanic fracture zones. Vertical displacements along transform margins were mainly studied to explain the formation of marginal ridges. Numerous models were proposed, one of the most used is being based on thermal exchanges between the oceanic and the continental lithospheres across the transform fault. But this model is compatible neither with numerical computation including flexural behavior of the lithosphere nor with timing of vertical displacements and the lack of heating related to the passing of the oceanic accretion axis as recorded by the Côte d'Ivoire-Ghana marginal ridge. Enhanced models are still needed. They should better take into account the erosion on the continental slope, and the level of coupling

  12. Late Mesozoic and Cenozoic thermotectonic evolution of the central Brooks Range and adjacent North Slope foreland basin, Alaska: Including fission track results from the Trans-Alaska Crustal Transect (TACT)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Sullivan, P. B.; Murphy, J.M.; Blythe, A.E.

    1997-01-01

    Apatite fission track data are used to evaluate the thermal and tectonic history of the central Brooks Range and the North Slope foreland basin in northern Alaska along the northern leg of the Trans-Alaska Crustal Transect (TACT). Fission track analyses of the detrital apatite grains in most sedimentary units resolve the timing of structures and denudation within the Brooks Range, ranging in scale from the entire mountain range to relatively small-scale folds and faults. Interpretation of the results indicates that rocks exposed within the central Brooks Range cooled rapidly from paleotemperatures 110?? to 50??C during discrete episodes at ???100??5 Ma, ???60??4 Ma, and ???24??3 Ma, probably in response to kilometer-scale denudation. North of the mountain front, rocks in the southern half of the foreland basin were exposed to maximum paleotemperatures 110??C in the Late Cretaceous to early Paleocene as a result of burial by Upper Jurassic and Cretaceous sedimentary rocks. Rapid cooling from these elevated paleotemperatures also occurred due to distinct episodes of kilometer-scale denudation at ???60??4 Ma, 46??3 Ma, 35??2 Ma, and ???24??3 Ma. Combined, the apatite analyses indicate that rocks exposed along the TACT line through the central Brooks Range and foreland basin experienced episodic rapid cooling throughout the Late Cretaceous and Cenozoic in response to at least three distinct kilometer-scale denudation events. Future models explaining orogenic events in northern Alaska must consider these new constraints from fission track thermochronology. Copyright 1997 by the American Geophysical Union.

  13. Downward Slope

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    This false-color image from NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity panoramic camera shows a downward view from the rover as it sits at the edge of 'Endurance' crater. The gradual, 'blueberry'-strewn slope before the rover contains an exposed dark layer of rock that wraps around the upper section of the crater. Scientists suspect that this rock layer will provide clues about Mars' distant past. This mosaic image comprises images taken from 10 rover positions using 750, 530 and 430 nanometer filters, acquired on sol 131 (June 6, 2004).

  14. Gullied Slope

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    20 May 2005 This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows gullies formed on an equator-facing slope among mounds in Acidalia Planitia. Similar gullies occur in a variety of settings at middle and polar latitudes in both martian hemispheres.

    Location near: 49.8oN, 22.7oW Image width: 3 km (1.9 mi) Illumination from: lower left Season: Northern Summer

  15. A reevaluation of the Munson-Nygren-Retriever submarine landslide complex, Georges bank lower slope, western north Atlantic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chaytor, Jason D.; Twichell, David C.; ten Brink, Uri S.

    2012-01-01

    The Munson-Nygren-Retriever (MNR) landslide complex is a series of distinct submarine landslides located between Nygren and Powell canyons on the Georges Bank lower slope. These landslides were first imaged in 1978 using widely-spaced seismic reflection profiles and were further investigated using continuous coverage GLORIA sidescan imagery collected over the landslide complex in 1987. Recent acquisition of highresolution multibeam bathymetry across these landslides has provided an unprecedented view of their complex morphology and allows for a more detailed investigation of their evacuation and deposit morphologies and sizes, modes of failure, and relationship to the adjacent sections of the margin, including the identification of an additional landslide within the MNR complex, referred to here as the Pickett slide. The evacuation zone of these landslides covers an area of approximately 1,780 km2 . The headwalls of these landslides are at a depth of approximately 1,800 m, with evacuation extending for approximately 60 km downslope to the top of the continental rise. High-relief debris deposits, in the form of blocks and ridges, are present down the length of the majority of the evacuation zones and within the deposition area at the base of the slope. On the continental rise, the deposits from each of the most recent failures of the MNR complex landslides merge with debris from earlier continental slope failures, canyon and alongslope derived deposits, and prominent upper-rise failures.

  16. Preliminary report on geology along Atlantic Continental Margin of northeastern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Minard, J.P.; Perry, W.J.; Weed, E.G.A.; Rhodehamel, E.C.; Robbins, E.I.; Mixon, R.B.

    1974-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey is conducting a geologic and geophysical study of the northeastern United States outer continental shelf and the adjacent slope from Georges Bank to Cape Hatteras. The study also includes the adjacent coastal plain because it is a more accessible extension of the shelf. The total study area is about 324,000 sq km, of which the shelf and slope constitute about 181,000 sq km and the coastal plain constitutes 143,000 sq km. The shelf width ranges from about 30 km at Cape Hatteras to about 195 km off Raritan Bay and on Georges Bank. Analyses of bottom samples make it possible to construct a preliminary geologic map of the shelf and slope to a water depth of 2,000 m. The oldest beds cropping out in the submarine canyons and on the slope are of early ate Cretaceous age. Beds of Early Cretaceous and Jurassic age are present in deep wells onshore and probably are present beneath the shelf in the area of this study. Such beds are reported beneath the Scotian shelf on the northeast where they include limestone, salt, and anhydrite. Preliminary conclusions suggest a considerably thicker Mesozoic sedimentary sequence than has been described previously. The region is large; the sedimentary wedge is thick; structures seem favorable; and the hydrocarbon potential may be considerable.

  17. Continental magnetic anomaly constraints on continental reconstruction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vonfrese, R. R. B.; Hinze, W. J.; Olivier, R.; Bentley, C. R.

    1985-01-01

    Crustal magnetic anomalies mapped by the MAGSAT satellite for North and South America, Europe, Africa, India, Australia and Antarctica and adjacent marine areas were adjusted to a common elevation of 400 km and differentially reduced to the radial pole of intensity 60,000 nT. These radially polarized anomalies are normalized for differential inclination, declination and intensity effects of the geomagnetic field, so that in principle they directly reflected the geometric and magnetic polarization attributes of sources which include regional petrologic variations of the crust and upper mantle, and crustal thickness and thermal perturbations. Continental anomalies demonstrate remarkably detailed correlation of regional magnetic sources across rifted margins when plotted on a reconstruction of Pangea. Accordingly, they suggest further fundamental constraints on the geologic evolution of the continents and their reconstructions.

  18. Habitat Specialization in Tropical Continental Shelf Demersal Fish Assemblages

    PubMed Central

    Fitzpatrick, Ben M.; Harvey, Euan S.; Heyward, Andrew J.; Twiggs, Emily J.; Colquhoun, Jamie

    2012-01-01

    The implications of shallow water impacts such as fishing and climate change on fish assemblages are generally considered in isolation from the distribution and abundance of these fish assemblages in adjacent deeper waters. We investigate the abundance and length of demersal fish assemblages across a section of tropical continental shelf at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia, to identify fish and fish habitat relationships across steep gradients in depth and in different benthic habitat types. The assemblage composition of demersal fish were assessed from baited remote underwater stereo-video samples (n = 304) collected from 16 depth and habitat combinations. Samples were collected across a depth range poorly represented in the literature from the fringing reef lagoon (1–10 m depth), down the fore reef slope to the reef base (10–30 m depth) then across the adjacent continental shelf (30–110 m depth). Multivariate analyses showed that there were distinctive fish assemblages and different sized fish were associated with each habitat/depth category. Species richness, MaxN and diversity declined with depth, while average length and trophic level increased. The assemblage structure, diversity, size and trophic structure of demersal fishes changes from shallow inshore habitats to deeper water habitats. More habitat specialists (unique species per habitat/depth category) were associated with the reef slope and reef base than other habitats, but offshore sponge-dominated habitats and inshore coral-dominated reef also supported unique species. This suggests that marine protected areas in shallow coral-dominated reef habitats may not adequately protect those species whose depth distribution extends beyond shallow habitats, or other significant elements of demersal fish biodiversity. The ontogenetic habitat partitioning which is characteristic of many species, suggests that to maintain entire species life histories it is necessary to protect corridors of connected

  19. Habitat specialization in tropical continental shelf demersal fish assemblages.

    PubMed

    Fitzpatrick, Ben M; Harvey, Euan S; Heyward, Andrew J; Twiggs, Emily J; Colquhoun, Jamie

    2012-01-01

    The implications of shallow water impacts such as fishing and climate change on fish assemblages are generally considered in isolation from the distribution and abundance of these fish assemblages in adjacent deeper waters. We investigate the abundance and length of demersal fish assemblages across a section of tropical continental shelf at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia, to identify fish and fish habitat relationships across steep gradients in depth and in different benthic habitat types. The assemblage composition of demersal fish were assessed from baited remote underwater stereo-video samples (n = 304) collected from 16 depth and habitat combinations. Samples were collected across a depth range poorly represented in the literature from the fringing reef lagoon (1-10 m depth), down the fore reef slope to the reef base (10-30 m depth) then across the adjacent continental shelf (30-110 m depth). Multivariate analyses showed that there were distinctive fish assemblages and different sized fish were associated with each habitat/depth category. Species richness, MaxN and diversity declined with depth, while average length and trophic level increased. The assemblage structure, diversity, size and trophic structure of demersal fishes changes from shallow inshore habitats to deeper water habitats. More habitat specialists (unique species per habitat/depth category) were associated with the reef slope and reef base than other habitats, but offshore sponge-dominated habitats and inshore coral-dominated reef also supported unique species. This suggests that marine protected areas in shallow coral-dominated reef habitats may not adequately protect those species whose depth distribution extends beyond shallow habitats, or other significant elements of demersal fish biodiversity. The ontogenetic habitat partitioning which is characteristic of many species, suggests that to maintain entire species life histories it is necessary to protect corridors of connected habitats

  20. Recent acoustic studies of western Canadian continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Bornhold, B.D.; Brandon, M.T.; Clowes, R.M.; Currie, R.G.; Davis, E.E.; Hussong, D.M.; Hyndman, R.D.; Riddihough, R.P.; Rogers, G.C.; Yorath, C.J.

    1986-07-01

    A regional survey of the western Canadian continental margin from the central Queen Charlotte Island, 52/sup 0/40'N, to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, 47/sup 0/40'N, has been completed with the acoustic imaging system SeaMARC II. These data, combined with single-channel and multichannel seismic reflection data, reveal many new insights concerning the deep structure of the subduction margin off Vancouver Island. Clearly evident in the imagery are the deformation of sediments at the base of the slope, the surface expression of seismically active faults, the mass wasting of sediment frequently observed at the base of the slope, and the erosional canyons and sediment transport channels on the slope and adjacent abyssal plain. The variability in the surficial and deep structures along the length of the margin is great and corresponds well with the postulated variations in the local ocean/continent motion vectors: motion along the southern Queen Charlotte Islands margin is primarily transform (about 55 mm/year) with a small component of convergence (about 10 mm/year); motion south of the triple junction at the Wilson Knolls is convergent but at a very slow rate (about 10 mm/year); and motion along the central and southern Vancouver Island margin is nearly orthogonal to the coast and more rapid (about 40 mm/year).

  1. Continental Margins of the Arctic Ocean: Implications for Law of the Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mosher, David

    2016-04-01

    A coastal State must define the outer edge of its continental margin in order to be entitled to extend the outer limits of its continental shelf beyond 200 M, according to article 76 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The article prescribes the methods with which to make this definition and includes such metrics as water depth, seafloor gradient and thickness of sediment. Note the distinction between the "outer edge of the continental margin", which is the extent of the margin after application of the formula of article 76, and the "outer limit of the continental shelf", which is the limit after constraint criteria of article 76 are applied. For a relatively small ocean basin, the Arctic Ocean reveals a plethora of continental margin types reflecting both its complex tectonic origins and its diverse sedimentation history. These factors play important roles in determining the extended continental shelves of Arctic coastal States. This study highlights the critical factors that might determine the outer edge of continental margins in the Arctic Ocean as prescribed by article 76. Norway is the only Arctic coastal State that has had recommendations rendered by the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS). Russia and Denmark (Greenland) have made submissions to the CLCS to support their extended continental shelves in the Arctic and are awaiting recommendations. Canada has yet to make its submission and the US has not yet ratified the Convention. The various criteria that each coastal State has utilized or potentially can utilize to determine the outer edge of the continental margin are considered. Important criteria in the Arctic include, 1) morphological continuity of undersea features, such as the various ridges and spurs, with the landmass, 2) the tectonic origins and geologic affinities with the adjacent land masses of the margins and various ridges, 3) sedimentary processes, particularly along continental slopes, and 4) thickness and

  2. Continental shelves

    SciTech Connect

    Postma, H.; Zijlstra

    1987-01-01

    Continental shelves form a relatively narrow fringe, of varying width, around the continents. Altogether they take up only about 7% of the ocean's surface and less than 0.2% if its volume. Nevertheless, their specific biological characteristics and economical importance justify a separate discussion in this series. Ecosystems of the World. The specific biological characteristics are due to the position of continental shelves between the land masses on one side and the oceans on the other, to their relative shallowness and variable sea-floor texture and to the fact that, besides residual currents, tidal streams exert a great influence on the movements of water bodies.

  3. Structure and development of the southern Moroccan continental shelf

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dillon, William P.

    1974-01-01

    The structure of the continental shelf off southern Morocco was studied by means of 2,100 km of seismic reflection profiles, magnetic and bathymetric surveys, and dredge samples. The research area lies off four geologic divisions adjacent to the coast: the Atlas Mountains; the Souss Trough; the Anti-Atlas Mountains; and the Aaiun Basin. The continental shelf, along with the western Atlas Mountains, the western Souss Trough, and the entire Aaiun Basin, has subsided along a normal fault-flexure system. This system runs along the shore at the Anti-Atlas Mountains, and cuts off this cratonic block from the shelf subsidence. The shelf is narrow and characterized by out-building off the Anti-Atlas range, whereas it is broader and characterized by upbuilding to the north and south. Deposition was essentially continuous at least from Early Cretaceous through Eocene time. Published work suggests that the last cycle of sedimentation began during Permian rifting. After Eocene time, most sediments carried to the shelf must have bypassed it and gone to construct the slope and rise or to the deep sea. Tertiary orogenies caused extensive folding of Mesozoic and early Tertiary deposits off the Atlas Mountains. ?? 1974.

  4. Crustal structure of the Peruvian continental margin from wide-angle seismic studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krabbenhöft, A.; Bialas, J.; Kopp, H.; Kukowski, N.; Hübscher, C.

    2004-11-01

    Active seismic investigations along the Pacific margin off Peru were carried out using ocean bottom hydrophones and seismometers. The structure and the P-wave velocities of the obliquely subducting oceanic Nazca Plate and overriding South American Plate from 8°S to 15°S were determined by modelling the wide-angle seismic data combined with the analysis of reflection seismic data. Three detailed cross-sections of the subduction zone of the Peruvian margin and one strike-line across the Lima Basin are presented here. The oceanic crust of the Nazca Plate, with a thin pelagic sediment cover, ranging from 0-200 m, has an average thickness of 6.4 km. At 8°S it thins to 4 km in the area of Trujillo Trough, a graben-like structure. Across the margin, the plate boundary can be traced to 25 km depth. As inferred from the velocity models, a frontal prism exists adjacent to the trench axis and is associated with the steep lower slope. Terrigeneous sediments are proposed to be transported downslope due to gravitational forces and comprise the frontal prism, characterized by low seismic P-wave velocities. The lower slope material accretes against a backstop structure, which is defined by higher seismic P-wave velocities, 3.5-6.0 km s-1. The large variations in surface slope along one transect may reflect basal removal of upper plate material, thus steepening the slope surface. Subduction processes along the Peruvian margin are dominated by tectonic erosion indicated by the large margin taper, the shape and bending of the subducting slab, laterally varying slope angles and the material properties of the overriding continental plate. The erosional mechanisms, frontal and basal erosion, result in the steepening of the slope and consequent slope failure.

  5. Late Cenozoic Underthrusting of the Continental Margin off Northernmost California.

    PubMed

    Silver, E A

    1969-12-05

    The presence of magnetic anomaly 3, age 5 million years, beneath the continental slope off northernmost California, is evidence for underthrusting of the continental margin during the late Cenozoic. Folded and faulted strata near the base of the slope attest to deformation of the eastern edge of the turbidite sedimzents in the Gorda Basin; the deformation observed is exactly that expected from underthrusting. The relative motions of three crustal plates also suggest underthrusting, possibly with a major component of right-lateral slip.

  6. Phytoplankton Communities in Louisiana coastal waters and the continental shelf

    EPA Science Inventory

    Louisiana coastal waters and the adjacent continental shelf receive large freshwater and nutrient inputs from the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers, creating favorable conditions for increased phytoplankton productivity. To examine inshore-offshore patterns in phytoplankton comm...

  7. Reproductive biology and recruitment of the deep-sea fish community from the NW Mediterranean continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernandez-Arcaya, U.; Rotllant, G.; Ramirez-Llodra, E.; Recasens, L.; Aguzzi, J.; Flexas, M. M.; Sanchez-Vidal, A.; López-Fernández, P.; García, J. A.; Company, J. B.

    2013-11-01

    Temporal patterns in deep-sea fish reproduction are presently unknown for the majority of deep continental margins. A series of seasonal trawling surveys between depths of 300 to 1750 m in the Blanes submarine canyon and its adjacent open slope (NW Mediterranean) were conducted. The bathymetric size distributions and reproductive cycles of the most abundant species along the NW Mediterranean margin were analyzed to assess the occurrence of (i) temporal patterns in reproduction (i.e., spawning season) along a bathymetric gradient and (ii) preferential depth strata for recruitment. The fish assemblages were grouped in relation to their bathymetric distribution: upper slope, middle slope and lower slope species. Middle-slope species (i.e., 800-1350 m) showed short (i.e., highly seasonal) reproductive activity compared to the upper (300-800 m) and lower (1350-1750 m) ones. Our results, together with those previously published for megabenthic crustacean decapods in the area, suggest a cross-phyla depth-related trend of seasonality in reproduction. In the middle and lower slope species, the reproductive activity reached a maximum in the autumn-winter months and decreased in the spring. The observed seasonal spawning patterns appear to be ultimately correlated with changes in the downward transport of organic particles and with seasonal changes in the physicochemical characteristics of the surrounding water masses. The distribution of juveniles was associated with the bathymetric stratum where intermediate nepheloid layers interact with the continental margins, indicating that this stratum acts as a deep-sea fish nursery area.

  8. Geologic development and characteristics of continental margins, Gulf of Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Coleman, J.M.; Prior, D.B.; Roberts, H.H.

    1986-09-01

    The continental slope of the Gulf basin covers more than 500,000 km/sup 2/ and consists of smooth and gently sloping surfaces, prominent escarpments, knolls, intraslope basins, and submarine canyons and channels. It is an area of extremely diverse topographic and sedimentologic conditions. The slope extends from the shelf break, roughly at the 200-m isobath, to the upper limit of the continental rise at a depth of 2800 m. The most complex province in the basin, and the one of most interest to the petroleum industry, is the Texas-Louisiana slope, occupying 120,000 km/sup 2/ and in which bottom slopes range from less than 1/sup 0/ to greater than 20/sup 0/ around the knolls and basins. The near-surface geology and topography of the slope is a function of the interplay between episodes of rapid shelf-edge and slope progradation and contemporaneous modification of the depositional sequence by diapirism. Development of discrete depocenters throughout the Neogene results in rapid shelf-edge progradation, often exceeding 15-20 km/m.y. This rapid progradation of the shelf edge leads to development of thick wedges of sediment accumulation on the continental slope. Slope oversteepening, high pore pressures in rapidly deposited soft sediments, and changes in eustatic sea level cause subaqueous slope instabilities such as landslides and debris flows. Large-scale features such as shelf-edge separation scars and landslide-related canyons often result from such processes.

  9. Interior Slopes of Copernican Craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, M. S.; Burns, K.; Stelling, R.; Speyerer, E.; Mahanti, P.

    2012-12-01

    The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) routinely acquires high resolution (50 to 200 cm pixel scales) stereo pairs from adjacent orbits through spacecraft slews; parallax angles are typically >20°, and the local incidence angle between 40° and 65°. These observations are reduced to digital elevation models (DEM) using a combination of ISIS (USGS) and SOCET Set (BAE Systems). For this study DEMs originally sampled at 2 m scales were reduced (averaging technique) to 5 m scales to provide slopes calculated over 3x3 pixel boxes (15 m x 15 m). The upper 50% of interior walls of Copernican craters (2 to 20 km diameter) typically have average slopes of 36°, with slopes locally above 40° not uncommon (i.e. Fig 1: 2.3 km diam, 17.68°S, 144.41°E). Giordano Bruno (GB; 35.97N°, 102.86°E) is likely the youngest 20-km diameter class crater on the Moon. Its floor is dominated by impact forms (ponds and flows), and inner walls exhibit a series of coalesced flow lobes emanating from steep upper slopes. The lobes appear to be composed of dry granular material based on the observation of boulder trails superposed on many examples. The upper slopes average 36° or more, with some slopes above 40°. For much of GB, slopes exceed 30° all the way to the crater floor (especially in the SE). The high slopes imply angular grains, some level of cohesion, and/or higher angles of repose due to the Moon's relatively low gravity. Larmor Q (28.56°N, 176.33°E), another large Copernican crater, is elliptical in plan (23 x 18 km diameter), with an interior floor dominated by large slump blocks. Like GB its walls exhibit overlapping lobes (granular materials) emanating from interior wall slopes that range from 30° to 36°. Other Copernican craters exhibit similar steep slopes on interior walls: Moore F (23 km diam), Necho (30 km), and two unnamed craters (9 km,13.31°S, 257.55°E; 9 km, 15.72°, 177.39°E). Slopes of the central peaks of Tycho crater (0

  10. Morphology and origins of sedimentary structures on submarine slopes.

    PubMed

    Hulsemann, J

    1968-07-05

    Submarine slopes in deep water, such as continental slopes, are often indented by valleys or channels and made uneven by ridges or levees. The origins of many of these features are unknown or disputed. Morphologically, however, there is often great similarity between forms on deep slopes and forms on shallow slopes or on land. Structurally the slopes in deep water are less well explored, but several observations reveal features, such as lamination and crossbedding, that are known from shallow water also. Measurements of current indicate that periodically the movement of water near the bottom is fast enough to move particles of sediment from time to time. Morphology, fine structure, and currents suggest that internal waves and associated currents, as well as gravity, may control the shape of deep submarine slopes analogously to the shaping by surface waves of slopes in shallow water.

  11. Late tertiary structure and stratigraphy of north Sinai continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Ben-Avraham, Z.; Mart, Y.

    1981-06-01

    New seismic data provide information on the structural development and late Tertiary stratigraphy of the continental slope and rise off northern Sinai. The upper continental slope is characterized by a marginal plateau composed of a series of platforms or steps. The lower continental slope is smooth, except for a low ridge paralleling the western part. Numerous diapiric structures along the continental margin north of the Sinai Peninsula emerge from an evaporitic layer of late Tertiary age. The diapirs usually are aligned along west-northwest-trending faults. A salt ridge 90 km long produces a submarine ridge in the lower continental rise. Two main fault trends have been mapped. In the western part of the continental margin they trend west-northwest and, in the eastern part, northeast. These trends parallel the continental slopes of northern Sinai and southern Israel, respectively. The structural grain of the Sinai margin appears to be controlled by two main tectonic elements: (1) rejuvenated basement faults of the continent-ocean transition zone; and (2) salt diapirism due to loading of Messinian evaporites with Nile-derived upper Tertiary clastics.

  12. Navigating Ski Slopes Safely

    MedlinePlus

    ... medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_162902.html Navigating Ski Slopes Safely National Ski Areas Association offers advice on ... 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Many people head for the slopes at the first sign of snow, but it's ...

  13. Stress pattern in Portugal mainland and the adjacent Atlantic region, West Iberia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ribeiro, A.; Cabral, J.; Baptista, R.; Matias, L.

    1996-06-01

    The Portuguese mainland territory is located close to the Azores-Gibraltar plate boundary, in a tectonic setting responsible for significant neotectonic and seismic activities. However, few data concerning the present regional lithospheric stress field were available, as testified by recently published maps of stress indicators for the Europe and Mediterranean regions. One of the authors already presented a synthesis on this subject [Cabral, 1993], where geological and geophysical stress indicators were considered. In this paper we introduce new information, mainly a considerable amount of borehole breakout data. The updated data set comprises 32 reliable stress indicators showing a mean azimuth of 145° (standard deviation 21°) for the maximum horizontal stress direction (SHmax). On the average, the geological data are rotated clockwise and the focal mechanism data deviated anticlockwise to that azimuth, while the borehole elongation results are consistent with the mean SHmax trend. These differences in stress trend suggest a regional progressive rotation of the SHmax direction from NNW-SSE to WNW-ESE since the upper Pliocene. To estimate stress trajectories, new and published stress indicators in the adjacent Atlantic area and northern Africa were also investigated, showing a very uniform NW-SE SHmax trend in west Iberia. A high level of horizontal compressive stress acting oblique to the western Portuguese continental margin is inferred and interpreted in view of a proposed regional geodynamical model, of activation of this passive margin, with the nucleation of a subduction zone in the Atlantic SW of Iberia, at the Gorringe submarine bank, which is propagating northward along the base of the continental slope, at the transition between thinned and normal continental crust.

  14. Large-scale penetration of Gulf Stream water onto the continental shelf north of Cape Hatteras

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gawarkiewicz, Glen; Church, Thomas M.; Luther, George W., III; Ferdelman, Timothy G.; Caruso, Michael

    1992-01-01

    The presence of Gulf Stream water on the continental shelf as much as 60 km north of Cape Hatteras was observed during a hydrographic cruise in the summer of 1990. Gulf Stream water was concentrated at mid-depth between 10 and 30 m and penetrated the shelfbreak front which normally separates the shelf water from slope water and Gulf Stream water. Velocities of Gulf Stream water in the upper 110 m of the water column along the 1000 m isobath indicated a flow of 18 to 25 cm/s directed towards the northwest. Gulf Stream water on the shelf is considered to be associated with low values of fluorescence, transmissivity, and nutrient concentrations relative to adjacent shelf water.

  15. Lomonosov Ridge as a Natural Component of Continental Margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poselov, V.; Kaminsky, V. D.; Butsenko, V. V.; Grikurov, G. E.

    2010-12-01

    .7 km/; its thickness is 8-9 km on shelf, 5 km under continental slope and gradually increases to 9 km on Lomonosov Ridge. The velocity in upper mantle is approximately 8.0 km/s; the depth to Moho changes from 28 km on the shelf to 22 km on Lomonosov Ridge. Our data demonstrate that principal features of deep crustal structure recognized on Lomonosov Ridge can continuously be traced along its length onto adjacent Siberian shelf, and in orthogonal direction across the periphery of Amundsen Basin. Recognition of these features beneath the Siberian continental slope is somewhat obscured by normal faults but the latter do not appreciably affect the seismic stratigraphy and/or seismic facies characteristics of the distinguished sequences. The northward prolongation of the Kotelny Island horst is articulated by a chain of elevated blocks expressed in the Lomonosov Ridge surface; this offers an additional confirmation of uninterrupted connection between the ridge and the New Siberian Islands shelf. The evidence presented herein suggests an autochtonous position of Lomonosov Ridge which can therefore be regarded a part of submerged natural prolongation of the Russian Arctic landmass.

  16. Subduction-driven recycling of continental margin lithosphere.

    PubMed

    Levander, A; Bezada, M J; Niu, F; Humphreys, E D; Palomeras, I; Thurner, S M; Masy, J; Schmitz, M; Gallart, J; Carbonell, R; Miller, M S

    2014-11-13

    Whereas subduction recycling of oceanic lithosphere is one of the central themes of plate tectonics, the recycling of continental lithosphere appears to be far more complicated and less well understood. Delamination and convective downwelling are two widely recognized processes invoked to explain the removal of lithospheric mantle under or adjacent to orogenic belts. Here we relate oceanic plate subduction to removal of adjacent continental lithosphere in certain plate tectonic settings. We have developed teleseismic body wave images from dense broadband seismic experiments that show higher than expected volumes of anomalously fast mantle associated with the subducted Atlantic slab under northeastern South America and the Alboran slab beneath the Gibraltar arc region; the anomalies are under, and are aligned with, the continental margins at depths greater than 200 kilometres. Rayleigh wave analysis finds that the lithospheric mantle under the continental margins is significantly thinner than expected, and that thin lithosphere extends from the orogens adjacent to the subduction zones inland to the edges of nearby cratonic cores. Taking these data together, here we describe a process that can lead to the loss of continental lithosphere adjacent to a subduction zone. Subducting oceanic plates can viscously entrain and remove the bottom of the continental thermal boundary layer lithosphere from adjacent continental margins. This drives surface tectonics and pre-conditions the margins for further deformation by creating topography along the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary. This can lead to development of secondary downwellings under the continental interior, probably under both South America and the Gibraltar arc, and to delamination of the entire lithospheric mantle, as around the Gibraltar arc. This process reconciles numerous, sometimes mutually exclusive, geodynamic models proposed to explain the complex oceanic-continental tectonics of these subduction zones.

  17. Transient seafloor venting from methane hydrate dissociation on continental slopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Darnell, K.; Flemings, P. B.

    2014-12-01

    We present model results of hydrate dynamics that show the development of a gas chimney at three-phase equilibrium where gas flows through the marine hydrate stability zone and vents into the ocean during transient adjustment to imposed warming. Previous studies show venting occurs at the seaward retreating up-dip boundary of the hydrate stability zone during warming, whereas our results are the first to provide a mechanism for temporary gas venting vertically through the hydrate stability zone during warming. Transient behavior records the combined effect of hydrate dissociation from seafloor warming and secondary hydrate formation from gas produced by hydrate dissociation. We perform simulations of seafloor warming with a 1-d, unsteady, multiphase, fluid-flow model of methane hydrate dynamics. We assume an initial hydrate layer 6o meters thick with 10% pore volume saturation with seawater occupying the remaining domain above and below. We apply an instantaneous temperature increase at the seafloor. The temperature increase propagates downward through the deposit and initiates hydrate dissociation at the base of the deposit. Gas sourced from dissociation migrates upward and re-solidifies as hydrate to a maximum saturation set by a three-phase equilibrium salinity constraint. Additional gas migrates further upward to repeat the process. A chimney defined by dissociation at the bottom, secondary hydrate formation at the top, and maintained at three-phase equilibrium on the interior propagates to the seafloor in 10 kyr. Gas and salt then exit the system by venting into the ocean until dissociation stops producing new gas. Elevated salinities then diffuse to background seawater values. A shorter, shoaled hydrate deposit remains after ~100 kyr. This result shows that temporary venting can potentially occur anywhere along the hydrate stability zone during seafloor warming while retaining a hydrate deposit at steady state.

  18. Geotechnical characteristics and slope stability in the Gulf of Cadiz

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lee, H.; Baraza, J.

    1999-01-01

    Sedimentological and geotechnical analyses of thirty-seven core samples from the Gulf of Cadiz continental margin were used to define the regional variability of sediment properties and to assess slope stability. Considering the sediment property data set as a whole, there is an association between grain size, plasticity and water content. Any one of these properties can be mapped regionally to provide an indication of the dominant surface sediment lithology. Based on static sediment strength, a simplified slope stability analysis showed that only steep slopes (> 16??for even the most vulnerable sediment) can fail under static loading conditions. Accordingly, transient loads, such as earthquakes or storms, are needed to cause failure on more moderate slopes. A regional seismic slope stability analysis of the Cadiz margin was performed based on detailed geotechnical testing of four gravity core samples. The results showed that the stability of these slopes under seismic loading conditions depends upon sediment density, the cyclic loading shear strength, the slope steepness, and the regional seismicity. Sediment density and cyclic loading shear strength are dependent upon water content, which can act as a proxy for plasticity and texture effects. Specifically, Sediment in the water content range of 50-56% is most vulnerable to failure under cyclic loading within the Cadiz margin. As a result, for a uniform seismicity over the region, susceptibility to failure during seismic loading conditions increases with increasing slope steepness and is higher if the sediment water content is in the 50-56% range than if it is not. The only sampled zone of failure on the continental slope contains sediment with water content in this critical range. Storm-wave-induced instability was evaluated for the continental shelf. The evaluation showed that a storm having hundreds of waves with a height in the range of 16 m might be capable of causing failure on the shelf. However, no

  19. Limiting equilibrium and liquefaction potential in infinite submarine slopes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Denlinger, R.P.; Iverson, R.M.

    1990-01-01

    Stability evaluation of submarine slopes is hampered by the difficulty of making field measurements. Owing to the scarcity of detailed field data, stability is commonly assessed by assuming homogenous infinite slopes with steady seepage. For these conditions, it is necessary to measure only the slope angle, friction angle, cohesion, and pore pressure at some distance into the sediment to evaluate stability. Examination of available data shows that conditions close to those required for liquefaction are necessary for Coulomb failure in many continental shelf areas. This favors long landslide runouts and flow of sediment subsequent to failure. -from Authors

  20. Slope evolution at the Calvert Cliffs, Maryland -- measuring the change from eroding bluffs to stable slopes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Herzog, Martha; Larsen, Curtis E.; McRae, Michele

    2002-01-01

    Despite a long history of geomorphic studies, it is difficult to ascertain the time required for slopes to change from near vertical exposures to relatively stable slopes due to inadequate age control. Actively eroding coastal bluffs along the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay provide a key for understanding the centennial-scale development of stable slopes from eroding bluff faces. The Calvert Cliffs are composed of sandy silts, silty sands, and clayey silts of Miocene-age. Active wave erosion at the bluff toes encourages rapid sloughing from bluff faces and maintains slope angles of 70-80 degrees and relatively constant bluff-retreat rates. Naturally stabilized slopes are preserved as a fossil bluff line inland from a prograding cuspate foreland at Cove Point. The foreland is migrating southward at a rate of ca. 1.5 m/yr. As it moves south, it progressively protects bluffs from wave action as new beaches are deposited at their toes. Wave erosion is reinitiated at the northern end of the complex as the landform passes. An incremental record of slope change is preserved along the fossil bluff line. 14C dating of swales between beach ridges shows the complex to span 1700 years of progressive migration history. We hypothesized that slopes would change from steep, eroding faces to low-angle slopes covered with vegetation and sought to document the rate of change. Our team measured slope angles at intervals along the fossil bluff line and dated profiles by interpolating 14C ages of adjacent beach ridges. There was no progressive decrease in slope with age. All slopes along the fossil bluff line were 30-40 degrees with a mean of 35 degrees. Constancy in slope angle suggests that steep, actively eroding bluffs were quickly changed to stable slopes by landslides and slumping once they were protected. Given the accuracy of our age control, we conclude that the time required to attain a stable slope under natural processes is less than one century. This indicates that

  1. A Geo-traverse at a Passive Continental Margin: the Tagus Abyssal Plain, West Iberia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Afilhado, A.; Matias, L.; Mendes-Victor, L.

    2006-12-01

    transitional domain suggests a layered structure for the lithospheric mantle. The location of the main features and trend changes seen on the magnetic anomaly and the Bouguer anomaly maps are compatible to the seismically defined transition to the oceanic domain. Both magnetic and free air profiles modeling are also consistent to a major rock property contrast at this location. Minor features within the oceanic domain indicate some variability of the mass and magnetic dipoles distribution that might be related to different cross cutting of the segment axis and/or non stationary thermo-mechanical conditions of the sea floor spreading process. From 9.4W to the foot of the continental slope, at 10.2W, in a 65km distance, the Bouguer anomaly strongly increases due both to continental crust thinning and Moho shallowing. Magnetic anomalies having peak to peak values of 30 to 90nT and wave length of at least 30km plus the high density blocks modeled at shallow levels, indicate that dense and magnetic rocks should be present at the continental margin. A large body of exhumed continental mantle at the OCT is hardly supported by the data. Even so, the eastern 35km segment of the abyssal plain adjacent to the continental margin is a mass excess segment, bordered by significant magnetic anomalies, in good agreement to an intruded and partly ultramafic lower transitional crust, as suggested by the seismic data.

  2. NASA Now: SLOPE

    NASA Video Gallery

    Welcome to the SLOPE facility at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. In this building, NASA engineers experiment with different wheel designs for lunar rovers. They use a simulated c...

  3. Zambezi continental margin: compartmentalized sediment transfer routes to the abyssal Mozambique Channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiles, E.; Green, A. N.; Watkeys, M. K.; Jokat, W.

    2017-03-01

    Sediment delivery to the abyssal regions of the oceans is an integral process in the source to sink cycle of material derived from adjacent continents and islands. The Zambezi River, the largest in southern Africa, delivers vast amounts of material to the inner continental shelf of central Mozambique. The aim of this contribution is to better constrain sediment transport pathways to the abyssal plains using the latest, regional, high-resolution multibeam bathymetry data available, taking into account the effects of bottom water circulation, antecedent basin morphology and sea-level change. Results show that sediment transport and delivery to the abyssal plains is partitioned into three distinct domains; southern, central and northern. Sediment partitioning is primarily controlled by changes in continental shelf and shelf-break morphology under the influence of a clockwise rotating shelf circulation system. However, changes in sea-level have an overarching control on sediment delivery to particular domains. During highstand conditions, such as today, limited sediment delivery to the submarine Zambezi Valley and Channel is proposed, with increased sediment delivery to the deepwater basin being envisaged during regression and lowstand conditions. However, there is a pronounced along-strike variation in sediment transport during the sea-level cycle due to changes in the width, depth and orientation of the shelf. This combination of features outlines a sequence stratigraphic concept not generally considered in the strike-aligned shelf-slope-abyssal continuum.

  4. Aeromagnetic and gravity investigations of the Coastal Area and Continental Shelf of Liberia, West Africa, and their relation to continental drift

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Behrendt, John C.; Wotorson, Cletus S.

    1970-01-01

    anomalies exist over two Cretaceous basins in the coastal area; a negative Bouguer anomaly exists over one of the basins southwest of Monrovia, as shown by a marine traverse, suggesting that Cretaceous or younger sedimentary rocks fill these basins also. A 50 to 60 mgal positive Bouguer anomaly area exists along the coast from Sierra Leone to Ivory Coast. This anomaly correlates with mafic granulites in the Monrovia region, where the gradient is too steep to be entirely due to crustal thickening at the continental margin and may be related to tectonic activity associated with the basins. The only major break in this positive anomaly above basement rocks along the entire coast of Liberia is over granite gneiss adjacent to (and presumably underlying) the only onshore basins on the Liberian coast. Three seismic reflection profiles support the interpretation of a substantial section of sedimentary rock offshore. A suggested sequence of events indicates tectonic activity in the periods about 2700, about 2000, and about 550 m.y. B.P.; uplift and exposure of deep crustal rocks; deposition of Paleozoic sediments; intrusion of diabase dikes in inland zones; intrusion of 176 to 192 m.y.-old dikes and sills accompanying separation of Africa and South and North America; block faulting along coast and continental shelf, and active sea-floor spreading; filling of basins in Cretaceous and Tertiary(?) time; basaltic extrusion on spreading sea floor and sedimentation on continental shelf and slope.

  5. Freshly brewed continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gazel, E.; Hayes, J. L.; Caddick, M. J.; Madrigal, P.

    2015-12-01

    Earth's crust is the life-sustaining interface between our planet's deep interior and surface. Basaltic crusts similar to Earth's oceanic crust characterize terrestrial planets in the solar system while the continental masses, areas of buoyant, thick silicic crust, are a unique characteristic of Earth. Therefore, understanding the processes responsible for the formation of continents is fundamental to reconstructing the evolution of our planet. We use geochemical and geophysical data to reconstruct the evolution of the Central American Land Bridge (Costa Rica and Panama) over the last 70 Ma. We also include new preliminary data from a key turning point (~12-6 Ma) from the evolution from an oceanic arc depleted in incompatible elements to a juvenile continental mass in order to evaluate current models of continental crust formation. We also discovered that seismic P-waves (body waves) travel through the crust at velocities closer to the ones observed in continental crust worldwide. Based on global statistical analyses of all magmas produced today in oceanic arcs compared to the global average composition of continental crust we developed a continental index. Our goal was to quantitatively correlate geochemical composition with the average P-wave velocity of arc crust. We suggest that although the formation and evolution of continents may involve many processes, melting enriched oceanic crust within a subduction zone, a process probably more common in the Achaean where most continental landmasses formed, can produce the starting material necessary for juvenile continental crust formation.

  6. Arabian Slope Streaks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-508, 9 October 2003

    Arabia Terra is a vast, heavily cratered region in the martian northern hemisphere. Much of Arabia Terra is thickly blanketed by dust. From time to time, on steep slopes, the dust will avalanche or slide downhill, creating a streak. The majority of slope streaks are darker than their surroundings, but not all of them are dark. In Arabia, it is common to find bright and dark slope streaks, and to find them together. This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows an example, taken from a crater near 10.5oN, 318.4oW. Why some streaks are bright and others are dark is not yet known. This picture covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) wide and is illuminated by sunlight from the left.

  7. Subduction-Driven Recycling of Continental Margin Lithosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levander, Alan; Bezada, Maximiliano; Niu, Fenglin; Palomeras, Imma; Humphreys, Eugene; Carbonell, Ramon; Gallart, Josep; Schmitz, Michael; Miller, Meghan

    2016-04-01

    Subduction recycling of oceanic lithosphere, a central theme of plate tectonics, is relatively well understood. Recycling continental lithosphere is more difficult to recognize, can take a number of different forms, and appears to require an external trigger for initiation. Delamination and localized convective downwelling are two processes invoked to explain the removal of lithospheric mantle under or adjacent to orogenic belts. We describe a related process that can lead to the loss of continental lithosphere adjacent to a subduction zone: Subducting oceanic plates can entrain and recycle lithospheric mantle from an adjacent continent and disrupt the continental lithosphere far inland from the subduction zone. Body wave tomograms from dense broadband seismograph arrays in northeastern South America (SA) and the western Mediterranean show larger than expected volumes of positive velocity anomalies which we identify as the subducted Atlantic slab under northeastern SA, and the Alboran slab beneath the Gibraltar arc (GA). The positive anomalies lie under and are aligned with the continental margins at sublithospheric depths. The continental margins along which the subduction zones have traversed, i.e. the northeastern SA plate boundary and east of GA, have significantly thinner lithosphere than expected. The thinner than expected lithosphere extends inland as far as the edges of nearby cratons as determined from receiver function images and surface wave tomography. These observations suggest that subducting oceanic plates viscously entrain and remove continental mantle lithosphere from beneath adjacent continental margins, modulating the surface tectonics and pre-conditioning the margins for further deformation. The latter can include delamination of the entire lithospheric mantle and include the lower crust, as around GA, inferred by results from active and passive seismic experiments. Viscous removal of continental margin lithosphere creates LAB topography leading

  8. Estimating Slope and Level Change in N = 1 Designs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Solanas, Antonio; Manolov, Rumen; Onghena, Patrick

    2010-01-01

    The current study proposes a new procedure for separately estimating slope change and level change between two adjacent phases in single-case designs. The procedure eliminates baseline trend from the whole data series before assessing treatment effectiveness. The steps necessary to obtain the estimates are presented in detail, explained, and…

  9. WEST SLOPE TETONS ROADLESS AREA, WYOMING.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Myers, W. Bradley; Kluender, Steven E.

    1984-01-01

    On the basis of geologic, geochemical, and mines and prospects surveys, the West Slope Tetons Roadless Area, Wyoming, offers little or no promise for the occurrence of metallic mineral resources. A block estimated to contain about 2. 5 million short tons of high-grade phosphate rock, lies along the western boundary; about 430,000 tons of this resource lie in an area of substantiated phosphate potential within the roadless area. Although adjacent to the Overthrust Belt, reassessment of the structural setting suggests that the roadless area has little promise for the occurrence of oil and gas resources.

  10. Gas hydrates of outer continental margins

    SciTech Connect

    Kvenvolden, K.A. )

    1990-05-01

    Gas hydrates are crystalline substances in which a rigid framework of water molecules traps molecules of gas, mainly methane. Gas-hydrate deposits are common in continental margin sediment in all major oceans at water depths greater than about 300 m. Thirty-three localities with evidence for gas-hydrate occurrence have been described worldwide. The presence of these gas hydrates has been inferred mainly from anomalous lacoustic reflectors seen on marine seismic records. Naturally occurring marine gas hydrates have been sampled and analyzed at about tensites in several regions including continental slope and rise sediment of the eastern Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Except for some Gulf of Mexico gas hydrate occurrences, the analyzed gas hydrates are composed almost exclusively of microbial methane. Evidence for the microbial origin of methane in gas hydrates includes (1) the inverse relation between methane occurence and sulfate concentration in the sediment, (2) the subparallel depth trends in carbon isotopic compositions of methane and bicarbonate in the interstitial water, and (3) the general range of {sup 13}C depletion ({delta}{sub PDB}{sup 13}C = {minus}90 to {minus}60 {per thousand}) in the methane. Analyses of gas hydrates from the Peruvian outer continental margin in particular illustrate this evidence for microbially generated methane. The total amount of methane in gas hydrates of continental margins is not known, but estimates of about 10{sup 16} m{sup 3} seem reasonable. Although this amount of methane is large, it is not yet clear whether methane hydrates of outer continental margins will ever be a significant energy resource; however, these gas hydrates will probably constitute a drilling hazard when outer continental margins are explored in the future.

  11. Geology and petroleum potential of Shumagin continental margin, western Gulf of Alaska

    SciTech Connect

    Bruns, T.R.; Von Huene, R.; Culotta, R.D.; Lewis, S.D.; Ladd, J.W.

    1986-07-01

    Interpretations of multichannel seismic reflection data indicate that the Shumagin continental margin seaward of the Border Ranges fault is underlain by two major seismic sequences, separated by an erosional unconformity beneath the shelf and by the time-correlative conformity seaward. Rocks above the unconformity are late Miocene and younger. Rocks below the unconformity can be as young as middle Miocene beneath the outer shelf and slope, seaward of a paleoshelf break. However, beneath the shelf they are primarily Late Cretaceous turbidites of the Shumagin Formation and Paleocene granodiorite. Late Miocene and younger structures of the Shumagin margin include Shumagin, Sanak, and Unimak basins and Unimak Ridge, a midslope structural high. Strata in Sanak and Unimak basins were deposited on a subsiding outer shelf and slope, and trapped behind Unimak Ridge and its now-buried structural continuation. Sanak and Unimak basins are in part bounded by northwest-trending extensional faults that parallel both the early Tertiary Beringian margin and a transverse tectonic boundary that segments the fore-arc. These faults may have developed during collapse and extension along the southeastward continuation of the old Beringian margin, analogous to the processes that created the Bering Shelf basins. The most promising areas of the Shumagin margin for petroleum potential are Sanak, and Unimak basins, which contain strata 8 and 4.5 km thick, respectively, and beneath the outer shelf and slope. Paleogene source rocks like those on the adjacent Alaska Peninsula may be preserved offshore, seaward of the inferred paleoshelf break. Reservoir rocks might have formed from granitic-rich erosional products derived during Oligocene and Miocene erosion of the shelf plutons.

  12. Continental drift before 1900.

    PubMed

    Rupke, N A

    1970-07-25

    The idea that Francis Bacon and other seventeenth and eighteenth century thinkers first conceived the notion of continental drift does not stand up to close scrutiny. The few authors who expressed the idea viewed the process as a catastrophic event.

  13. Basins in ARC-continental collisions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Draut, Amy E.; Clift, Peter D.; Busby, Cathy; Azor, Antonio

    2012-01-01

    Arc-continent collisions occur commonly in the plate-tectonic cycle and result in rapidly formed and rapidly collapsing orogens, often spanning just 5-15 My. Growth of continental masses through arc-continent collision is widely thought to be a major process governing the structural and geochemical evolution of the continental crust over geologic time. Collisions of intra-oceanic arcs with passive continental margins (a situation in which the arc, on the upper plate, faces the continent) involve a substantially different geometry than collisions of intra-oceanic arcs with active continental margins (a situation requiring more than one convergence zone and in which the arc, on the lower plate, backs into the continent), with variable preservation potential for basins in each case. Substantial differences also occur between trench and forearc evolution in tectonically erosive versus tectonically accreting margins, both before and after collision. We examine the evolution of trenches, trench-slope basins, forearc basins, intra-arc basins, and backarc basins during arc-continent collision. The preservation potential of trench-slope basins is low; in collision they are rapidly uplifted and eroded, and at erosive margins they are progressively destroyed by subduction erosion. Post-collisional preservation of trench sediment and trench-slope basins is biased toward margins that were tectonically accreting for a substantial length of time before collision. Forearc basins in erosive margins are usually floored by strong lithosphere and may survive collision with a passive margin, sometimes continuing sedimentation throughout collision and orogeny. The low flexural rigidity of intra-arc basins makes them deep and, if preserved, potentially long records of arc and collisional tectonism. Backarc basins, in contrast, are typically subducted and their sediment either lost or preserved only as fragments in melange sequences. A substantial proportion of the sediment derived from

  14. 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

  15. Structure and petroleum potential of the Yakutat segment of the northern Gulf of Alaska continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Bruns, T.R.

    1983-01-01

    This report discusses the structure, geologic history, and petroleum potential of the Yakutat segment, the part of the continental margin between Cross Sound and Icy Bay, northern Gulf of Alaska. As part of a program of geological and geophysical investigations of the continental margin in the northern Gulf of Alaska, the US Geological Survey collected multichannel seismic reflection data along about 2000 km of tracklines in the study area during 1975, 1977, and 1978. In addition, dredge samples from the continental slope were acquired during the 1977, 1978, and 1979 field seasons. The first part of this paper presents an interpretation of the seismic reflection and refraction data, including structure contour maps, isopach maps, and interpreted seismic sections; the second part is a discussion of the implications for petroleum potential. The primary area of interest is the continental shelf and slope, but some data from strata at the base of the slope are also included.

  16. The Antarctic Slope Current near 30°E

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong, Jun; Speer, Kevin; Jullion, Loic

    2016-02-01

    The Antarctic Slope Current flows westward above the continental slope of Antarctica, entering the Weddell Sea near 30°E and supplying dense water to the deep overturning cell there, and contributing to global Antarctic Bottom Water formation. Observations from the 2008 I6S hydrographic section are used to investigate the strength of the Slope Current near 30°E. A prominent topographic feature, the Gunnerus Bank, diverts the Slope Current upstream of this longitude, and has a large effect on the current's structure, splitting it into a coastal and offshore component. The bank also enhances water mass mixing and lateral exchange across the slope. As part of the 2008 occupation, an additional line was made along the crest of the bank, forming a closed volume over the western side. By combining hydrographic and Lowered Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler measurements in this box using an inverse method, the Slope Current transport is estimated to be 9.6 ± 2.3 Sv; the transport associated with the Antarctic Slope Front is 4.0 ± 0.3 Sv, of which 1.8 ± 0.3 Sv enters the Weddell Gyre as recently formed dense water.

  17. Local slope stability analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hattendorf, I.; Hergarten, St.; Neugebauer, H. J.

    Mass movements under the influence of gravity occur as result of diverse disturbing and destabilizing processes, for example of climatic or anthropological origin. The stability of slopes is mainly determined by the geometry of the land-surface and designated slip-horizon. Further contributions are supplied by the pore water pressure, cohesion and friction. All relevant factors have to be integrated in a slope stability model, either by measurements and estimations (like phenomenological laws) or derived from physical equations. As result of stability calculations, it's suitable to introduce an expectation value, the factor-of-safety, for the slip-risk. Here, we present a model based on coupled physical equations to simulate hardly measurable phenomenons, like lateral forces and fluid flow. For the displacements of the soil-matrix we use a modified poroelasticity-equation with a Biot-coupling (Biot 1941) for the water pressure. Latter is described by a generalized Boussinesq equation for saturated-unsaturated porous media (Blendinger 1998). One aim of the calculations is to improve the knowledge about stability-distributions and their temporal variations. This requires the introduction of a local factor-of-safety which is the main difference to common stability models with global stability estimations. The reduction of immediate danger is still the emergent task of the most slope and landslide investigations, but this model is also useful with respect to understand the governing processes of landform evolution.

  18. Synchronous oceanic spreading and continental rifting in West Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davey, F. J.; Granot, R.; Cande, S. C.; Stock, J. M.; Selvans, M.; Ferraccioli, F.

    2016-06-01

    Magnetic anomalies associated with new ocean crust formation in the Adare Basin off north-western Ross Sea (43-26 Ma) can be traced directly into the Northern Basin that underlies the adjacent morphological continental shelf, implying a continuity in the emplacement of oceanic crust. Steep gravity gradients along the margins of the Northern Basin, particularly in the east, suggest that little extension and thinning of continental crust occurred before it ruptured and the new oceanic crust formed, unlike most other continental rifts and the Victoria Land Basin further south. A preexisting weak crust and localization of strain by strike-slip faulting are proposed as the factors allowing the rapid rupture of continental crust.

  19. Geologic development and characteristics of the continental margins, Gulf of Mexico. Research report, 1983-1986

    SciTech Connect

    Coleman, J.M.; Prior, D.B.; Roberts, H.H.

    1986-01-01

    The continental slope of the Gulf Basin covers more than 500,000 sq km and consists of smooth and gently sloping surfaces, prominent escarpments, knolls, intraslope basins, and submarine canyons and channels. It is an area of extremely diverse topographic and sedimentologic conditions. The slope extends from the shelf break, roughly at the 200 m isobath, to the upper limit of the continental rise, at a depth of 2800 m. The most-complex province in the basin, and the one of most interest to the petroleum industry, is the Texas-Louisiana slope, occupying 120,000 sq km and in which bottom slopes range from < 1 deg to > 20 deg around the knolls and basins. The near-surface geology and topography of the slope are functions of the interplay between episodes of rapid shelf-edge and slope progradation and contemporaneous modification of the depositional sequence by diapirism. Development of discrete depo-centers throughout the Neogene results in rapid shelf-edge progradation, often in excess of 15-20 km/my. This rapid progradation of the shelf edge leads to development of thick wedges of sediment accumulation on the continental slope. Oversteeping, high pore pressures in rapidly deposited soft sediments and changes in eustatic sea level cause subaqueous slope instabilities such as landsliding and debris flows. Large scale features such as shelf edge separation scars and landslide related canyons often results from such processes.

  20. Influence of submarine morphology on bottom water flow across the western Ross Sea continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Davey, F.J.; Jacobs, S.S.

    2007-01-01

    Multibeam sonar bathymetry documents a lack of significant channels crossing outer continental shelf and slope of the western Ross Sea. This indicates that movement of bottom water across the shelf break into the deep ocean in this area is mainly by laminar or sheet flow. Subtle, ~20 m deep and up to 1000 m wide channels extend down the continental slope, into tributary drainage patterns on the upper rise, and then major erosional submarine canyons. These down-slope channels may have been formed by episodic pulses of rapid down slope water flow, some recorded on bottom current meters, or by sub-ice melt water erosion from an icesheet grounded at the margin. Narrow, mostly linear furrows on the continental shelf thought to be caused by iceberg scouring are randomly oriented, have widths generally less than 400 m and depths less than 30m, and extend to water depths in excess of 600 m.

  1. On the Evolution of Glaciated Continental Margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sverre Laberg, Jan; Rydningen, Tom Arne; Safronova, Polina A.; Forwick, Matthias

    2016-04-01

    Glaciated continental margins, continental margins where a grounded ice sheet repeatedly has been at or near the shelf break, are found at both northern and southern high-latitudes. Their evolution are in several aspects different from their low-latitude counterparts where eustatic sea-level variations possess a fundamental control on their evolution and where fluvial systems provide the main sediment input. From studies of the Norwegian - Barents Sea - Svalbard and NE Greenland continental margins we propose the following factors as the main control on the evolution of glaciated continental margins: 1) Pre-glacial relief controlling the accommodation space, 2) Ice sheet glaciology including the location of fast-flowing ice streams where source area morphology exerts a fundamental control, 3) Composition of the glacigenic sediments where the clay content in previous studies have been found to be important, and 4) Sea-level controlled both by eustacy and isostacy. From three case studies, 1) the western Barents Sea, 2) part of the North Norwegian (Troms), and 3) the Mid-Norwegian margin, the influence on these factors for the sea-floor morphology, sedimentary processes of the continental slope - deep sea and continental margin architecture are discussed. The pre-glacial relief of the mid-Norwegian and Troms margins relates to the onset of rifting and plate break-up from the early Cenozoic while for the SW Barents Sea, plate shear was followed by rifting. A wide zone of extended continental crust occurs offshore mid-Norway while this zone is much narrower offshore Troms leading to a more pronounced pre-glacial relief. Regarding sediment delivery and ice sheet glaciology the western Barents Sea exemplifies very high sediment input corresponding to an estimated average erosion of the source area of ~0.4 mm/yr (SW Barents Sea), much of which is related to subglacial erosion of Mesozoic - Cenozoic sedimentary rocks from large paleo-ice streams. The mid-Norwegian margin

  2. Tiltmeter Indicates Sense of Slope

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lonborg, J. O.

    1985-01-01

    Tiltmeter indicates sense and magnitude of slope used in locations where incline not visible to operator. Use of direct rather than alternating current greatly simplifies design of instrument capable of indicating sense of slope.

  3. Geomorphic characterization of the U.S. Atlantic continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

    The increasing volume of multibeam bathymetry data collected along continental margins is providing new opportunities to study the feedbacks between sedimentary and oceanographic processes and seafloor morphology. Attempts to develop simple guidelines that describe the relationships between form and process often overlook the importance of inherited physiography in slope depositional systems. Here, we use multibeam bathymetry data and seismic reflection profiles spanning the U.S. Atlantic outer continental shelf, slope and rise from Cape Hatteras to New England to quantify the broad-scale, across-margin morphological variation. Morphometric analyses suggest the margin can be divided into four basic categories that roughly align with Quaternary sedimentary provinces. Within each category, Quaternary sedimentary processes exerted heavy modification of submarine canyons, landslide complexes and the broad-scale morphology of the continental rise, but they appear to have preserved much of the pre-Quaternary, across-margin shape of the continental slope. Without detailed constraints on the substrate structure, first-order morphological categorization the U.S. Atlantic margin does not provide a reliable framework for predicting relationships between form and process.

  4. 30 CFR 282.6 - Disclosure of data and information to an adjacent State.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Disclosure of data and information to an adjacent State. 282.6 Section 282.6 Mineral Resources MINERALS MANAGEMENT SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR OFFSHORE OPERATIONS IN THE OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF FOR MINERALS OTHER THAN OIL, GAS, AND...

  5. Raising the continental crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, Ian H.; Davies, D. Rhodri

    2017-02-01

    The changes that occur at the boundary between the Archean and Proterozoic eons are arguably the most fundamental to affect the evolution of Earth's continental crust. The principal component of Archean continental crust is Granite-Greenstone Terranes (GGTs), with granites always dominant. The greenstones consist of a lower sequence of submarine komatiites and basalts, which erupted onto a pre-existing Tonalite-Trondhjemite-Granodiorite (TTG) crust. These basaltic rocks pass upwards initially into evolved volcanic rocks, such as andesites and dacites and, subsequently, into reworked felsic pyroclastic material and immature sediments. This transition coincides with widespread emplacement of granitoids, which stabilised (cratonised) the continental crust. Proterozoic supra-crustal rocks, on the other hand, are dominated by extensive flat-lying platform sequences of mature sediments, which were deposited on stable cratonic basements, with basaltic rocks appreciably less abundant. The siliceous TTGs cannot be produced by direct melting of the mantle, with most hypotheses for their origin requiring them to be underlain by a complimentary dense amphibole-garnet-pyroxenite root, which we suggest acted as ballast to the early continents. Ubiquitous continental pillow basalts in Archean lower greenstone sequences require the early continental crust to have been sub-marine, whereas the appearance of abundant clastic sediments, at higher stratigraphic levels, shows that it had emerged above sea level by the time of sedimentation. We hypothesise that the production of komatiites and associated basalts, the rise of the continental crust, widespread melting of the continental crust, the onset of sedimentation and subsequent cratonisation form a continuum that is the direct result of removal of the continent's dense amphibole-garnet-pyroxenite roots, triggered at a regional scale by the arrival of a mantle plume at the base of the lithosphere. Our idealised calculations suggest

  6. Beach slopes of Massachusetts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Doran, Kara S.; Long, Joesph W.; Birchler, Justin J.; Weber, Kathryn M.

    2016-01-01

    The National Assessment of Coastal Change Hazards project derives features of beach morphology from lidar elevation data for the purpose of understanding and predicting storm impacts to our nation's coastlines. This dataset defines mean beach slopes along the United States Northeast Atlantic Ocean for Massachusetts for data collected at various times between 2000 and 2013. For further information regarding data collection and/or processing methods refer to USGS Open-File Report 2015–1053 (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2015/1053/).

  7. Influence of the Atlantic inflow and Mediterranean outflow currents on late Quaternary sedimentary facies of the Gulf of Cadiz continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nelson, C.H.; Baraza, J.; Maldonado, A.; Rodero, J.; Escutia, C.; Barber, J.H.

    1999-01-01

    The late Quaternary pattern of sedimentary facies on the Spanish Gulf of Cadiz continental shelf results from an interaction between a number of controlling factors that are dominated by the Atlantic inflow currents flowing southeastward across the Cadiz shelf toward the Strait of Gibraltar. An inner shelf shoreface sand facies formed by shoaling waves is modified by the inflow currents to form a belt of sand dunes at 10-20 m that extends deeper and obliquely down paleo-valleys as a result of southward down-valley flow. A mid-shelf Holocene mud facies progrades offshore from river mouth sources, but Atlantic inflow currents cause extensive progradation along shelf toward the southeast. Increased inflow current speeds near the Strait of Gibraltar and the strong Mediterranean outflow currents there result in lack of mud deposition and development of a reworked transgressive sand dune facies across the entire southernmost shelf. At the outer shelf edge and underlying the mid-shelf mud and inner shelf sand facies is a late Pleistocene to Holocene transgressive sand sheet formed by the eustatic shoreline advance. The late Quaternary pattern of contourite deposits on the Spanish Gulf of Cadiz continental slope results from an interaction between linear diapiric ridges that are oblique to slope contours and the Mediterranean outflow current flowing northwestward parallel to the slope contours and down valleys between the ridges. Coincident with the northwestward decrease in outflow current speeds from the Strait there is the following northwestward gradation of contourite sediment facies: (1) upper slope sand to silt bed facies, (2) sand dune facies on the upstream mid-slope terrace, (3) large mud wave facies on the lower slope, (4) sediment drift facies banked against the diapiric ridges, and (5) valley facies between the ridges. The southeastern sediment drift facies closest to Gibraltar contains medium-fine sand beds interbedded with mud. The adjacent valley floor

  8. Deep structure and structural inversion along the central California continental margin from EDGE seismic profile RU-3

    SciTech Connect

    McIntosh, K.D.; Reed, D.L.; Silver, E.A. ); Meltzer, A.S. )

    1991-04-10

    Deep-penetration seismic reflection profile RU-3 reveals a subducted oceanic plate, a modified accretionary prism, and complex structures of the overlying sedimentary basins. This structural framework was established by subduction processes during Paleogene and earlier time and subsequently was modified by Neogene transform motion combined with apparent components of extension and compression. Subducted rocks are indicated by deep, gently dipping reflectors that extend beneath the continental margin for at least 38 km at a depth of about 15 km. The authors interpret the subducted crust as either a part of the Pacific plate or, more likely, a subducted fragment derived from the Farallon plate. A set of more steeply dipping, deep events may indicate faulting within the subducted plate or its boundary with a no-slab zone. The overlying, largely nonreflective layer of accreted material rapidly reaches 10 km in thickness landward of the paleotrench and increases to 15 km in thickness near the coast. The Santa Lucia Basin, landward of the steep continental slope, originated as a slope basin during Paleogene subduction. The lower strata of this basin were deposited onto and partially incorporated into the accretionary complex. The offshore Santa Maria Basin exhibits a variety of compressional structures that formed in the last 3.5 m.y. and whose locations correspond to an earlier framework of extensional faults. Structural inversion has occurred in Miocene depocenters adjacent to the Santa Lucia Bank fault and at the Queenie structure. Miocene and lower Pliocene strata also thicken toward the Hosgri fault zone where subsequent compression is characterized by low-angle thrusts and folding.

  9. Late Cenozoic evolution of the East China continental margin: Insights from seismic, gravity, and magnetic analyses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shang, Lu-Ning; Zhang, Xun-Hua; Jia, Yong-Gang; Han, Bo; Yang, Chuan-Sheng; Geng, Wei; Pang, Yu-Mao

    2017-02-01

    Seismic reflection profiles reveal the structural characteristics beneath the East China Sea shelf margin and the Okinawa Trough, and provide new constraints on the Late Cenozoic evolution of the East China continental margin. The Frontal Shelf Basin between the Taiwan-Sinzi Uplift and the trough axis occupies the western half of the Northern-Middle Okinawa Trough. In this basin, the Middle-Late Miocene sediments are confined to grabens or half-grabens dominated by listric faults, whereas the overlying Pliocene-Quaternary sequence is characterized by a uniform thickness and dense planar-type faults, suggesting that rifting of the Northern-Middle Okinawa Trough initiated during the Middle Miocene but slowed down during the earliest Pliocene. Since that time, the opening of the Okinawa Trough has been dominated by diffuse rifting. The Southern Okinawa Trough is predominately filled by Quaternary sediments, indicating that its back-arc rifting began during the earliest Pleistocene. Contractional structures identified in the pre-Quaternary sequence beneath the continental slope, along with an erosional Pleistocene-pre-Pleistocene unconformity in the Southern Okinawa Trough, demonstrate the existence of pre-rifting compression and uplifting in this region. We use this evidence and previously published results, to propose an evolutionary model of the East China continental margin during the Late Cenozoic. The Northern-Middle Okinawa Trough began rifting during the Middle Miocene on a paleo-uplift. The Luzon Arc initially impinged upon the Eurasian continental margin during the Late Miocene near the southeastern end of the Miyako Fault Belt and activated the proto-Taiwan Orogeny in today's Southern Okinawa Trough and adjacent regions. During the Late Miocene-Pliocene, the orogeny quickly propagated southwestward along with the west-northwest-moving Philippine Sea Plate. Subsequently, the rifting of the Southern Okinawa Trough was initiated during the earliest Pleistocene

  10. Sediments, structural framework, petroleum potential, environmental conditions, and operational considerations of the United States South Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    1975-01-01

    The area designated for possible oil and gas lease sale in Bureau of Land Management memorandum 3310 #43 (722) and referred to therein as part of the United States South Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) contains about 98,000 square kilometres of the continental margin seaward of the 3 mile offshore limit and within the 600 metre isobath. The designated area, offshore of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, encompasses parts of three physiographic provinces: the Continental Shelf, the Florida-Hatteras Slope, and the Blake Plateau. The structural framework of the U.3. South Atlantic region is dominated by the Southeast Georgia Embayment --an east-plunging depression recessed into the Atlantic Coastal Plain and shelf between Cape Fear, North Carolina and Jacksonville, Florida. The embayment is bounded to the north by the Cape Fear Arch and to southeast by the Peninsular Arch. Refraction data indicate a minor basement(?) ridge beneath the outer shelf between 30? and 32?N at 80?W. Drill hole data also suggest a gentle fold or accretionary structure (reef?) off the east coast of Florida. Several other structural features have been identified by refraction and reflection techniques and drilling. These are the Yamacraw Uplift, Burton High, Stone Arch, and the Suwannee Channel. Gravity and magnetic anomalies within the area probably result from emplacement of magma bodies along linear features representing fundamental crustal boundaries. Of these anomalies, the most prominent, is a segment of the East Coast Magnetic Anomaly which crosses the coast at Brunswick, Georgia. This anomaly has been interpreted as representing an ancient continental boundary where two formerly separate continental plates collided and were welded together. There may be as much as 5,000 m of sedimentary rocks in the Southeast Georgia Embayment out to the 600 m isobath. Basement rocks beneath the Southeast Georgia Embayment are expected to be similar to those exposed in the

  11. Wind-driven export of Weddell Sea slope water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meijers, A. J. S.; Meredith, M. P.; Abrahamsen, E. P.; Morales Maqueda, M. A.; Jones, D. C.; Naveira Garabato, A. C.

    2016-10-01

    The export of waters from the Weddell Gyre to lower latitudes is an integral component of the southern subpolar contribution to the three-dimensional oceanic circulation. Here we use more than 20 years of repeat hydrographic data on the continental slope on the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula and 5 years of bottom lander data on the slope at 1000 m to show the intermittent presence of a relatively cold, fresh, westward flowing current. This is often bottom-intensified between 600 and 2000 dbar with velocities of over 20 cm s-1, transporting an average of 1.5 ± 1.5 Sv. By comparison with hydrography on the continental slope within the Weddell Sea and modeled tracer release experiments we show that this slope current is an extension of the Antarctic Slope Current that has crossed the South Scotia Ridge west of Orkney Plateau. On monthly to interannual time scales the density of the slope current is negatively correlated (r > 0.6 with a significance of over 95%) with eastward wind stress over the northern Weddell Sea, but lagging it by 6-13 months. This relationship holds in both the high temporal resolution bottom lander time series and the 20+ year annual hydrographic occupations and agrees with Weddell Sea export variability observed further east. We compare several alternative hypotheses for this wind stress/export relationship and find that it is most consistent with wind-driven acceleration of the gyre boundary current, possibly modulated by eddy dynamics, and represents a mechanism by which climatic perturbations can be rapidly transmitted as fluctuations in the supply of intermediate-level waters to lower latitudes.

  12. 77 FR 7148 - Notice of Approval of Clean Air Act Outer Continental Shelf Permits Issued to Shell Gulf of...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-02-10

    ... AGENCY Notice of Approval of Clean Air Act Outer Continental Shelf Permits Issued to Shell Gulf of Mexico... Region 10 has issued two final permit decisions granting Clean Air Act Outer Continental Shelf (OCS... entities: (1) The Inupiat Community of the Arctic Slope (ICAS); \\1\\ (2) The Native Village of Point...

  13. Frosty Polar Slope

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    11 August 2004 Acquired just last week on 3 August 2004, this Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) image shows a dark, layered scarp in the martian north polar region. All of the light-toned surfaces in this image are covered by frost left over from the previous winter. On the scarp, about half of the surfaces once covered by frost are now exposed (as the frost has sublimed away), leaving a large number of bright patches. These patches of frost enhance the appearance of layering on the slopes. This image is located near 81.8oN, 84.4oW. The image covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) wide, and is illuminated by sunlight from the lower left.

  14. Gullied Slopes on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martel, L. M. V.

    2003-08-01

    There are a lot of gullies on certain Martian slopes and just about as many ideas of how they formed. The proposed origins of gullies include seepage of groundwater or brines, outbursts of carbon dioxide, snowmelt, geothermal activity, or dry flows of windblown dust and silt. Research teams have been publishing their hypotheses since the gullies were first announced in 2000, and the discussions are still lively. For example, a quick search of the terms "Martian or Mars or gullies or seepage" on the NASA Astrophysics Data System delivered nearly 20 references to papers or abstracts published just in the past eight months. Gullies are such a hot topic, some researchers would argue, because they could indicate sources of liquid water at shallow depths. PSRD provides a rundown of the leading hypotheses to explain how Martian gullies form and how researchers use chemical data from Martian meteorites and knowledge of the Earth to support their points of view.

  15. The Continental Crust.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burchfiel, B. Clark

    1983-01-01

    Continental crust underlies the continents, their margins, and also small shallow regions in oceans. The nature of the crust (much older than oceanic crust) and its dynamics are discussed. Research related to and effects of tectonics, volcanism, erosion, and sedimentation on the crust are considered. (JN)

  16. Convective Removal of Continental Margin Lithosphere at the Edges of Subducting Oceanic Plates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levander, A.; Bezada, M. J.; Palomeras, I.; Masy, J.; Humphreys, E.; Niu, F.

    2013-12-01

    Although oceanic lithosphere is continuously recycled to the deeper mantle by subduction, the rates and manner in which different types of continental lithospheric mantle are recycled is unclear. Cratonic mantle can be chemically reworked and essentially decratonized, although the frequency of decratonization is unclear. Lithospheric mantle under or adjacent to orogenic belts can be lost to the deeper mantle by convective downwellings and delamination phenomena. Here we describe how subduction related processes at the edges of oceanic plates adjacent to passive continental margins removes the mantle lithosphere from beneath the margin and from the continental interior. This appears to be a widespread means of recycling non-cratonic continental mantle. Lithospheric removal requires the edge of a subducting oceanic plate to be at a relatively high angle to an adjacent passive continental margin. From Rayleigh wave and body wave tomography, and receiver function images from the BOLIVAR and PICASSO experiments, we infer large-scale removal of continental margin lithospheric mantle from beneath 1) the northern South American plate margin due to Atlantic subduction, and 2) the Iberian and North African margins due to Alboran plate subduction. In both cases lithospheric mantle appears to have been removed several hundred kilometers inland from the subduction zones. This type of ';plate-edge' tectonics either accompanies or pre-conditions continental margins for orogenic activity by thinning and weakening the lithosphere. These processes show the importance of relatively small convective structures, i.e. small subducting plates, in formation of orogenic belts.

  17. The Mid Pleistocene Climate Transition Recorded in a Hemipelagic Sediment Drift (ODP Leg 194): Implications for the Understanding of Continental Margin Sediment Sources and Sinks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Obrochta, S. P.; Hine, A. C.; Flower, B. P.; Locker, S. D.; Brooks, G. R.

    2002-12-01

    The Marion Plateau (NE Australia margin) provides an ideal setting to study continental margin paleoceanographic history. It is not significantly current scoured and is located at upper continental slope depths, freeing it from the influence of large sediment gravity flows. Atop the plateau, a hemipelagic sediment drift is perched and was drilled on Ocean Drilling Program Leg 194 (site 1198). The lithologic record and other shipboard-acquired data sets (physical properties, downhole logging), as well as the site-survey seismic data all suggest that cyclicity dominates this sedimentary section, which encompasses the Mid Pleistocene climate transition (0.9 to 0.92 Ma). This period contains the transition from a 41 k.y. cycle (ice volume and temperature) to 100 k.y. (ice volume and temperature) cycle dominated world. Preliminary results indicate that the basic stratigraphic units of this drift record terrestrial climate, continental margin, and pelagic processes. Mass accumulation rates of the siliciclastic, neritic carbonate, and pelagic carbonate components represent orbitally-forced cycles that form a predictable sedimentary architecture, and grain size variations are a proxy for fluctuations in bottom current strength. The terrigenous flux varies as a function of both aridity/humidity variation on the adjacent continent and sea-level fluctuations, while the carbonate flux varies as a function of paleoproductivity of the overlying water column plus lateral input from the developing Great Barrier Reef. Examination of the changing sedimentary architecture of this drift during the Mid Pleistocene climate transition will further the understanding of sedimentary sources and sinks along continental margins, including their sensitivity to sea level, climate, and circulation changes.

  18. Potential tsunamigenic hazard associated to submarine mass movement along the Ionian continental margin (Mediterranean Sea).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ceramicola, S.; Tinti, S.; Praeg, D.; Zaniboni, F.; Planinsek, P.

    2012-04-01

    Submarine mass movements are natural geomorphic processes that transport marine sediment down continental slopes into deep-marine environments. Type of mass wasting include creep, slides, slump, debris flows, each with its own features and taking place over timescale from seconds to years. Submarine landslides can be triggered by a number of different causes, either internal (such as changes in physical chemical sediment properties) or external (e.g. earthquakes, volcanic activity, salt movements, sea level changes etc.). Landslides may mobilize sediments in such a way as to form an impulsive vertical displacement of a body of water, originating a wave or series of waves with long wavelengths and long periods called tsunamis ('harbor waves'). Over 600 km of continental margin has been investigated by OGS in the Ionian sea using geophysical data - morpho-bathymetry (Reson 8111, 8150) and sub-bottom profiles (7-10 KHz) - collected aboard the research vessel OGS Explora in the framework of the MAGIC Project (Marine Geohazard along the Italian Coasts), funded by the Italian Civil Protection. The objective of this project is the definition of elements that may constitute geological risk for coastal areas. Geophysical data allowed the recognition of four main types of mass wasting phenomena along the slopes of the ICM: 1) mass transport complexes (MTCs) within intra-slope basins. Seabed imagery show the slopes of all the seabed ridges to be marked by headwall scarps recording widespread failure, multiple debris flows in several basins indicate one or more past episodes of failure that may be linked to activity on the faults bounding the structural highs. 2) submarine landslide - a multiple failure event have been identified (Assi landslide) at about 6 km away from the coastline nearby Riace Marina. Headwall scars up to 50 m high across water depths of 700 to 1400 m, while sub-bottom profiles indicate stacked slide deposits at and near seabed. 4) canyon headwalls - in the

  19. Cruise report; RV Coastal Surveyor Cruise C1-99; multibeam mapping of the Long Beach, California continental shelf; April 12 through May 19, 1999

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gardner, James V.; Hughes-Clarke, John E.; Mayer, Larry A.

    1999-01-01

    The greater Los Angeles area of California is home to more than 10 million people. This large population puts increased pressure on the adjacent offshore continental shelf and margin with activities such as ocean disposal for dredged spoils, explosive disposal, waste-water outfall, and commercial fishing. The increased utilization of the shelf and margin in this area has generated accelerated multi-disciplinary research efforts in all aspects of the environment of the coastal zone. Prior to 1996 there were no highly accurate base maps of the continental shelf and slope upon which the research activities could be located and monitored. In 1996, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Pacific Seafloor Mapping Project began to address this problem by mapping the Santa Monica shelf and margin (Fig. 1) using a state-of-the-art, high-resolution multibeam sonar system (Gardner, et al., 1996; 1999). Additional seafloor mapping in 1998 provided coverage of the continental margin from south of Newport to the proximal San Pedro Basin northwest of Palos Verdes Peninsula (Gardner, et al., 1998) (Fig. 1). The mapping of the seafloor in the greater Los Angeles continental shelf and margin was completed with a 30-day mapping of the Long Beach shelf in April and May 1999, the subject of this report. The objective of Cruise C-1-99-SC was to completely map the broad continental shelf from the eastern end of the Palos Verdes Peninsula to the narrow shelf south of Newport Beach, from the break in slope at about 120-m isobath to the inner shelf at about the 10-m isobath. Mapping the Long Beach shelf was jointly funded by the U.S. Geological Survey and the County of Orange (CA) Sanitation District and was conducted under a Cooperative Agreement with the Ocean Mapping Group from the University of New Brunswick (OMG/UNB). The OMG/UNB contracted with C&C Technologies, Inc. of Lafayette, LA for use of the RV Coastal Surveyor and the latest evolution of high-resolution multibeam sonars, a

  20. Early Continental Rifting of the South China Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, C.; Chiu, M.; Chan, C.

    2010-12-01

    Combined two years (2007 and 2008) of OBS and MCS studies in the northern slope of the South China Sea, we suggest that the early rifting, probably during 60 - 30 mabp, is an asymmetrical Atlantic-type continental rifting. The crust thin out from 35-40 km of possible continental crust to about 10-15 km of typical oceanic crust. Along the continent-ocean boundary, we observe an intrusion of the high P-wave velocity (about 7.5-8.0 km/sec). This is possible of mantle exhumation as comparable to other Atlantic-type continental margins. The OBS result is revealed by the gravity data. Along the upper layers of the continental crust as well as the oceanic crust, the MCS and multi-beam bathymetry data show that they are covered by numerous submarine seamounts. This probably relate to a volcanic origin of the Cenozoic sea-floor spreading during 30-15 mabp as mapped by previous magnetic anomalies in this region. The sea-floor spreading spread apart in the central, NW and SW sub-basins with several different episodes. Lack of the deep crustal data in the southern slope of the South China Sea, particularly around the Sprately area, the interpretation is speculative. However, several very large-size atolls (150 - 200 km in diameter), such as the Chen-Ho, Shun-Zu, Chung-Yeh and Chiu-Cheng fringing reefs, are sub-parallel located along the south margins. We interpret that these are the upper portions of the continental rifting. Combined the two tectonic stories in the northern and southern slope of the South China Sea, we believe that it is in consistent with the complicate nature of the South China Sea crust.

  1. The gravity field of the U.S. Atlantic continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grow, A.J.; Bowin, C.O.; Hutchinson, D.O.

    1979-01-01

    Approximately 39,000 km of marine gravity data collected during 1975 and 1976 have been integrated with U.S. Navy and other available data over the U.S. Atlantic continental margin between Florida and Maine to obtain a 10 mgal contour free-air gravity anomaly map. A maximum typically ranging from 0 to +70 mgal occurs along the edge of the shelf and Blake Plateau, while a minimum typically ranging from -20 to -80 mgal occurs along the base of the continental slope, except for a -140 mgal minimum at the base of the Blake Escarpment. Although the maximum and minimum free-air gravity values are strongly influenced by continental slope topography and by the abrupt change in crustal thickness across the margin, the peaks and troughs in the anomalies terminate abruptly at discrete transverse zones along the margin. These zones appear to mark major NW-SE fractures in the subsided continental margin and adjacent deep ocean basin, which separate the margin into a series of segmented basins and platforms. Rapid differential subsidence of crustal blocks on either side of these fractures during the early stages after separation of North America and Africa (Jurassic and Early Cretaceous) is inferred to be the cause of most of the gravity transitions along the length of margin. The major transverse zones are southeast of Charleston, east of Cape Hatteras, near Norfolk Canyon, off Delaware Bay, just south of Hudson Canyon and south of Cape Cod. Local Airy isostatic anomaly profiles (two-dimensional, without sediment corrections) were computed along eight multichannel seismic profiles. The isostatic anomaly values over major basins beneath the shelf and rise are generally between -10 and -30 mgal while those over the platform areas are typically 0 to +20 mgal. While a few isostatic anomaly profiles show local 10-20 mgal increases seaward of the East Coast Magnetic Anomaly (ECMA: inferred to mark the ocean-continent boundary), the lack of a consistent correlation indicates that the

  2. Brazilian continental cretaceous

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petri, Setembrino; Campanha, Vilma A.

    1981-04-01

    Cretaceous deposits in Brazil are very well developed, chiefly in continental facies and in thick sequences. Sedimentation occurred essentially in rift-valleys inland and along the coast. Three different sequences can be distinguished: (1) a lower clastic non-marine section, (2) a middle evaporitic section, (3) an upper marine section with non-marine regressive lithosomes. Continental deposits have been laid down chiefly between the latest Jurassic and Albian. The lower lithostratigraphic unit is represented by red shales with occasional evaporites and fresh-water limestones, dated by ostracods. A series of thick sandstone lithosomes accumulated in the inland rift-valleys. In the coastal basins these sequences are often incompletely preserved. Uplift in the beginning of the Aptian produced a widespread unconformity. In many of the inland rift-valleys sedimentation ceased at that time. A later transgression penetrated far into northeastern Brazil, but shortly after continental sedimentation continued, with the deposition of fluvial sandstones which once covered large areas of the country and which have been preserved in many places. The continental Cretaceous sediments have been laid down in fluvial and lacustrine environments, under warm climatic conditions which were dry from time to time. The fossil record is fairly rich, including besides plants and invertebrates, also reptiles and fishes. As faulting tectonism was rather strong, chiefly during the beginning of the Cretaceous, intercalations of igneous rocks are frequent in some places. Irregular uplift and erosion caused sediments belonging to the remainder of this period to be preserved only in tectonic basins scattered across the country.

  3. Nonlocal impacts of the Loop Current on cross-slope near-bottom flow in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, Thanh-Tam; Morey, Steven L.; Dukhovskoy, Dmitry S.; Chassignet, Eric P.

    2015-04-01

    Cross-slope near-bottom motions near De Soto Canyon in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico are analyzed from a multidecadal ocean model simulation to characterize upwelling and downwelling, important mechanisms for exchange between the deep ocean and shelf in the vicinity of the 2010 BP Macondo well oil spill. Across the continental slope, large-scale depression and offshore movement of isopycnals (downwelling) occur more frequently when the Loop Current impinges upon the West Florida Shelf slope farther south. Upwelling and onshore movement of isopycnals occurs with roughly the same likelihood regardless of Loop Current impingement on the slope. The remote influence of Loop Current on the De Soto Canyon region downwelling is a consequence of a high-pressure anomaly that extends along the continental slope emanating from the location of Loop Current impact.

  4. Interplay between down-slope and along-slope sedimentary processes during the late Quaternary along the Capo Vaticano margin (southern Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martorelli, Eleonora; Bosman, Alessandro; Casalbore, Daniele; Falcini, Federico

    2016-04-01

    Late Quaternary along-slope and down-slope sedimentary processes and structures in the upper slope-shelf sector of the Calabro-Tyrrhenian continental margin off Capo Vaticano have been investigated using very high-resolution single-channel seismic profiles and multibeam bathymetric data. The results show that a competition among along-slope bottom currents-vs down-slope mass-wasting mostly contributed in shaping the seafloor and controlling deposition of sedimentary units during the Late Quaternary. Along-slope processes mostly formed elongated drifts located on the upper continental slope and outer shelf, between -90 and -300 m. The contourite deposits and associated erosive elements indicate the presence of a northwestward geostrophic flow that can be related to the modified-LIW issued by the Messina Strait. According to the proposed stratigraphic reconstruction it is likely that the activity of bottom-currents off Capo Vaticano was intensified around the LGM period and during the post-glacial sea-level rise, whereas they were less intense during the Holocene. Gravity-driven down-slope processes formed mass-transport deposits and turbidite systems with erosive channels, locally indenting the present-day shelf. Several slide events affected the upper 10-20 m of the stratigraphic record, dismantling considerable volume of contourite sediment. High-resolution seismic profiles indicate that failure processes appear to be dominated by translational sliding with glide plains mainly developed within contourite deposits. The most striking feature is the Capo Vaticano slide complex, which displays a large spatial coverage (area of about 18 km2) and is composed by several intersecting slide scars and overlapping deposits; these characteristics are peculiar for the Tyrrhenian continental margins, where slide events developed in open-slope areas are usually less complex and smaller in size. The presence of high-amplitude reflectors within contourite deposits (representing

  5. Direct observations of the Antarctic Slope Current transport at 113°E

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peña-Molino, B.; McCartney, M. S.; Rintoul, S. R.

    2016-10-01

    The Antarctic Slope Current (ASC), defined here as the region of westward flow along the continental slope off Antarctica, forms the southern limb of the subpolar gyres. It regulates the exchange of water across the shelf break and provides a path for interbasin westward transport. Despite its significance, the ASC remains largely unobserved around most of the Antarctic continent. Here we present direct velocity observations from a 17 month current meter moored array deployed across the continental slope between the 1000 and the 4200 m isobaths, in the southeastern Indian Ocean near 113°E. The observed time-mean flow consists of a surface-intensified jet associated with the Antarctic Slope Front (ASF) and a broader bottom-intensified westward flow that extends out to approximately the 4000 m isobath and is strongest along the upper slope. The time-mean transport of the ASC is -29.2 Sv. Fluctuations in the transport are large, typically exceeding the mean by a factor of 2. They are mainly due to changes in the northward extent of the current over the lower slope. However, seasonal changes in the wind also drive variations in the transport of the ASF and the flow in the upper slope. Both mean and variability are largely barotropic, thus invisible to traditional geostrophic methods.

  6. 46 CFR 148.445 - Adjacent spaces.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 5 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Adjacent spaces. 148.445 Section 148.445 Shipping COAST... THAT REQUIRE SPECIAL HANDLING Additional Special Requirements § 148.445 Adjacent spaces. When... following requirements must be met: (a) Each space adjacent to a cargo hold must be ventilated by...

  7. 46 CFR 148.445 - Adjacent spaces.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 5 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Adjacent spaces. 148.445 Section 148.445 Shipping COAST... THAT REQUIRE SPECIAL HANDLING Additional Special Requirements § 148.445 Adjacent spaces. When... following requirements must be met: (a) Each space adjacent to a cargo hold must be ventilated by...

  8. 46 CFR 148.445 - Adjacent spaces.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 5 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Adjacent spaces. 148.445 Section 148.445 Shipping COAST... THAT REQUIRE SPECIAL HANDLING Additional Special Requirements § 148.445 Adjacent spaces. When... following requirements must be met: (a) Each space adjacent to a cargo hold must be ventilated by...

  9. 46 CFR 148.445 - Adjacent spaces.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 5 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Adjacent spaces. 148.445 Section 148.445 Shipping COAST... THAT REQUIRE SPECIAL HANDLING Additional Special Requirements § 148.445 Adjacent spaces. When... following requirements must be met: (a) Each space adjacent to a cargo hold must be ventilated by...

  10. Understanding Continental Margin Biodiversity: A New Imperative

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levin, Lisa A.; Sibuet, Myriam

    2012-01-01

    Until recently, the deep continental margins (200-4,000 m) were perceived as monotonous mud slopes of limited ecological or environmental concern. Progress in seafloor mapping and direct observation now reveals unexpected heterogeneity, with a mosaic of habitats and ecosystems linked to geomorphological, geochemical, and hydrographic features that influence biotic diversity. Interactions among water masses, terrestrial inputs, sediment diagenesis, and tectonic activity create a multitude of ecological settings supporting distinct communities that populate canyons and seamounts, high-stress oxygen minimum zones, and methane seeps, as well as vast reefs of cold corals and sponges. This high regional biodiversity is fundamental to the production of valuable fisheries, energy, and mineral resources, and performs critical ecological services (nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, nursery and habitat support). It is under significant threat from climate change and human resource extraction activities. Serious actions are required to preserve the functions and services provided by the deep-sea settings we are just now getting to know.

  11. Understanding continental margin biodiversity: a new imperative.

    PubMed

    Levin, Lisa A; Sibuet, Myriam

    2012-01-01

    Until recently, the deep continental margins (200-4,000 m) were perceived as monotonous mud slopes of limited ecological or environmental concern. Progress in seafloor mapping and direct observation now reveals unexpected heterogeneity, with a mosaic of habitats and ecosystems linked to geomorphological, geochemical, and hydrographic features that influence biotic diversity. Interactions among water masses, terrestrial inputs, sediment diagenesis, and tectonic activity create a multitude of ecological settings supporting distinct communities that populate canyons and seamounts, high-stress oxygen minimum zones, and methane seeps, as well as vast reefs of cold corals and sponges. This high regional biodiversity is fundamental to the production of valuable fisheries, energy, and mineral resources, and performs critical ecological services (nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, nursery and habitat support). It is under significant threat from climate change and human resource extraction activities. Serious actions are required to preserve the functions and services provided by the deep-sea settings we are just now getting to know.

  12. Convergent tectonics and coastal upwelling: a history of the Peru continental margin ( Pacific).

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Von Huene, R.; Suess, E.; Emeis, K.C.

    1987-01-01

    Late in 1986, scientists on the ODP drillship JOIDES Resolution confirmed that the upper slope of the Peruvian margin consists of continental crust whereas the lower slope comprises an accretionary complex. An intricate history of horizontal and vertical movements can be detected, and the locations of ancient centers of upwelling appear to have varied, partly due to tectonic movements of the margin. In this review of Leg 112, the 3 scientific leaders on this cruise discuss their results. -from Journal Editor

  13. Slope Stability Analysis Using GIS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bouajaj, Ahmed; Bahi, Lahcen; Ouadif, Latifa; Awa, Mohamed

    2016-10-01

    An analysis of slope stability using Geographic Information System (GIS) is presented in this paper. The methodology is based on the calculation of the safety factor in 2D and 3D using ArcGis. Hovland's Method in 3D and 2D were used in the stability analysis of the slope located at the 34 kilometer point (K.P.34) on the highway in the North of Morocco connecting Tangier to Ksar Sghir. Results shows that the safety factors obtained in 3D are always higher than those obtained in 2D and the slope becomes unstable when the water table level is less than 1 m.

  14. Evolution of Submarine Gullies on a Prograding Slope: Insights from 3D Seismic Reflection Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shumaker, L.; Jobe, Z. R.

    2014-12-01

    Submarine gullies are common features on continental slopes on both passive and active margins, but the processes dictating gully formation and the role of gullies in deep-water sediment transport are topics of debate. The geometries of gullies can provide clues to understanding the processes by which they initiate and grow, particularly when considered in the context of surrounding submarine geomorphology. Further confidence in these interpretations can be gained by tracking the temporal history of gullies with evolution of the continental margin. The 500 km2 Tui 3D seismic survey from the Taranaki Basin, New Zealand, shows continental slope gullies and other channel features in a ~1 km-thick package of prograding shelf-slope clinoforms that developed over Pliocene-Pleistocene time. This dataset allows for documentation of gullies over ~3 Ma, through numerous cycles of initiation and burial. For this study, we manually interpreted clinoform packages to generate 'paleo-seafloor' surfaces that provide context such as position of the shelf edge, slope gradient and azimuth, and relative progradation and aggradation magnitudes. Gully geometries were obtained from detailed seismic interpretation guided by semblance and RMS amplitude imaging on these surfaces. Gullies are low sinuosity, with widths ranging from ~50-150 m and depths from a few tens to <100 m. Gullies are observed to grow in width and relief downslope without evidence for aggradational confinement (levees), and in some cases form gully 'complexes' hundreds of m wide in the lower slope region. These complexes are present through >150 m of stratigraphy, indicating that they are long-lived features on the slope. This further indicates that the frequency of flows along the gullies was enough to maintain their topographic expression during slope progradation and aggradation, and suggests that gullies play an integral role in transport processes on the slope.

  15. Coordination: southeast continental shelf studies. Progress report

    SciTech Connect

    Menzel, D.W.

    1980-03-01

    The GABEX I experiment is designed to provide synoptic coverage of a series of Gulf Stream wave-like disturbances, the effect of these on the circulation of the entire shelf, and on biological and chemical processes. This study was initiated in February 1980 when current meter arrays were deployed. These meters will be removed in July 1980. In April three ships will simultaneously study the effects of Gulf Stream disturbances on the hydrography, chemistry, and biology of the shelf. One vessel will track a specific wave-like disturbance and provide synoptic coverage of the shelf area. The second vessel will determine the effect of shelf break processes on adjacent shelf water; and the third will study trace metal distributions in and outside of disturbances. Research progress is reported in continental shelf studies, nearshore and estuarine studies (diffusion of freshwater out of nearshore zone), tidal currents and material transport, and mixing of inlet plumes.

  16. Measurements of slope current and environmental geochemistry near the western boundary of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Noble, Marlene A.; Xu, Jingping; Kolak, Jon; Gartner, Anne L.; Rosenberger, Kurt J.

    2007-01-01

    For nearly a decade, dredged material from San Francisco Bay has been deposited at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region IX designated disposal site on the continental slope west of the Farallon Islands. Over the past several years, annual disposal volumes have ranged from 136,170 m3 (61 barge loads) to 2,407,600 m3 (1,173 barge loads) (Ota, personal communication, 2000). The EPA has conducted extensive studies to evaluate the fate and effects of the disposed material (Abdelrhman, 1992; Tetra-Tech, 1992; SAIC, 1992). The EPA has also maintained a long-term monitoring program to collect hydrodynamic, sedimentary, chemical, and biological data that are used to determine whether the dredged material adversely affects the ecology of adjacent water bodies and whether it moves from the disposal site, especially into the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. As part of this monitoring program, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Coastal and Marine Geology Program (CMGP) deployed arrays of instruments on three moorings near the EPA disposal site from November 1997 to November 1998. This report describes the results and findings of this field monitoring experiment.

  17. Sedimentation on continental margins: An integrated program for innovative studies during the 1990s

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nittrourer, Charles A.; Coleman, James M.; Rouge, Baton; Flood, Roger D.; Ginsburg, Robert N.; Gorsline, Donn S.; Hine, Albert C.; Sternberg, Richard W.; Swift, Donald J. P.; Wright, L. Donelson

    Continental margins are of great scientific interest, and they represent the focus of human interaction with the ocean. Their deep structure forms the transition from continental to oceanic crust, and their surface expression extends from coastal environments of estuaries and shorelines across the continental shelf and slope to either the base of a continental rise or a marginal trough. Modern continental margins represent natural laboratories for investigation of complex relationships between physical, chemical, and biological phenomena, which are sensitive to environmental conditions both on the land and in the ocean. The history of these conditions is preserved within the sedimentary deposits of continental margins. The deposits form repositories for much of the particulate material transported off the world's land masses and produced from dissolved components in the world ocean. Past deposits of continental margins have been uplifted to form many mountain ranges and sedimentary terrains of the world, which record details of Earth history and contain valuable natural resources, such as petroleum and natural gas. Modern deposits of continental margins record the more recent events that have influenced Earth and also contain natural resources (for instance, minerals, sand, and gravel), as well as anthropogenic pollutants (for example, heavy metals and pesticides). The fates of many materials beneficial and deleterious to humans are dependent on the pathways followed by sedimentary particles on continental margins.

  18. North Slope (Wahluke Slope) expedited response action cleanup plan

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1994-02-01

    The purpose of this action is to mitigate any threat to public health and the environment from hazards on the North Slope and meet the expedited response action (ERA) objective of cleanup to a degree requiring no further action. The ERA may be the final remediation of the 100-I-3 Operable Unit. A No Action record of decision (ROD) may be issued after remediation completion. The US Department of Energy (DOE) currently owns or administers approximately 140 mi{sup 2} (about 90,000 acres) of land north and east of the Columbia River (referred to as the North Slope) that is part of the Hanford Site. The North Slope, also commonly known as the Wahluke Slope, was not used for plutonium production or support facilities; it was used for military air defense of the Hanford Site and vicinity. The North Slope contained seven antiaircraft gun emplacements and three Nike-Ajax missile positions. These military positions were vacated in 1960--1961 as the defense requirements at Hanford changed. They were demolished in 1974. Prior to government control in 1943, the North Slope was homesteaded. Since the initiation of this ERA in the summer of 1992, DOE signed the modified Hanford Federal Agreement and Consent Order (Tri-Party Agreement) with the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in which a milestone was set to complete remediation activities and a draft closeout report by October 1994. Remediation activities will make the North Slope area available for future non-DOE uses. Thirty-nine sites have undergone limited characterization to determine if significant environmental hazards exist. This plan documents the results of that characterization and evaluates the potential remediation alternatives.

  19. Map of Distribution of Bottom Sediments on the Continental Shelf, Gulf of Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Evans, Kevin R.; Carlson, Paul R.; Hampton, Monty A.; Marlow, Michael S.; Barnes, Peter W.

    2000-01-01

    floor structures. Sea-floor sediment on shallow banks is eroded by seasonal wave-generated currents. The winnowing action of the large storm waves results in concentrations of gravel over broad segments of the Kodiak shelf. Northeastern Gulf of Alaska -- Tectonic framework studies demonstrate that rocks of distant origin (Yakutat terrane) are currently attached to and moving with the Pacific Plate, as it collides with and is subducted beneath southern Alaska. This collision process has led to pronounced structural deformation of the continental margin and adjacent southern Alaska. Consequences include rapidly rising mountains and high fluvial and glacial sedimentation rates on the adjacent margin and ocean floor. The northeastern Gulf of Alaska shelf also has concentrations of winnowed (lag) gravel on Tarr Bank and on the outer shelf southeast of Yakutat Bay. Between Kayak Island and Yakutat Bay the outer shelf consists of pebbly mud (diamict). This diamict is a product of glacial marine sedimentation during the Pleistocene and is present today as a relict sediment. A prograding wedge of Holocene sediment consisting of nearshore sand grading seaward into clayey silt and silty clay covers the relict pebbly mud to mid-shelf and beyond. Shelf and slope channel systems transport glacially derived sediment across the continental margin into Surveyor Channel, an abyssal fan and channel system that reaches over 1,000 km to the Aleutian Trench.

  20. Time-dependent deformations on marine clays on submarine slopes

    SciTech Connect

    Silva, A.J.; Brandes, H.; Sadd, M.H.; Tian, W.M. )

    1990-06-01

    Evidence from geological and geophysical records indicates that time-dependent deformations occur on or within many submarine slopes. Laboratory studies on marine clays from the slope/rise and the ocean's basin have shown that these clays are generally quite viscous and therefore can be expected to deform in the field even under such small stresses as those caused by the downslope component of gravity on relatively gentle slopes. The nature and extent of these deformations has important geologic and engineering applications and depends on a number of factors. A research program at the University of Rhode Island is under way to study these factors, make predictions on rates of displacement, and identify environmental conditions that may lead to catastrophic mass failures. A laboratory testing program on the time-dependent characteristics of marine clays has been under way for a number of years. The data include, among others, long-term drained triaxial, one-dimensional, and direct simple shear creep tests. These results along with practical considerations are used to select a constitutive model for inclusion in the numerical code. Sediment deposits encountered on the continental slope and rise can vary substantially both in composition and behavior over relatively short distances. To analyze the integrated behavior of such a continuum, the authors have selected the finite element method. The code being developed will initially include a numerical model proposed by other investigators. With the aid of the developed methodology, creep deformations can be studied for a number of field cases of interest.

  1. Recent sedimentation on the new jersey slope and rise.

    PubMed

    Stanley, D J; Nelsen, T A; Stuckenrath, R

    1984-10-12

    Radiocarbon dating and sedimentological studies of closely spaced cores indicate movement during the Holocene of sediments on the New Jersey continental slope and upper rise between Wilmington and Lindenkohl canyons. The uneven time-stratigraphic thickness of the late Quaternary sediment sections between cores and the nonuniform deposition rate at any given core site and among core sites show that the sediment blanket in canyon and intercanyon areas has been affected by downslope, gravity-driven pocesses during the Holocene to the present. The reduced rate of deposition on the slope and upper rise between the late Pleistocene and the present is largely due to decreased off-shelf transport in response to the eustatic rise in sea level. Very old radiocarbon dates at core tops result from emplacement of older reworked materials from upslope or from truncation of sections by mass wasting processes exposing older material at the sea floor. These processes also account for an irregular sequence of dated sections within cores and stratigraphic irregularities of the surficial cover from core to core. Marked variability in deposition rates on the slope and upper rise is largely a function of topographic configuration, proximity and accessibility to sediment source, and transport processes seaward of the shelf break. Moreover, higher accumulation rates on the upper rise are attributed primarily to slope bypassing. Bypassing, prevalent during the late Pleistocene, has continued periodically to the present.

  2. Slope sensitivities for optical surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rogers, John R.

    2015-09-01

    Setting a tolerance for the slope errors of an optical surface (e.g., surface form errors of the "mid-spatial-frequencies") requires some knowledge of how those surface errors affect the final image of the system. While excellent tools exist for simulating those effects on a surface-by-surface basis, considerable insight may be gained by examining, for each surface, a simple sensitivity parameter that relates the slope error on the surface to the ray displacement at the final image plane. Snell's law gives a relationship between the slope errors of a surface and the angular deviations of the rays emerging from the surface. For a singlet or thin doublet acting by itself, these angular deviations are related to ray deviations at the image plane by the focal length of the lens. However, for optical surfaces inside an optical system having a substantial axial extent, the focal length of the system is not the correct multiplier, as the sensitivity is influenced by the optical surfaces that follow. In this paper, a simple expression is derived that relates the slope errors at an arbitrary optical surface to the ray deviation at the image plane. This expression is experimentally verified by comparison to a real-ray perturbation analysis. The sensitivity parameter relates the RMS slope errors to the RMS spot radius, and also relates the peak slope error to the 100% spot radius, and may be used to create an RSS error budget for slope error. Application to various types of system are shown and discussed.

  3. Mapping Shallow Landslide Slope Inestability at Large Scales Using Remote Sensing and GIS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Avalon Cullen, C.; Kashuk, S.; Temimi, M.; Suhili, R.; Khanbilvardi, R.

    2015-12-01

    Rainfall induced landslides are one of the most frequent hazards on slanted terrains. They lead to great economic losses and fatalities worldwide. Most factors inducing shallow landslides are local and can only be mapped with high levels of uncertainty at larger scales. This work presents an attempt to determine slope instability at large scales. Buffer and threshold techniques are used to downscale areas and minimize uncertainties. Four static parameters (slope angle, soil type, land cover and elevation) for 261 shallow rainfall-induced landslides in the continental United States are examined. ASTER GDEM is used as bases for topographical characterization of slope and buffer analysis. Slope angle threshold assessment at the 50, 75, 95, 98, and 99 percentiles is tested locally. Further analysis of each threshold in relation to other parameters is investigated in a logistic regression environment for the continental U.S. It is determined that lower than 95-percentile thresholds under-estimate slope angles. Best regression fit can be achieved when utilizing the 99-threshold slope angle. This model predicts the highest number of cases correctly at 87.0% accuracy. A one-unit rise in the 99-threshold range increases landslide likelihood by 11.8%. The logistic regression model is carried over to ArcGIS where all variables are processed based on their corresponding coefficients. A regional slope instability map for the continental United States is created and analyzed against the available landslide records and their spatial distributions. It is expected that future inclusion of dynamic parameters like precipitation and other proxies like soil moisture into the model will further improve accuracy.

  4. Contrasts Between Precipitation over Mediterranean Sea and Adjacent Continental Areas Based on Decadal Scale Satellite Estimates

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Eric A.

    2007-01-01

    Most knowledge concerning the last century's climatology and climate dynamics of precipitation over the Mediterranean Sea basin is based on observations taken from rain gauges surrounding the sea itself. In turn, most of the observations come from Southern Europe, with many fewer measurements taken from widely scattered sites situated over North Africa, the Middle East, and the Balkans. This aspect of research on the Mediterranean Sea basin is apparent in a recent compilation of studies presented in book form concerning climate variability of the Mediterranean region [Lionello, P., P. Malanotte-Rizzoli, and R. Boscolo (eds.), 2006: Mediterranean Climate Variability. Elsevier, Amsterdam, 9 chapters.] In light of this missing link to over-water observations, this study (in conjunction with four companion studies by Z. Haddad, A. Mugnai, T. Nakazawa, and G. Stephens) will contrast the nature of precipitation variability directly over the Mediterranean Sea to precipitation variability over the surrounding land areas based on three decades of satellite-based precipitation estimates which have stood up well to validation scrutiny. The satellite observations are drawn from the Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) dataset extending back to 1979 and the TRMM Merged Algorithm 3b42 dataset extending back to 1998. Both datasets are mostly produced from microwave measurements, excepting the period from 1979 to mid-1987 when only infrared satellite measurements were available for the GPCP estimates. The purpose of this study is to emphasize how the salient properties of precipitation variability over land and sea across a hierarchy of space and time scales, and the salient differences in these properties, might be used in guiding short-term climate models to better predictions of future climate states under different regional temperature-change scenarios.

  5. Phytoplankton assemblages within the Chesapeake Bay plume and adjacent waters of the continental shelf

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marshall, H. G.

    1981-01-01

    The Chesapeake Bay plume was identified and plotted in relation to the presence and high concentrations of phytoplankton assemblages. Seasonal differences occurred within the plume during the collection period, with Skeletonema costatum and an ultraplankton component the dominant forms. Patchiness was found along the transects, with variations in composition and concentrations common on consecutive day sampling within the plume in its movement along the shelf. The presence of 236 species is noted, with their presence indicated for plume and shelf stations during the March, June, and October 1980 collections.

  6. Shelf-Slope Exchange in the Mid-Atlantic Bight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goodman, P. J.; Wilkin, J.

    2004-12-01

    A high resolution model (ROMS, the Regional Ocean Modeling System) of U.S. East Coast circulation from Newfoundland to Cuba is used to explore features of alongshelf freshwater transport, residence time, and shelf-sea/deep-ocean exchange. The focus of the analysis is the Mid-Atlantic Bight (MAB) shelf-slope system which, like continental shelves throughout the world, contributes to the oceanic budgets of heat, salt, and fresh water. In addition, the "continental shelf pump" transfers carbon from the atmosphere to the deep ocean through fluxes of dissolved organic carbon and particulate organic carbon off the shelves. Solar radiation, evaporation, rainfall, riverine input, gas exchange with the atmosphere, and biological production all modify the character of shelf waters. In the MAB, the shelf-slope front separates shallow coastal waters from slope waters and the Gulf Stream, extending residence times on the shelf and maintaining coastal salinities at significantly lower levels than those offshore. The southwestward coastal mean flow exchanges weakly with slope waters along most of the MAB, with the strongest offshore flow occurring at Cape Hatteras where much of the flow is entrained into the Gulf Stream front. The shelf circulation is influenced by input from the Hudson and Delaware Rivers and Chesapeake Bay. Along the shelf break, exchange is modulated by warm-core rings from the Gulf Stream and variability of the shelf-break front. Key features of the seasonal circulation such as the MAB "Cold Pool" are captured by the simulation. Measurements suggest that DOC in shelf and shallow slope waters of the MAB include both old marine carbon and a young terrestrial-riverine-estuarine component, and these carbon cycling processes are being studied with a companion primary production, nitogen and carbon cycle model directly coupled to ROMS. Results showing salinity, idealized dye and Lagrangian float tracking results from a ROMS simulation of the MAB shelf circulation

  7. A large-scale detachment fault system in deep water area of South China Sea under the background of continental passive rifted margin: A case study of Heshan Sag

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Zi; Ren, Jianye; Han, Xiaoying; Chen, Lin

    2015-04-01

    Heshan sag locates in the deep-water area of continental passive rifted margin of northern South China Sea, where preserved strong thinning crust of the ocean-continent transition zone. This area owns particular and unique tectonic settings with the geological characteristics of lithospheric ductile deformation and high temperature gradient, which highly differs from the continental shelf area. In this research, we try to determine the detachment faults within Heshan sag and build its tectonic-stratigraphic framework and geological evolution history as well. The research achievements are as followed: (1) According to the interpretation of 2D seismic profiles covering the whole study area, we basically recognized that Heshan sag was a detachment basin which is floored by a large-scale seaward detachment fault with a very low angle of 10 degrees to 20 degrees and overlain by tilted and hyper extended hanging wall block. And the heave of detachment fault has been extended to approximately 20 km. (2) Based on the latest geophysical and geological data, in the northern part of South China Sea, the strike of Moho surface is from NE to SW. The overall Moho depth is between 10 and 29 km from north to south, from shelf to continental slope and abyssal plain, mirroring the topography of the sediment basement, which means the crustal thickness decreases from land to ocean. Our study area exactly exists in the zone that the crust is hyper-extended and has the characters of continental crust and transitional crust. (3) Continental passive rifted margin closely relates to the ocean-continent transition zone (OCT). Guided by the basin dynamic analysis and lithosphere extension and breakup theory, combined with overseas and domestic research status on OCT and the latest information of adjacent areas, we tried to elucidate the geological nature of OCT and construct continental lithosphere configuration in different tectonic units on the northern continental margin in South China

  8. A new vision of carbonate slopes: the Little Bahama Bank

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mulder, Thierry; Gillet, Hervé; Hanquiez, Vincent; Reijmer, John J.; Tournadour, Elsa; Chabaud, Ludivine; Principaud, Mélanie; Schnyder, Jara; Borgomano, Jean; Fauquembergue, Kelly; Ducassou, Emmanuelle

    2016-04-01

    Recent high-quality multibeam and seismic data allow to image a large part of the uppermost slope of Northeastern Little Bahama Bank between 30 and 400 m water depth and to characterize the uppermost slope (Rankey and Doolitle, 1992) over a surface of 170 km2. The new data set includes multibeam bathymetry and acoustic imagery, 3.5 kHz very-high resolution (VHR) seismic reflexion lines (1120 km), 21 gravity cores and 11 Van Veen grabs. This dataset completes the recent surveys of the slope adjacent to LBB (Carambar cruise, Mulder et al, 2012). The data provide insight into sediment transfer from the shallow carbonate bank to the adjacent slope. Four major terraces and escarpments dominate the morphology of the slope. The terraces are located at 22 m, 27-33 m, 40-46 and 55-64 m below present water depth (mpwd). They could either be related to periods of stagnating sea-level and therefore increased erosion by waves, or periods of accelerated sea-level rise since the Last Glacial Maximum. Escarpments bound the terraces. The deepest one (64-56 mpwd) is also the steepest 35-50°). It corresponds to the marginal scarp of Rankey and Doolitle (1992). The lower part of the uppermost slope shows a discontinuous Holocene sediment wedge with varying thickness between 0 and 35 m. It forms a blind or very crudely stratified echo facies. This Holocene unit can be thicker than 20 m and consists of mud that forms most of the present sediment export. This unit fills small depressions in the substratum and thickens in front of gullies that cut the carbonate platform edge. It forms by off-bank export initiated when a cold front passes by, resulting in density cascading currents. The associated sediment fall-out and convective sedimentation can generate density currents that flow through linear structures on the upper slope. The survey reveals the presence of recently active channels that extend laterally over the entire uppermost slope and interrupt the density cascading fall

  9. Western Slope of Andes, Peru

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    Along the western flank of the Andes, 400 km SE of Lima Peru, erosion has carved the mountain slopes into long, narrow serpentine ridges. The gently-sloping sediments have been turned into a plate of worms wiggling their way downhill to the ocean.

    The image was acquired September 28, 2004, covers an area of 38 x 31.6 km, and is located near 14.7 degrees south latitude, 74.5 degrees west longitude.

    The U.S. science team is located at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The Terra mission is part of NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

  10. Gravity and structure of the continental margins of southwestern Mexico and northwestern Guatemala

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Couch, Richard; Woodcock, Stephen

    1981-03-01

    Geophysical measurements over the eastern end of the Tehuantepec Ridge and adjacent continental margins of southern Mexico and northern Guatemala indicate that the ridge is a fracture zone and that it marks the boundary between two different subduction provinces. A positive free-air gravity anomaly which extends northwestward along the outer continental shelf of Guatemala curves abruptly landward in the Gulf of Tehuantepec. The positive shelf anomaly is on trend with the positive anomaly of the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica, and suggests that rocks genetically related to Cretaceous rocks of the Nicoya Complex extend northwestward along the continental shelf to the Gulf of Tehuantepec. A crustal and subcrustal cross section of the continental margin of Guatemala, constrained by gravity, magnetic, and seismic refraction data, indicates that the rock strata causing the outer shelf gravity high dip landward, consistent with imbricate thrusting of the oceanic crust beneath and into the continental margin. A model crustal cross section of the continental margin of southern Mexico, north of the Tehuantepec Ridge, shows a markedly different margin structure with a relatively small amount of continental accretion and a continental crustal block extending to within approximately 25 km of the trench axis.

  11. 43 CFR 420.3 - Adjacent lands.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 43 Public Lands: Interior 1 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Adjacent lands. 420.3 Section 420.3 Public Lands: Interior Regulations Relating to Public Lands BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR OFF-ROAD VEHICLE USE § 420.3 Adjacent lands. When administratively feasible, the regulation of...

  12. 43 CFR 420.3 - Adjacent lands.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 43 Public Lands: Interior 1 2012-10-01 2011-10-01 true Adjacent lands. 420.3 Section 420.3 Public Lands: Interior Regulations Relating to Public Lands BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR OFF-ROAD VEHICLE USE § 420.3 Adjacent lands. When administratively feasible, the regulation of...

  13. 43 CFR 420.3 - Adjacent lands.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 43 Public Lands: Interior 1 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Adjacent lands. 420.3 Section 420.3 Public Lands: Interior Regulations Relating to Public Lands BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR OFF-ROAD VEHICLE USE § 420.3 Adjacent lands. When administratively feasible, the regulation of...

  14. 43 CFR 420.3 - Adjacent lands.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 43 Public Lands: Interior 1 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Adjacent lands. 420.3 Section 420.3 Public Lands: Interior Regulations Relating to Public Lands BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR OFF-ROAD VEHICLE USE § 420.3 Adjacent lands. When administratively feasible, the regulation of...

  15. 43 CFR 420.3 - Adjacent lands.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 43 Public Lands: Interior 1 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Adjacent lands. 420.3 Section 420.3 Public Lands: Interior Regulations Relating to Public Lands BUREAU OF RECLAMATION, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR OFF-ROAD VEHICLE USE § 420.3 Adjacent lands. When administratively feasible, the regulation of...

  16. Morphology of late Quaternary submarine landslides along the U.S. Atlantic continental margin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Twichell, D.C.; Chaytor, J.D.; ten Brink, U.S.; Buczkowski, B.

    2009-01-01

    The nearly complete coverage of the U.S. Atlantic continental slope and rise by multibeam bathymetry and backscatter imagery provides an opportunity to reevaluate the distribution of submarine landslides along the margin and reassess the controls on their formation. Landslides can be divided into two categories based on their source areas: those sourced in submarine canyons and those sourced on the open continental slope and rise. Landslide distribution is in part controlled by the Quaternary history of the margin. They cover 33% of the continental slope and rise of the glacially influenced New England margin, 16% of the sea floor offshore of the fluvially dominated Middle Atlantic margin, and 13% of the sea floor south of Cape Hatteras. The headwall scarps of open-slope sourced landslides occur mostly on the lower slope and upper rise while they occur mostly on the upper slope in the canyon-sourced ones. The deposits from both landslide categories are generally thin (mostly 20-40??m thick) and comprised primarily of Quaternary material, but the volumes of the open-slope sourced landslide deposits can be larger (1-392??km3) than the canyon-sourced ones (1-10??km3). The largest failures are located seaward of shelf-edge deltas along the southern New England margin and near salt domes that breach the sea floor south of Cape Hatteras. The spatial distribution of landslides indicates that earthquakes associated with rebound of the glaciated part of the margin or earthquakes associated with salt domes were probably the primary triggering mechanism although other processes may have pre-conditioned sediments for failure. The largest failures and those that have the potential to generate the largest tsunamis are the open-slope sourced landslides.

  17. Palaeomagnetism and the continental crust

    SciTech Connect

    Piper, J.D.A.

    1987-01-01

    This book is an introduction to palaeomagnetism offering treatment of theory and practice. It analyzes the palaeomagnetic record over the whole of geological time, from the Archaean to the Cenozoic, and goes on to examine the impact of past geometries and movements of the continental crust at each geological stage. Topics covered include theory of rock and mineral magnetism, field and laboratory methods, growth and consolidation of the continental crust in Archaean and Proterozoic times, Palaeozoic palaeomagnetism and the formation of Pangaea, the geomagnetic fields, continental movements, configurations and mantle convection.

  18. Dynamics of continental accretion.

    PubMed

    Moresi, L; Betts, P G; Miller, M S; Cayley, R A

    2014-04-10

    Subduction zones become congested when they try to consume buoyant, exotic crust. The accretionary mountain belts (orogens) that form at these convergent plate margins have been the principal sites of lateral continental growth through Earth's history. Modern examples of accretionary margins are the North American Cordilleras and southwest Pacific subduction zones. The geologic record contains abundant accretionary orogens, such as the Tasmanides, along the eastern margin of the supercontinent Gondwana, and the Altaïdes, which formed on the southern margin of Laurasia. In modern and ancient examples of long-lived accretionary orogens, the overriding plate is subjected to episodes of crustal extension and back-arc basin development, often related to subduction rollback and transient episodes of orogenesis and crustal shortening, coincident with accretion of exotic crust. Here we present three-dimensional dynamic models that show how accretionary margins evolve from the initial collision, through a period of plate margin instability, to re-establishment of a stable convergent margin. The models illustrate how significant curvature of the orogenic system develops, as well as the mechanism for tectonic escape of the back-arc region. The complexity of the morphology and the evolution of the system are caused by lateral rollback of a tightly arcuate trench migrating parallel to the plate boundary and orthogonally to the convergence direction. We find geological and geophysical evidence for this process in the Tasmanides of eastern Australia, and infer that this is a recurrent and global phenomenon.

  19. Dynamics of continental accretion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moresi, L.; Betts, P. G.; Miller, M. S.; Cayley, R. A.

    2014-04-01

    Subduction zones become congested when they try to consume buoyant, exotic crust. The accretionary mountain belts (orogens) that form at these convergent plate margins have been the principal sites of lateral continental growth through Earth's history. Modern examples of accretionary margins are the North American Cordilleras and southwest Pacific subduction zones. The geologic record contains abundant accretionary orogens, such as the Tasmanides, along the eastern margin of the supercontinent Gondwana, and the Altaïdes, which formed on the southern margin of Laurasia. In modern and ancient examples of long-lived accretionary orogens, the overriding plate is subjected to episodes of crustal extension and back-arc basin development, often related to subduction rollback and transient episodes of orogenesis and crustal shortening, coincident with accretion of exotic crust. Here we present three-dimensional dynamic models that show how accretionary margins evolve from the initial collision, through a period of plate margin instability, to re-establishment of a stable convergent margin. The models illustrate how significant curvature of the orogenic system develops, as well as the mechanism for tectonic escape of the back-arc region. The complexity of the morphology and the evolution of the system are caused by lateral rollback of a tightly arcuate trench migrating parallel to the plate boundary and orthogonally to the convergence direction. We find geological and geophysical evidence for this process in the Tasmanides of eastern Australia, and infer that this is a recurrent and global phenomenon.

  20. Dynamics of Continental Accretion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moresi, L. N.; Betts, P. G.; Miller, M. S.

    2013-12-01

    Subduction zones become congested when they try to swallow buoyant exotic crust. Accretionary mountain belts (orogens) that form at these convergent plate margins are the principal sites of lateral continental growth through Earth's history. Modern examples of accretionary margins are the North and South American Cordilleras and southwest Pacific. The geologic record is riddled with accretionary orogens, such as the Tasmanides along the eastern margin of the supercontinent Gondwana and the Altaides that formed on the southern margin of Laurasia. Both the modern and ancient examples are characterised by episodic switches between extension and shortening associated with transitions from collision of exotic crust and subduction related rollback. We present three-dimensional dynamic models that show for the first time how accretionary margins evolve from the initial collision, through a period of plate margin instability, to re-establishment of a stable convergent margin. The models illustrate how significant curvature of the orogenic system develops, as well as the mechanism for tectonic escape of the back arc region. The complexity of the morphology and evolution of the system are driven by lateral rollback of a tightly arcuate trench migrating parallel to the plate boundary and orthogonal to the convergence direction. We find geological and geophysical evidence for this process in the Tasmanides of eastern Australia, but infer that this is a global phenomena throughout Earth's evolution.

  1. Continental margin sedimentation: from sediment transport to sequence stratigraphy

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nittrouer, Charles A.; Austin, James A.; Field, Michael E.; Kravitz, Joseph H.; Syvitski, James P.M.; Wiberg, Patricia L.; Nittrouer, Charles A.; Austin, James A.; Field, Michael E.; Kravitz, Joseph H.; Syvitski, James P. M.; Wiberg, Patricia L.

    2007-01-01

    This volume on continental margin sedimentation brings together an expert editorial and contributor team to create a state-of-the-art resource. Taking a global perspective, the book spans a range of timescales and content, ranging from how oceans transport particles, to how thick rock sequences are formed on continental margins. - Summarizes and integrates our understanding of sedimentary processes and strata associated with fluvial dispersal systems on continental shelves and slopes - Explores timescales ranging from particle transport at one extreme, to deep burial at the other - Insights are presented for margins in general, and with focus on a tectonically active margin (northern California) and a passive margin (New Jersey), enabling detailed examination of the intricate relationships between a wide suite of sedimentary processes and their preserved stratigraphy - Includes observational studies which document the processes and strata found on particular margins, in addition to numerical models and laboratory experimentation, which provide a quantitative basis for extrapolation in time and space of insights about continental-margin sedimentation - Provides a research resource for scientists studying modern and ancient margins, and an educational text for advanced students in sedimentology and stratigraphy

  2. Stress release, joints, and instability on submarine slopes

    SciTech Connect

    Booth, J.S.; Robb, J.M.

    1984-04-01

    Mass movements related to gradual stress release within a sediment section may be quantitatively important on submarine slopes, particularly when such stress release involves joint sets. The sequence of events that promotes this phenomenon has been established by numerous terrestrial studies. The process involves: mass wasting or erosion to remove vertical stress (overburden) or lateral stress (such as through canyon cutting); consequent elastic rebound of the unloaded section; and opening of existing joints and/or formation of new joint sets. The presence of joints, which constitute planes of weakness within the sediment section, controls and reduces the stability of the affected slope; that is, the stability of the slope may no longer be dependent on the inherent strength of the sediments. The results of this process have been observed on the continental slope off the Mid-Atlantic coast of the United States. There, exposed Tertiary sediments have a well-developed joint pattern that has been observed in sidescan-sonar images, from submersible operations, and in a piston core. The measured preconsolidation stress on an Eocene core sample suggests that more than 100 m (330 ft) of overburden may have been removed from parts of the area. Intact Eocene blocks, which represent apparent failure along joint planes, have fallen from canyon walls on the lower slope and moved onto the upper rise. It is suggested that this process has the potential to operate on most deeply eroded surfaces and that exhumed (overconsolidated) sediments do not necessarily represent stable conditions despite their typical high shear strengths.

  3. Potential role of gas hydrate decomposition in generating submarine slope failures: Chapter 12

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pauli, Charles K.; mUssler, William III; Dillon, William P.; Max, Michael D.

    2003-01-01

    Gas hydrate decomposition is hypothesized to be a factor in generating weakness in continental margin sediments that may help explain some of the observed patterns of continental margin sediment instability. The processes associated with formation and decomposition of gas hydrate can cause the strengthening of sediments in which gas hydrate grow and the weakening of sediments in which gas hydrate decomposes. The weakened sediments may form horizons along which the potential for sediment failure is increased. While a causal relationship between slope failures and gas hydrate decomposition has not been proven, a number of empirical observations support their potential connection.

  4. Patterns of deep-water coral diversity in the Caribbean Basin and adjacent southern waters: an approach based on records from the R/V Pillsbury expeditions.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Ávila, Iván

    2014-01-01

    The diversity of deep-water corals in the Caribbean Sea was studied using records from oceanographic expeditions performed by the R/V Pillsbury. Sampled stations were sorted according to broad depth ranges and ecoregions and were analyzed in terms of species accumulation curves, variance in the species composition and contributions to alpha, beta and gamma diversity. According to the analysis of species accumulation curves using the Chao2 estimator, more diversity occurs on the continental slope (200-2000 m depth) than on the upper continental shelf (60-200 m depth). In addition to the effect of depth sampling, differences in species composition related to depth ranges were detected. However, the differences between ecoregions are dependent on depth ranges, there were fewer differences among ecoregions on the continental slope than on the upper continental shelf. Indicator species for distinctness of ecoregions were, in general, Alcyonaria and Antipatharia for the upper continental shelf, but also the scleractinians Madracis myriabilis and Cladocora debilis. In the continental slope, the alcyonarian Placogorgia and the scleractinians Stephanocyathus and Fungiacyathus were important for the distinction of ecoregions. Beta diversity was the most important component of gamma diversity in the Caribbean Basin. The contribution of ecoregions to alpha, beta and gamma diversity differed with depth range. On the upper continental shelf, the Southern Caribbean ecoregion contributed substantially to all components of diversity. In contrast, the northern ecoregions contributed substantially to the diversity of the Continental Slope. Strategies for the conservation of deep-water coral diversity in the Caribbean Basin must consider the variation between ecoregions and depth ranges.

  5. Patterns of Deep-Water Coral Diversity in the Caribbean Basin and Adjacent Southern Waters: An Approach based on Records from the R/V Pillsbury Expeditions

    PubMed Central

    Hernández-Ávila, Iván

    2014-01-01

    The diversity of deep-water corals in the Caribbean Sea was studied using records from oceanographic expeditions performed by the R/V Pillsbury. Sampled stations were sorted according to broad depth ranges and ecoregions and were analyzed in terms of species accumulation curves, variance in the species composition and contributions to alpha, beta and gamma diversity. According to the analysis of species accumulation curves using the Chao2 estimator, more diversity occurs on the continental slope (200–2000 m depth) than on the upper continental shelf (60–200 m depth). In addition to the effect of depth sampling, differences in species composition related to depth ranges were detected. However, the differences between ecoregions are dependent on depth ranges, there were fewer differences among ecoregions on the continental slope than on the upper continental shelf. Indicator species for distinctness of ecoregions were, in general, Alcyonaria and Antipatharia for the upper continental shelf, but also the scleractinians Madracis myriabilis and Cladocora debilis. In the continental slope, the alcyonarian Placogorgia and the scleractinians Stephanocyathus and Fungiacyathus were important for the distinction of ecoregions. Beta diversity was the most important component of gamma diversity in the Caribbean Basin. The contribution of ecoregions to alpha, beta and gamma diversity differed with depth range. On the upper continental shelf, the Southern Caribbean ecoregion contributed substantially to all components of diversity. In contrast, the northern ecoregions contributed substantially to the diversity of the Continental Slope. Strategies for the conservation of deep-water coral diversity in the Caribbean Basin must consider the variation between ecoregions and depth ranges. PMID:24671156

  6. Geodynamic settings of microcontinents, non-volcanic islands and submerged continental marginal plateau formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubinin, Evgeny; Grokholsky, Andrey; Makushkina, Anna

    2016-04-01

    Complex process of continental lithosphere breakup is often accompanied by full or semi isolation of small continental blocks from the parent continent such as microcontinents or submerged marginal plateaus. We present different types of continental blocks formed in various geodynamic settings. The process depends on thermo-mechanical properties of rifting. 1) The continental blocks fully isolated from the parent continent. This kind of blocks exist in submerged form (Elan Bank, the Jan-Mayen Ridge, Zenith Plateau, Gulden Draak Knoll, Batavia Knoll) and in non-submerged form in case of large block size. Most of listed submerged blocks are formed in proximity of hot-spot or plume. 2) The continental blocks semi-isolated from the parent continent. Exmouth Plateau, Vøring, Agulhas, Naturaliste are submerged continental plateaus of the indicated category; Sri Lanka, Tasmania, Socotra are islands adjacent to continent here. Nowadays illustration of this setting is the Sinai block located between the two continental rifts. 3) The submerged linear continental blocks formed by the continental rifting along margin (the Lomonosov Ridge). Suggested evolution of this paragraph is the rift propagation along existing transtensional (or another type) transform fault. Future example of this type might be the California Peninsula block, detached from the North American plate by the rifting within San-Andreas fault. 4) The submerged continental blocks formed by extensional processes as the result of asthenosphere flow and shear deformations. Examples are submerged blocks in the central and southern Scotia Sea (Terror Bank, Protector Basin, Discovery Bank, Bruce Bank etc.). 5) The continental blocks formed in the transform fault systems originated in setting of contradict rifts propagation in presence of structure barriers, rifts are shifted by several hundreds kilometers from each other. Examples of this geodynamic setting are Equatorial Atlantic at the initial development stage

  7. Exploring Slope with Stairs & Steps

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Toni M.; Seshaiyer, Padmanabhan; Peixoto, Nathalia; Suh, Jennifer M.; Bagshaw, Graham; Collins, Laurena K.

    2013-01-01

    As much as ever before, mathematics teachers are searching for ways to connect mathematics to real-life scenarios within STEM contexts. As students develop skill in proportional reasoning, they examine graphical representations of linear functions, learn to associate "slope" with "steepness" and rate of change, and develop…

  8. Coordination: Southeast continental shelf studies

    SciTech Connect

    Menzel, D.W.

    1989-01-26

    The objective of this investigation is to obtain model descriptions of the flow modifications in the Southeast Atlantic continental shelf due to Gulf Stream fluctuations and topographic effects. 2 refs., 4 figs.

  9. Planktonic ecosystem response to meso and submesoscale dynamics above a shelf slope.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pennel, Romain; Rivière, Pascal; Pondaven, Philippe; Carton, Xavier

    2015-04-01

    In this numerical process study, we examine the impact of the relative positions of a coastal current and the continental slope on the dynamics of a planktonic ecosystem. In the open ocean, previous studies have evidenced the importance of mesoscale and submesoscale turbulence on the structure and functioning of planktonic ecosystem (Rivière et Pondaven, 2006; Perruche et al, 2011). In coastal areas, the presence of the continental slope induces a complex ocean dynamics and impacts the spreading of biochemical tracers between the shallow continental shelf and the deep open ocean. The topographic parameter (ratio between the shelf slope and the isopycnal slope), the vertical aspect ratio (ratio between the depth of the current and the total depth) and the Burger number control the stability of surface coastal currents and the emergence of meso and submesoscale structures (Pennel et al, 2012; Poulin et al, 2014). Thus, different positions of the current above the shelf slope, by changing the local depth or the local slope, induce different dynamical regimes that may imply a large impact on ecosystems through changes in nutrient inputs from the deep ocean into the euphotic layer or changes in the cross-shelf transport. Simulations of a geostrophically balanced gravity current with a mixed layer are carried out using the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS). The domain consists of a re-entrant channel with an hyperbolic tangent shelf bathymetry. The 600 m horizontal resolution (12 grid points per radius of deformation) and the 60 vertical levels allow the model to resolve both the meso and submesoscale dynamics. An idealized biological model is included and accounts for the existence of two different trophic chains involving small and large species (NP2Z2D). A suite of few months long simulations is performed with different positions of the coastal current above the bottom topography. The results are discussed in terms of primary production, cross-shore export of

  10. Carbonate slope gully system on the Westside Great Bahama Bank

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Principaud, Mélanie; Mulder, Thierry; Borgomano, Jean; Ducassou, Emmanuelle; Hanquiez, Vincent; Gillet, Hervé; Marieu, Vincent; Sorriaux, Patrick

    2013-04-01

    Gullies are commonly observed on submarine slopes along many continental margins. They are generally small, straight, shallow channels with a depth that does not exceed a few tens of meters. They form on relatively steep slopes. They are important features for downslope sediment transfer from the outer continental shelf to the continental slope and rise. Data collected during the first leg of the Carambar cruise (Nov. 1st - Nov. 15th, 2010) on the RV "Le Suroît" show that the western slope of the Great Bahamas Bank is characterized by the presence of gullies that extend about 100 km from North to South along the carbonate platform. Gullies appear on the upper slope at approximately 410 m water depth in a carbonated mud-dominated environment. Their initiation follows the presence of sediment waves. They extend over a 3° steeped slope down to 610 m water depth. The gully heads are not connected to the platform and to any significant carbonate depositional system. They are relatively linear, sub-parallel, with a symmetric to asymmetric V-shaped cross section and incision does not exceed 30 m. Average gully length and spacing are 4000 and 800 m respectively. A detailed morphometric study based on EM302 multibeam bathymetry and very-high resolution seismic data (Chirp sub bottom profiler) combined with a statistical analysis allowed the gullied slope to be divided into two distinct areas. (1) The northern area characterized by regularly-spaced gullies (spacing varies from 750 to 800 m from North to South). They are generally linear and sub-parallel with an average length of 4 km. Their depth are usually lower than 10 m. Asymmetry is greater in the central region of gullies (northern flank is steeper than southern flank) and seems to be correlated with an increase in gully depth and a decrease in gully spacing. (2) The southern area is characterized by irregularly-shaped gullies that are usually truncated by a large 40 m high N-S deformation escarpment. Gullies have

  11. Geotechnical characteristics and slope stability on the Ebro margin, western Mediterranean

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baraza, J.; Lee, H.J.; Kayen, R.E.; Hampton, M.A.

    1990-01-01

    Sedimentological and geotechnical analyses of core samples from the Ebro continental slope define two distinct areas on the basis of sediment type, physical properties and geotechnical behavior. The first area is the upper slope area (water depths of 200-500 m), which consists of upper Pleistocene prodeltaic silty clay with a low water content (34% dry weight average), low plasticity, and high overconsolidation near the seafloor. The second area, the middle and lower slope (water depths greater than 500 m), contains clay- and silt-size hemipelagic deposits with a high water content (90% average), high plasticity, and a low to moderate degree of overconsolidation near the sediment surface. Results from geotechnical tests show that the upper slope has a relatively high degree of stability under relatively rapid (undrained) static loading conditions, compared with the middle and lower slopes, which have a higher degree of stability under long-term (drained) static loading conditions. Under cyclic loading, which occurs during earthquakes, the upper slope has a higher degree of stability than the middle and lower slopes. For the surface of the seafloor, calculated critical earthquake accelerations that can trigger slope failures range from 0.73 g on the upper slope to 0.23 g on the lower slope. Sediment buried well below the seafloor may have a critical acceleration as low as 0.09 g on the upper slope and 0.17 g on the lower slope. Seismically induced instability of most of the Ebro slope seems unlikely given that an earthquake shaking of at least intensity VI would be needed, and such strong intensities have never been recorded in the last 70 years. Other cyclic loading events, such as storms or internal waves, do not appear to be direct causes of instability at present. Infrequent, particularly strong earthquakes could cause landslides on the Ebro margin slope. The Columbretes slide on the southwestern Ebro margin may have been caused by intense earthquake shaking

  12. Skate assemblage on the eastern Patagonian Shelf and Slope: structure, diversity and abundance.

    PubMed

    Arkhipkin, A; Brickle, P; Laptikhovsky, V; Pompert, J; Winter, A

    2012-04-01

    The eastern Patagonian Shelf and continental slope of the south-west Atlantic Ocean support a high biodiversity and abundance of skates. In this study, meso-scale differences in the assemblages, spatial and seasonal distributions of skates are revealed among six habitat zones of the eastern Patagonian Shelf characterized by distinctive oceanographic conditions. Most skates belonged to temperate fauna, and their abundance was much greater in habitats occupied by temperate waters (north-western outer shelf) or mixed waters (northern slope) than in habitats occupied by sub-Antarctic waters (SASW) (south-eastern outer shelf and southern slope). Sub-Antarctic skates were not abundant on the shelf even in habitats occupied by SASW, occurring mainly in deep areas of the lower continental slope. The majority of temperate skates migrated seasonally, shifting northward in winter and spreading southward with warming waters in summer. Most temperate species had two peaks in female maturity (mainly spring and autumn) and spawned in the same habitats where they fed. It is hypothesized that the high biodiversity and abundance of skates on the Patagonian Shelf and Slope are due to the practical absence of their natural competitors, flatfishes, which occupy similar eco-niches elsewhere.

  13. Manganese flux from continental margin sediments in a transect through the oxygen minimum

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, K.S. Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Inst., Pacific Grove, CA ); Berelson, W.M.; Iams, H.D.; Kilgore, T.E. ); Coale, K.H.; Coley, T.L.; Elrod, V.A.; Fairey, W.R.; Nowicki, J.L. )

    1992-08-28

    The flux of manganese from continental margin sediments to the ocean was measured with a free-vehicle, benthic flux chamber in a transect across the continental shelf and upper slope of the California margin. The highest fluxes were observed on the shallow continental shelf. Manganese flux decreased linearly with bottom water oxygen concentration, and the lowest flux occurred in the oxygen minimum zone (at a depth of 600 to 1,000 meters). Although the flux of manganese from continental shelf sediments can account for the elevated concentrations observed in shallow, coastal waters, the flux from sediments that intersect the oxygen minimum cannot produce the subsurface concentration maximum of dissolved manganese that is observed in the Pacific Ocean.

  14. Manganese flux from continental margin sediments in a transect through the oxygen minimum.

    PubMed

    Johnson, K S; Berelson, W M; Coale, K H; Coley, T L; Elrod, V A; Fairey, W R; Iams, H D; Kilgore, T E; Nowicki, J L

    1992-08-28

    The flux of manganese from continental margin sediments to the ocean was measured with a free-vehicle, benthic flux chamber in a transect across the continental shelf and upper slope of the California margin. The highest fluxes were observed on the shallow continental shelf. Manganese flux decreased linearly with bottom water oxygen concentration, and the lowest fluxes occurred in the oxygen minimum zone (at a depth of 600 to 1000 meters). Although the flux of manganese from continental shelf sediments can account for the elevated concentrations observed in shallow, coastal waters, the flux from sediments that intersect the oxygen minimum cannot produce the subsurface concentration maximum of dissolved manganese that is observed in the Pacific Ocean.

  15. Hydrological heterogeneity in Mediterranean reclaimed slopes: runoff and sediment yield at the patch and slope scales along a gradient of overland flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merino-Martín, L.; Moreno-de Las Heras, M.; Pérez-Domingo, S.; Espigares, T.; Nicolau, J. M.

    2011-11-01

    Hydrological heterogeneity is recognized as a fundamental ecosystem attribute in drylands controlling the flux of water and energy through landscapes. Therefore, mosaics of runoff and sediment sinks and source patches are frequently identified in these dry environments. There is a remarkable scarcity of studies about hydrological spatial heterogeneity in restored slopes, where ecological succession and overland flow are interacting. We conducted a field research to study the hydrological role of patches and slopes along an overland flow gradient in three reclaimed slopes coming from mining reclamation in a Mediterranean-continental climate. We found that runoff generation and routing in non-rilled slopes showed a pattern of source and sink areas of runoff. Such hydrological microenvironments were associated to seven vegetation patches (characterized by plant community types and cover). Two types of sink patches were identified: shrub Genista scorpius patches could be considered as a "deep sink", while patches where the graminoids Brachypodium retusum and Lolium perenne dominate were classified as "surface sinks" or "runoff splays". A variety of source patches were also identified spanning from "extreme sources" (Medicago sativa patches; equivalent to bare soil) to "poor sources" (areas scattered by dwarf-shrubs of Thymus vulgaris or herbaceous tussocks of Dactylis glomerata). Finally, we identified the volume of overland flow routing along the slope as a controlling major factor of hydrological diversity: when overland flow increases at the slope scale hydrological diversity diminishes.

  16. Exhumation and continental strike-slip fault systems: Introduction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Roeske, S.M.; Till, A.B.; Foster, D.A.; Sample, J.C.

    2007-01-01

    Metamorphic rocks adjacent to and within strike-slip faultsystems occur in a wide range of tectonic settings. Detailed studies show that for a number of these locales a significant part of the exhumation occurred during strike-slip fault motion, but the specific processes involved are often cryptic. Although some sites share characteristic features, such as metamorphic rocks exhumed in extensional step-overs within overall transtensional systems, no one common theme emerges from all of the studies. Our understanding of the variables that control continental strike-slip faults' interaction with mid- to lower-crustal structures is still primitive.

  17. Modes of continental decretion in western Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cook, F. A.

    2010-12-01

    Between the Archean Slave Province and the Pacific Ocean, the North American continent in Canada appears to have ‘grown’ westward during Paleoproterozoic (Wopmay) and Paleozoic-Mesozoic (Cordilleran) orogenesis. However, results from geological observations combined with regional geophysical surveys lead to interpretations in which pre-orogenic basement in both the Wopmay and the Cordillera projects far beneath proposed ‘accreted’ terranes. In the Wopmay orogen (1.89-1.84 Ga), deep geophysical images indicate that Archean Slave basement projects in the subsurface up to 50 km west of the Medial zone (formerly Wopmay fault), a boundary that was previously interpreted as the transition from Slave basement to accreted terrane basement. The Slave basement appears as a west-tapering tectonic wedge into accreted(?) rocks, consistent with an interpretation by Hildebrand and Bowring (Geology, 1999) that the Archean lithosphere that was formerly west of the wedge broke off and was recycled. In the Cordillera, cross sections of the lithosphere illustrate that lower crustal and upper mantle rocks as much as 2/3 of the distance across the orogen can be stratigraphically, geologically and seismically correlated to the ancient cratonic margin. Retrodeformation of rocks that were deposited on or adjacent to the craton leads to the conclusion that, prior to the onset of terrane accretion, the North American margin and associated rocks projected even farther west (today’s coordinates) - at least as far as the modern margin. Apparently, as flakes of terranes were added to the surface in the western regions of the Cordillera, the North American lithosphere, which may have been foreshortened during contraction, was tectonically and/or thermally eroded from below. As a result, terrane accretion in the Cordillera apparently resulted in a net decretion of continental lithosphere. Together, these observations lead to the interpretation that the processes responsible for

  18. Shallow subsurface geology of the continental shelf, Gulf of the Farallones, California, and its relationship to surficial seafloor characteristics

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chin, J.L.; Karl, Herman A.; Maher, N.M.

    1997-01-01

    The Gulf of the Farallones is located on a continental margin that is tectonically active and has experienced eustatic fluctuations of sea level throughout the Quaternary. Bathymetry of the Gulf suggests that it is different from the average continental shelf off California in that instead of a seafloor that slopes gently seaward from the shoreline to the shelf edge (dominantly west to southwest), much of the Gulf shelf slopes to the northwest, a direction that is subparallel to that of the adjacent mainland shoreline. Isobaths are oblique to shore-normal for much of the Gulf shelf as opposed to the more typical shore-parallel isobaths. This northwest trend is parallel to that of the offshore granitic outcrops, the Farallon Island ridge and Cordell Bank. 3.5 kHz shallow subsurface profiles show a regional unconformity (basal unconformity of this study) that truncates bedrock and typically is overlain by a very thin veneer (1-2 m or less) of acoustically transparent unconsolidated sediment. In places, the basal unconformity appears to be coincident with the seafloor. Where the basal unconformity is within 1-2 m of the seafloor, side-scan sonar reveals that either bedrock pierces the seafloor or numerous linear depressions dissect the shelf seafloor. Side-scan sonar shows that the central part of the study area is characterized by numerous linear depressions that are on the order of 1-3 m deep, several meters to 5 km in length, and from 250 m to 2 km in width. The only Holocene unconsolidated sediment in excess of 1-2 m that has accumulated on the Gulf shelf is located where the bedrock surface is topographically depressed. The topographic lows are situated south of the Point Reyes headland and southwest of the Golden Gate. The sediment deposits that overlie these lows attain thicknesses up to 15-20 m; however, their average thickness is less than 10 m. Structure contours on the basal unconformity surface, essentially the top of the bedrock platform, also show that

  19. Recent slope mobilizations in the Storegga Slide area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berndt, C.; Crutchley, G.; Karstens, J.; Dumke, I.; Duennbier, K.

    2012-12-01

    With ~3500 km3 of mobilized material the Storegga Slide off mid-Norway is one of the largest known sub-marine slope failures. It occurred approximately 8150 years ago and there is strong evidence suggesting that the slide caused a large tsunami that propagated through the North Atlantic and affected the coasts of Norway, Iceland and the U.K. In the Nyegga area along the northern side wall of the slide numerous shallow faults exist. These faults detach within the top 100 m below the sea floor at various stratigraphic levels below, at, and above the main slide plain of the Storegga Slide. Previous studies proposed that these faults are evidence for partial slope movements during the Storegga Slide event indicating that the adjacent slopes were deformed due to the stress variations caused by the Storegga Slide. New high-resolution Parasound data that we have collected in May 2012 onboard RV Meteor show offsets of reflectors that are buried less than 3 m below the sea floor. Assuming that the sedimentation rates derived from a near-by Marion Dufresne sediment core, can be extrapolated to the study area, these reflector offsets suggest that the faults are younger than the Storegga Slide. Given a several million year-long history of repeated slope failures in the area it is important to obtain more precise dates for the activity of the faults in order to assess if these faults can be used as an indicator for future slope failures in the area or if they are the result of small-scale adjustments of the head wall topography in the wake of the Storegga Slide.

  20. Regional variability of slope stability: Application to the Eel margin, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lee, H.; Locat, J.; Dartnell, P.; Israel, K.; Florence, Wong

    1999-01-01

    Relative values of downslope driving forces and sediment resisting forces determine the locations of submarine slope failures. Both of these vary regionally, and their impact can be addressed when the data are organized in a Geographic Information System (GIS). The study area on the continental margin near the Eel River provides an excellent opportunity to apply GIS spatial analysis techniques for evaluation of slope stability. In this area, swath bathymetric mapping shows seafloor morphology and distribution of slope steepness in fine detail, and sediment analysis of over 70 box cores delineates the variability of sediment density near the seafloor surface. Based on the results of ten geotechnical studies of submarine study areas, we developed an algorithm that relates surface sediment density to the shear strength appropriate to the type of cyclic loading produced by an earthquake. Strength and stress normalization procedures provide results that are conceptually independent of subbottom depth. Results at depth are rigorously applicable if sediment lithology does not vary significantly and consolidation state can be estimated. Otherwise, the method applies only to shallow-seated slope failure. Regional density, slope, and level of anticipated seismic shaking information were combined in a GIS framework to yield a map that illustrates the relative stability of slopes in the face of seismically induced failure. When a measure of predicted relative slope stability is draped on an oblique view of swath bathymetry, a variation in this slope stability is observed on an otherwise smooth slope along the mid-slope region north of a plunging anticline. The section of slope containing diffuse, pockmarked gullies has a lower measure of stability than a separate section containing gullies that have sharper boundaries and somewhat steeper sides. Such an association suggests that our slope-stability analysis relates to the stability of the gully sides. The remainder of the

  1. Structure maps and seismic stratigraphy of the Yakataga segment of the continental margin, northern Gulf of Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bruns, T.R.; Schwab, W.C.

    1983-01-01

    Multichannel seismic-reflection data show the late Cenozoic structure, seismic stratigraphy, and geologic history of the Yakataga segment of the continental margin, between Icy Bay and Kayak Island, northern Gulf of Alaska. The structure of the Yakataga segment consists of broad folds and associated thrust faults beneath the continental shelf and slope, trending generally northeast in the eastern part of the s~gment to east-west in the western part. Anticlines are generally asymmetric and doubly plunging and are commonly bounded on the seaward side by high-angle thrust faults. The degree of deformation is less intense than is observed in adjacent onshore areas. The age of deformation decreases seaward and the deformation shows an overall southeastward migration with time. Structures of similar age define three structural zones; structural growth was roughly contemporaneous in each structural zone, although the local growth pattern is complex in detail. Deformation within each structural zone was followed by subsidence and burial by rapidly deposited marine sediment. Deformation appears to have been continuous during the late Cenozoic, rather than a series of discrete events, because subsidence of a particular structural zone is accompanied by initiation of growth on a younger, more seaward zone. Varying degrees of reactivation of the older structures within recent time have resulted in renewed uplift of these structures. Average sedimentation, uplift, and subsidence rates are all extremely high, and generally range from about 1 to 2 m/1,000 yr; these rates can locally be much higher. The average strike of structures in the Yakataga segment indicates northwest-southeastward compression and is consistent with the current convergence direction between the Pacific and North America plates. Observed shortening within the segment is much less than required by the late Cenozoic convergence rate (about 6 cm/yr), and the major deformation is taken up elsewhere, primarily

  2. The northern Egyptian continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Badawy, Ahmed; Mohamed, Gad; Omar, Khaled; Farid, Walid

    2015-01-01

    Africa displays a variety of continental margin structures, tectonics and sedimentary records. The northern Egyptian continental margin represents the NE portion of the North African passive continental margin. Economically, this region is of great importance as a very rich and productive hydrocarbon zone in Egypt. Moreover, it is characterized by remarkable tectonic setting accompanied by active tectonic processes from the old Tethys to recent Mediterranean. In this article, seismicity of the northern Egyptian continental margin has been re-evaluated for more than 100-years and the source parameters of three recent earthquakes (October 2012, January 2013 and July 2013) have been estimated. Moment tensor inversions of 19th October 2012 and 17th January 2013 earthquakes reveal normal faulting mechanism with strike-slip component having seismic moment of 3.5E16 N m and 4.3E15 N m respectively. The operation of the Egyptian National Seismic Network (ENSN) since the end of 1997 has significantly enhanced the old picture of earthquake activity across northern Egyptian continental margin whereas; the record-ability (annual rate) has changed from 2-events/year to 54-event/year before and after ENSN respectively. The spatial distribution of earthquakes foci indicated that the activity tends to cluster at three zones: Mediterranean Ridge (MR), Nile Cone (NC) and Eratosthenes Seamount (ERS). However, two seismic gaps are reported along Levant Basin (LEV) and Herodotus Basin (HER).

  3. Bioenergetics of Continental Serpentinites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardace, D.; Meyer-Dombard, D. R.

    2011-12-01

    Serpentinization is the aqueous alteration of ultramafic (Fe- and Mg-rich) rocks, resulting in secondary mineral assemblages of serpentine, brucite, iron oxyhydroxides and magnetite, talc, and possibly carbonate and silica-rich veins and other minor phases-all depending on the evolving pressure-temperature-composition of the system. The abiotic evolution of hydrogen and possibly organic compounds via serpentinization (McCollom and Bach, 2009) highlights the relevance of this geologic process to carbon and energy sources for the deep biosphere. Serpentinization may fuel life over long stretches of geologic time, throughout the global seabed and in exposed, faulted peridotite blocks (as at Lost City Hydrothermal Field, Kelley et al., 2005), and in obducted oceanic mantle units in ophiolites (e.g., Tiago et al., 2004). Relatively little work has been published on life in continental serpentinite settings, though they likely host a unique resident microbiota. In this work, we systematically model the serpentinizing fluid as an environmental niche. Reported field data for high and moderate pH serpentinizing fluids were modeled from Cyprus, the Philippines, Oman, Northern California, New Caledonia, Yugoslavia, Portugal, Italy, Newfoundland Canada, New Zealand, and Turkey. Values for Gibbs Energy of reaction (ΔGr), kJ per mole of electrons transferred for a given metabolism, are calculated for each field site. Cases are considered both for (1) modest assumptions of 1 nanomolar hydrogen and 1 micromolar methane, based on unpublished data for a similar northern California field site (Cardace and Hoehler, in prep.) and (2) an upper estimate of 10 nanomolar hydrogen and 500 micromolar methane. We survey the feasibility of microbial metabolisms for key steps in the nitrogen cycle, oxidation of sulfur in pyrite, iron oxidation or reduction reactions, sulfate reduction coupled to hydrogen or methane oxidation, methane oxidation coupled to the reduction of oxygen, and

  4. 76 FR 2919 - Outer Continental Shelf Official Protraction Diagram and Supplemental Official Outer Continental...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-01-18

    ... Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement Outer Continental Shelf Official Protraction Diagram and Supplemental Official Outer Continental Shelf Block Diagrams AGENCY: Bureau of Ocean... American Datum of 1983 (NAD 83) Outer Continental Shelf Official Protraction Diagram and...

  5. Gravity-induced stresses in finite slopes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Savage, W.Z.

    1994-01-01

    An exact solution for gravity-induced stresses in finite elastic slopes is presented. This solution, which is applied for gravity-induced stresses in 15, 30, 45 and 90?? finite slopes, has application in pit-slope design, compares favorably with published finite element results for this problem and satisfies the conditions that shear and normal stresses vanish on the ground surface. The solution predicts that horizontal stresses are compressive along the top of the slopes (zero in the case of the 90?? slope) and tensile away from the bottom of the slopes, effects which are caused by downward movement and near-surface horizontal extension in front of the slope in response to gravity loading caused by the additional material associated with the finite slope. ?? 1994.

  6. Weighing the deep continental biosphere.

    PubMed

    McMahon, Sean; Parnell, John

    2014-01-01

    There is abundant evidence for widespread microbial activity in deep continental fractures and aquifers, with important implications for biogeochemical cycling on Earth and the habitability of other planetary bodies. Whitman et al. (P Natl Acad Sci USA, 95, 1998, 6578) estimated a continental subsurface biomass on the order of 10(16) -10(17) g C. We reassess this value in the light of more recent data including over 100 microbial population density measurements from groundwater around the world. Making conservative assumptions about cell carbon content and the ratio of attached and free-living microorganisms, we find that the evidence continues to support a deep continental biomass estimate of 10(16) -10(17) g C, or 2-19% of Earth's total biomass.

  7. Continental crust: a geophysical approach

    SciTech Connect

    Meissner, R.

    1986-01-01

    This book develops an integrated and balanced picture of present knowledge of the continental crust. Crust and lithosphere are first defined, and the formation of crusts as a general planetary phenomenon is described. The background and methods of geophysical studies of the earth's crust and the collection of related geophysical parameters are examined. Creep and friction experiments and the various methods of radiometric age dating are addressed, and geophysical and geological investigations of the crustal structure in various age provinces of the continents are studied. Specific tectonic structures such as rifts, continental margins, and geothermal areas are discussed. Finally, an attempt is made to give a comprehensive view of the evolution of the continental crust and to collect and develop arguments for crustal accretion and recycling. 647 references.

  8. Continental rifts and mineral resources

    SciTech Connect

    Burke, K. . Geosciences Dept.)

    1992-01-01

    Continental rifts are widespread and range in age from the present to 3 b.y. Individual rifts may form parts of complex systems as in E. Africa and the Basin and Range. Rifts have originated in diverse environments such as arc-crests, sites of continental collision, collapsing mountain belts and on continents at rest over the mantle circulation pattern. Continental rift resources can be classified by depth of origin: For example, in the Great Dike, Norilsk and Mwadui magma from the mantle is the host. At shallower depths continental crust partly melted above mafic magma hosts ore (Climax, Henderson). Rift volcanics are linked to local hydrothermal systems and to extensive zeolite deposits (Basin and Range, East Africa). Copper (Zambia, Belt), zinc (Red Dog) and lead ores (Benue) are related to hydrothermal systems which involve hot rock and water flow through both pre-rift basement and sedimentary and volcanic rift fill. Economically significant sediments in rifts include coals (the Gondwana of Inida), marine evaporites (Lou Ann of the Gulf of Mexico) and non-marine evaporites (East Africa). Oil and gas in rifts relate to a variety of source, reservoir and trap relations (North Sea, Libya), but rift-lake sediment sources are important (Sung Liao, Bo Hai, Mina, Cabinda). Some ancient iron ores (Hammersley) may have formed in rift lakes but Algoman ores and greenstone belt mineral deposits in general are linked to oceanic and island arc environments. To the extent that continental environments are represented in such areas as the Archean of the Superior and Slave they are Andean Arc environments which today have locally rifted crests (Ecuador, N. Peru). The Pongola, on Kaapvaal craton may, on the other hand represent the world's oldest preserved, little deformed, continental rift.

  9. Mantle plumes and continental tectonics.

    PubMed

    Hill, R I; Campbell, I H; Davies, G F; Griffiths, R W

    1992-04-10

    Mantle plumes and plate tectonics, the result of two distinct modes of convection within the Earth, operate largely independently. Although plumes are secondary in terms of heat transport, they have probably played an important role in continental geology. A new plume starts with a large spherical head that can cause uplift and flood basalt volcanism, and may be responsible for regional-scale metamorphism or crustal melting and varying amounts of crustal extension. Plume heads are followed by narrow tails that give rise to the familiar hot-spot tracks. The cumulative effect of processes associated with tail volcanism may also significantly affect continental crust.

  10. On the time-course of adjacent and non-adjacent transposed-letter priming

    PubMed Central

    Ktori, Maria; Kingma, Brechtsje; Hannagan, Thomas; Holcomb, Phillip J.; Grainger, Jonathan

    2014-01-01

    We compared effects of adjacent (e.g., atricle-ARTICLE) and non-adjacent (e.g., actirle-ARTICLE) transposed-letter (TL) primes in an ERP study using the sandwich priming technique. TL priming was measured relative to the standard double-substitution condition. We found significantly stronger priming effects for adjacent transpositions than non-adjacent transpositions (with 2 intervening letters) in behavioral responses (lexical decision latencies), and the adjacent priming effects emerged earlier in the ERP signal, at around 200 ms post-target onset. Non-adjacent priming effects emerged about 50 ms later and were short-lived, being significant only in the 250-300 ms time-window. Adjacent transpositions on the other hand continued to produce priming in the N400 time-window (300-500 ms post-target onset). This qualitatively different pattern of priming effects for adjacent and non-adjacent transpositions is discussed in the light of different accounts of letter transposition effects, and the utility of drawing a distinction between positional flexibility and positional noise. PMID:25364497

  11. Slope protection for artificial island

    SciTech Connect

    Czerniak, M.T.; Collins, J.I.; Shak, A.T.

    1981-08-01

    The technology under development to protect artificial-island production platforms from Arctic sea and ice damage involves three major considerations: (1) sea conditions during the ice-free season, (2) ice conditions during winter, and (3) construction constraints imposed by material availability, transportation problems, and length of the construction season. So far, researchers have evaluated 15 different slope-protection systems on the basis of reliability, construction-cost, and maintenance-cost factors, choosing 8 candidates for wave and ice model testing. The cases of interest involve exploration and production islands in shallow and deeper water applications.

  12. Beach Slopes of New Jersey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Doran, Kara; Long, Joseph W.; Birchler, Justin; Morgan, Karen L. M.

    2016-01-01

    The National Assessment of Coastal Change Hazards project derives features of beach morphology from lidar elevation data for the purpose of understanding and predicting storm impacts to our nation's coastlines. This dataset defines mean beach slopes along the United States Northeast Atlantic Ocean for New Jersey for data collected at various times between 2007 and 2014. For further information regarding data collection and/or processing methods refer to USGS Open-File Report 2015–1053 (http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2015/1053/).

  13. Changes in deep-water epibenthic megafaunal assemblages in relation to seabed slope on the Nigerian margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, Daniel O. B.; Mrabure, Charles O.; Gates, Andrew R.

    2013-08-01

    Local-scale habitat heterogeneity associated with changes in slope is a ubiquitous feature of bathyal continental margins. The response of deep-sea species to high habitat heterogeneity is poorly known and slope can be used as a proxy for many important ecological variables, such as current flow, sedimentation and substratum type. This study determines how slope angle effects megafaunal species density and diversity at the Usan field, offshore Nigeria, between 740 and 760 m depth. This deep-water area is increasingly exploited for hydrocarbons, yet lacking in baseline biological information. Replicated remotely operated vehicle video transect surveys were carried out using industry infrastructure (through the SERPENT Project) at a representative range of slopes (1°, 3°, 11° and 29°). Twenty-four species of benthic megafaunal invertebrate were found, numerically dominated by the echinoid Phormosoma placenta, and nine species of fish were observed. Megafaunal invertebrate deposit feeder density decreased significantly with increasing slope (density range 0.503-0.081 individuals m-2). Densities of megafaunal suspension feeders were very low except at the highest slope site (mean density 0.17 m-2). Overall species richness was greater on steeper slopes, although the richness of deposit feeders was not affected. Reduced labile organic matter in sediments on steeper slopes likely reduced deposit feeder densities, but increased current flow at higher slopes allowed both increased richness and density of suspension feeders.

  14. Modern configuration of the southwest Florida carbonate slope: Development by shelf margin progradation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, G.R.; Holmes, C.W.

    1990-01-01

    Depositional patterns and sedimentary processes influencing modern southwest Florida carbonate slope development have been identified based upon slope morphology, seismic facies and surface sediment characteristics. Three slope-parallel zones have been identified: (1) an upper slope progradational zone (100-500 m) characterized by seaward-trending progradational clinoforms and sediments rich in shelf-derived carbonate material, (2) a lower gullied slope zone (500-800 m) characterized by numerous gullies formed by the downslope transport of gravity flows, and (3) a base-of-slope zone (> 800 m) characterized by thin, lens-shaped gravity flow deposits and irregular topography interpreted to be the result of bottom currents and slope failure along the basal extensions of gullies. Modern slope development is interpreted to have been controlled by the offshelf transport of shallow-water material from the adjacent west Florida shelf, deposition of this material along a seaward advancing sediment front, and intermittent bypassing of the lower slope by sediments transported in the form of gravity flows via gullies. Sediments are transported offshelf by a combination of tides and the Loop Current, augmented by the passage of storm frontal systems. Winter storm fronts produce cold, dense, sediment-laden water that cascades offshelf beneath the strong, eastward flowing Florida Current. Sediments are eventually deposited in a relatively low energy transition zone between the Florida Current on the surface and a deep westward flowing counter current. The influence of the Florida Current is evident in the easternmost part of the study area as eastward prograding sediments form a sediment drift that is progressively burying the Pourtales Terrace. The modern southwest Florida slope has seismic reflection and sedimentological characteristics in common with slopes bordering both the non-rimmed west Florida margin and the rimmed platform of the northern Bahamas, and shows many

  15. Analysis and retracking of continental ice sheet radar altimeter waveforms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, T. V.; Brenner, A. C.; Zwally, H. J.; Bindschadler, R. A.

    1983-01-01

    The Seasat-1 radar altimeter data set acquired over both the Antarctic and Greenland continental ice sheets is analyzed to obtain corrected ranges to the ice surface. The radar altimeter functional response over the continental ice sheets is considerably more complex than over the oceans. Causal factors identified in this complicated response include sloping surfaces, undulating ice surfaces with characteristic wavelengths on the same spatial scale as the altimeter beam-limited footprint, off-track reflections, and dynamic lag of the altimeter tracking circuit. Retracking methods using the altimeter return pulse waveforms give range corrections that are typically several meters. The entire set of Seasat-1 altimetry over the continental ice sheets is being retracked by fitting a multi-parameter function to each waveform. Many waveforms have double ramps indicating near-normal reflections from two distinct portions of the ice surface within the altimeter beam. Two independent range measurements differing by less than 25 m are obtained from retracking the double-ramp waveforms.

  16. Transform continental margins - Part 2: A worldwide review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mercier de Lépinay, Marion; Loncke, Lies; Basile, Christophe; Roest, Walter R.; Patriat, Martin; Maillard, Agnès; De Clarens, Philippe

    2016-12-01

    We present a global inventory of transform continental margins, based on both a worldwide comparison of continent-ocean boundary identifications with oceanic fracture zones traces, and a compilation of published regional studies. This inventory increases the number of identified transform margins from 29 to 78. These margins represent 16% of continental margins in cumulative length and 31% of non-convergent margins. We include morphological data, published upper crustal sections, continent to ocean transition locations and published Moho shape data in the new database. This review confirms that continent to ocean transitions are sharper at transform margins than at divergent margins. It also emphasizes the structural diversity of transform margins. Associated with one third of transform margins, we define marginal plateaus as a new type of relief that corresponds to a flat but deep surface inside the continental slope, and that may be inherited from crustal thinning prior to transform faulting. Transform margin initiation appears to be favoured along propagating oceans and within cold and thick lithospheres.

  17. Analysis of slope stability, Wilmington to Lindenkohl Canyons, US mid-Atlantic margin

    SciTech Connect

    Almagor, G.; Bennett, R.H.; Lambert, D.N.; Forde, E.B.; Shephard, L.E.

    1984-01-01

    The continental slope gradient in the study area averages 7 to 8/sup 0/. Many valleys, canyons, and occasionally large sediment slumped masses occur. Moderate to steep slopes (19 to 27/sup 0/) as well as very steep to precipitous slopes (> 27/sup 0/) are abundant and occupy about 7% of the investigated area. The surficial sediments are predominantly terrigenous silty clays of medium to high plasticity (I/sub p/ = 10 to 35% w/sub L/ = 30 to 70%), but contain varying quantities of sands. Angles of internal friction are anti phi/sub d/ = 27 to 32/sup 0/, anti phi/sub cu/ = 30 to 33/sup 0/, and phi/sub cu/ = 14 to 17/sup 0/. The sediments are normally to slightly overconsolidated, but some unconsolidated sediments also were identified. c/sub u//anti p/sub 0/ values range from 0.12 to 0.78. An analysis of force equilibrium within the sediments reveals that (a) the gentle slopes in the study area are mostly stable; (b) that the stability of some steep slopes (19 to 27/sup 0/) is marginal; and (c) that on precipitous slopes (> 27/sup 0/) only a thin veneer of sediments can exist. Observations of these slopes during steep dives support these results. The analysis shows that additional accumulation of sediments and small shocks caused by earthquakes or internal waves can cause the slopes to fail. Collapse resulting from liquefaction in the uppermost slope along the canyons and valley axes, where fine sands and silt accumulate, also is likely. 22 references, 9 figures, 2 tables.

  18. Factors Influencing Occurrence, Scale, Mobility, Runout, and Morphology of Mass Movements on the Continental Slope

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-06-07

    failure. We develop improved correlations between engineering classifications and strength factors. We measure excess pore water pressures in situ. We...data obtained by Lee as part of a sediment pollutant transport study. We have prepared maps of the Los Angeles margin that show the distribution of...landscape evolution modelers. RELATED PROJECTS Lee has developed a USGS project to investigate sediment and pollutant transport on the Los Angeles margin

  19. Observed Oceanic Response over the Upper Continental Slope and Outer Shelf during Hurricane Ivan

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-09-01

    nsaldpesos.I diin nenlattd ( pitch / roll ) sensors contained in the ADCPs fluctuated by several degrees during the passage of Ivan but re- 7. Bottom scour...category-4 storm, Ivan veered to the east and wind speeds greater than 33 m s- .The maximum wind passed directly over 14 ADCPs deployed in the Missis...nondimensional storm speed (S), Burger number (B), Mach number (C), and 3. Data Rossby number (Q) that characterize the response for Fourteen ADCPs were

  20. Mesozoic Bivalvia from Clerke and Mermaid Canyons, northwest Australian continental slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grant-Mackie, J. A.

    Four sets of rock samples from two sites off the northwest Australian shelf in 3625-4480 m of water contain macrofaunas, mainly bivalves, of warm shallow-water origin. Mermaid Canyon (16 deg 19 min S, 118 deg 23 min E) provided many samples of oolitic calcarenite containing Pseudopecten (Pseudopecten) dugong n.sp., indicating an Early Jurassic age and Tethyan relationship. Three hand-specimens from the ridge forming the western edge of Clerke Canyon (16 deg 29 min S, 118 deg 30 min E) yielded a Norian coral-?Lima-oyster assemblage and the Norian-Rhaetian bivalve Palaeocardita aff. globiformis (Boettger). The latter shows relationship with south-east Asian (Indonesia-Vietnam-south China) forms.

  1. Histopathological assessment of liver and gonad pathology in continental slope fish from the northeast Atlantic Ocean.

    PubMed

    Feist, S W; Stentiford, G D; Kent, M L; Ribeiro Santos, A; Lorance, P

    2015-05-01

    The deep-sea environment is a sink for a wide variety of contaminants including heavy metals and organic compounds of anthropogenic origin. Life history traits of many deep-water fish species including longevity and high trophic position may predispose them to contaminant exposure and subsequent induction of pathological changes, including tumour formation. The lack of evidence for this hypothesis prompted this investigation in order to provide data on the presence of pathological changes in the liver and gonads of several deep-water fish species. Fish were obtained from the north east region of the Bay of Biscay (north east Atlantic Ocean) by trawling at depths between 700 and 1400 m. Liver and gonad samples were collected on board ship and fixed for histological processing and subsequent examination by light microscopy. Hepatocellular and nuclear pleomorphism and individual cases of ovotestis and foci of cellular alteration (FCA) were detected in black scabbardfish (Aphanopus carbo). Six cases of FCA were observed in orange roughy (Hoplostethus atlanticus) (n = 50) together with a single case of hepatocellular adenoma. A wide variety of inflammatory and degenerative lesions were found in all species examined. Deep-water fish display a range of pathologies similar to those seen in shelf-sea species used for international monitoring programmes including biological effects of contaminants. This study has confirmed the utility of health screening in deep-water fish for detecting evidence of prior exposure to contaminants and has also gained evidence of pathology potentially associated with exposure to algal toxins.

  2. Gas hydrate that breaches the sea floor on the continental slope of the Gulf of Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    MacDonald, I.R.; Guinasso, N.L. Jr.; Sassen, R.; Brooks, J.M.; Lee, L. ); Scott, K.T. )

    1994-08-01

    We report observations that concern formation and dissociation of gas hydrate near the sea floor at depths of [minus]540 m in the northern Gulf of Mexico. In August 1992, three lobes of gas hydrate were partly exposed beneath a thin layer of sediment. By May 1993, the most prominent lobe had evidently broken free and floated away, leaving a patch of disturbed sediment and exposed hydrate. The underside of the gas hydrate was about 0.2[degree]C warmer than ambient sea water and had trapped a large volume of oil and free gas. An in situ monitoring device, deployed on a nearby bed of mussels, recorded sustained releases of gas during a 44 day monitoring period. Gas venting coincided with a temporary rise in water temperature of 1[degree]C, which is consistent with thermally induced dissociation of hydrate composed mainly of methane and water. We conclude that the effects of accumulating buoyant force and fluctuating water temperature cause shallow gas hydrate alternately to check and release gas venting. 18 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab.

  3. Seafloor Geomorphology, Gas and Fluid flow, and slope Failure on the Southern Cascadia Continental Margin

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-11-02

    accretionary complex may initially contain over 50% water; during accretion this may be reduced to less than 10% by compaction, cementation and deformation...313-324. Orange, D.L. and Campbell, K.A., (1997), Modern and ancient cold seeps on the Pacific Coast - Monterey Bay, California and offshore...J.L., and Orr, F.M. Jr., (1997) Gas hydrates and global change: A preliminary case study offshore northern California, EOS (Transactions, American

  4. Upper Eocene tektite and impact ejecta layer on the Continental Slope off New Jersey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glass, B. P.; Koeberl, C.; Blum, J. D.; McHugh, C. M. G.

    1998-03-01

    During Leg 150 of the Ocean Drilling Project (ODP) two sites (903C and 904A) were cored which have sediments of the same biostratigraphic age as the upper Eocene tektite-bearing ejecta layer at Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) Site 612. Core 45X from ODP Site 904A (~ 4 km north of Site 612) contains a 5-cm-thick tektite-bearing ejecta layer and Core 56 from Site 903C (~ 8 km north-northwest of Site 904) contains a 2-cm-thick layer of impact ejecta without any tektite or impact glass. Shocked quartz and feldspar grains, with multiple sets of planar deformation features, and abundant coesite-bearing grains are present at both sites. The major oxide contents, trace element compositions, and rare earth element patterns of the Site 904 tektites are similar to those of the Site 612 tektites and to North American tektites (especially bediasites). The Sr and Nd values for one composite tektite sample from Site 904 fall within the range previously obtained for the Site 612 tektites, which defines a linear trend that, if extrapolated, would intersect the values obtained for North American tektites. The water contents of eight tektite fragments from Site 904 range from 0.017 to 0.098 wt. %, and, thus, are somewhat higher than is typical for tektites. The heavy mineral assemblages of the 63 - 125 m size fractions from the ejecta layers at Sites 612, 903, and 904 are all similar. Therefore, we conclude that the ejecta layer at all three sites are from the same impact event and that the tektites at Sites 904 and 612 belong to the North American tektite strewn field. Clinopyroxene-bearing (cpx) spherules occur below, or in the lower part of, the main ejecta layer at all three sites. At all three sites the cpx spherules have been partly or completely replaced with pyrite which preserved the original crystalline textures. Site 612, 903, and 904 cpx spherules are similar to those found in the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, central equatorial Pacific, western equatorial Pacific, and eastern Indian Ocean. The cpx event appears to have preceded the North American tektite event by 10 - 15 ka or less. The fining-upward sequence at all three sites and concentration of the denser, unmelted impact ejecta at the top of the tektite layer at Sites 612 and 904, suggest that the tektite-bearing ejecta layers are not the result of downslope redeposition and that the unmelted ejecta landed after the glass. Geographic variations in thickness of the tektite-bearing ejecta layer, the lack of carbonate clasts in the ejecta layer, and the low CaO content of the tektite glass, suggest that the ejecta (including the tektite glass) were derived from the Chesapeake Bay structure rather than from the Toms Canyon structure. A sharp decline in microfossil abundances suggests that local environmental changes caused by the impact may have had adverse effects on benthic foraminifera, radiolaria, sponges, and fish as well as the planktic foraminifera.

  5. Subsidence and strike-slip tectonism of the upper continental slope off Manzanillo, Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bandy, William L.; Michaud, François; Bourgois, Jacques; Calmus, Thierry; Dyment, Jérôme; Mortera-Gutiérrez, Carlos A.; Ortega-Ramírez, Jose; Pontoise, Bernard; Royer, Jean-Yves; Sichler, Bertrand; Sosson, Marc; Rebolledo-Vieyra, Mario; Bigot-Cormier, Florence; Díaz-Molina, Oscar; Hurtado-Artunduaga, Angel D.; Pardo-Castro, Guillermo; Trouillard-Perrot, Corrine

    2005-04-01

    The direction of convergence between the Rivera and North American plates becomes progressively more oblique (in a counter-clockwise sense as measured relative to the trench-normal direction) northwestward along the Jalisco subduction zone. By analogy to other subduction zones, the forces resulting from this distribution of convergence directions are expected to produce a NW moving, fore-arc sliver and a NW-SE stretching of the fore-arc area. Also, a series of roughly arc parallel strike-slip faults may form in the fore-arc area, both onshore and offshore, as is observed in the Aleutian arc. In the Jalisco subduction zone, the Jalisco block has been proposed to represent such a fore-arc sliver. However, this proposal has encountered one major problem. Namely, right-lateral strike-slip faulting within the fore-arc sliver, and between the fore-arc sliver and the North American plate, should be observed. However, evidence for the expected right-lateral strike-slip faulting is sparse. Some evidence for right-lateral strike-slip faulting along the Jalisco block-North American plate boundary (the Tepic-Zacoalco rift system) has been reported, although some disagreement exists. Right-lateral strike-slip faulting has also been reported within the interior of the Jalisco block and in the southern Colima rift, which forms the SE boundary of the Jalisco block. Threefold, multi-channel seismic reflection data were collected in the offshore area of the Jalisco subduction zone off Manzanillo in April 2002 during the FAMEX campaign of the N/O L'Atalante. These data provide additional evidence for recent strike-slip motion within the fore-arc region of the Jalisco subduction zone. This faulting offsets right-laterally a prominent horst block within the southern Colima rift, from which we conclude that the sense of motion along the faulting is dextral. These data also provide additional evidence for recent subsidence within the area offshore of Manzanillo, as has been proposed.

  6. Subsidence and Strike-slip Tectonism of the Upper Continental Slope off Manzanillo, Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bandy, W. L.; Michaud, F.; Bourgois, J.; Calmus, T.; Dyment, J.; Mortera-Gutierrez, C. A.; Ortega-Ramirez, J.; Pontoise, B.; Royer, J.; Sichler, B.; Sosson, M.

    2004-12-01

    The direction of convergence between the Rivera and North American plates becomes progressively more oblique (in a counter-clockwise sense as measured relative to the trench-normal direction) northwestward along the Jalisco subduction zone. By analogy to other subduction zones, the forces resulting from this distribution of convergence directions are expected to produce a NW moving, fore-arc sliver and a NW-SE stretching of the fore-arc area. Also, a series of roughly arc parallel strike slip faults may form in the fore-arc area, both onshore and offshore, as is observed in the Aleutian arc. In the Jalisco subduction zone, the Jalisco block has been proposed to represent such a fore-arc sliver. However, this proposal has encountered one major problem. Namely, right-lateral strike slip faulting within the fore-arc sliver, and between the fore-arc sliver and the North American plate, should be observed. However, evidence for the expected right-lateral strike slip faulting is sparse. Some evidence for right-lateral strike-slip faulting along the Jalisco block-North American plate boundary (the Tepic-Zacoalco rift system) has been reported, although some disagreement exists. Right-lateral strike-slip faulting has also been reported within the interior of the Jalisco block and in the southern Colima rift, which forms the SE boundary of the Jalisco block. Three-fold, multi-channel seismic reflection data were collected in the offshore area of the Jalisco subduction zone off Manzanillo in April 2002 during the FAMEX campaign of the N/O L'Atalante. These data provide additional evidence for recent strike-slip motion within the fore-arc region of the Jalisco subduction zone. This faulting offsets right-laterally a prominent horst block within the southern Colima rift, from which we conclude that the sense of motion along the faulting is dextral. These data also provide additional evidence for recent subsidence within the area offshore of Manzanillo, as has been proposed.

  7. Climate-scale sea surface height variability over the Northwest Atlantic slope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Guoqi; Chen, Nancy; Yen Kuo, Chun; Shum, Ck; Ma, Zhimin

    2016-04-01

    The Northwest Atlantic continental slope features strong interactions among the western boundary currents of the subpolar and subtropical gyres, and thus the sea level variability over the slope may have important implications for the large-scale ocean circulation. In this study, temporal and spatial sea level variability in the Northwest Atlantic continental slope has been investigated based on a merged satellite altimetry dataset and a monthly temperature and salinity dataset. The altimetric results are compared with steric height anomalies calculated from the temperature and salinity dataset. The study shows significant interannual and decadal sea level variability and secular change, with prominent regional differences and seemingly varying linkages to large-scale atmospheric and oceanic variability in the North Atlantic. The interannual sea level variability in the western Labrador Sea is negatively correlated with the North Atlantic Oscillation primarily via the wintertime deep convection; whereas that over the Laurentian Fan is positively correlated with the North Atlantic Oscillation. The thermosteric height anomalies are negatively (positively) correlated with the winter NAO index in the Labrador Sea (Laurentian Fan); while the halosteric height anomalies show opposite. The along-slope differences in the interannual and decadal variations and the secular trend of the sea surface height anomalies is compatible with an important interior pathway of the Labrador Sea Intermediate Water toward the central North Atlantic Basin reported in literature.

  8. Mycorrhizal aspects in slope stabilisation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graf, Frank

    2016-04-01

    In order to re-colonise and stabilise slopes affected by superficial soil failure with plants essential requirements have to be met: the plants must grow the plants must survive sustainably plant succession must start and continuously develop These requirements, however, are anything but easy given, particularly under the often hostile environmental conditions dominating on bare and steep slopes. Mycorrhizal fungi, the symbiotic partners of almost all plants used in eco-engineering, are said to improve the plants' ability to overcome periods governed by strongly (growth) limiting factors. Subsequently, results of investigations are presented of mycorrhizal effects on different plant and soil functions related to eco-engineering in general and soil and slope stabilisation in particular. Generally, inoculation yielded higher biomass of the host plants above as well as below ground. Furthermore, the survival rate was higher for mycorrhized compared to non-mycorrhized plants, particularly under extreme environmental conditions. However, the scale of the mycorrhizal impact may be species specific of both the plant host as well as the fungal partner(s) and often becomes evident only after a certain time lag. Depending on the plant-fungus combination the root length per soil volume was found to be between 0 and 2.5 times higher for inoculated compared to non-inoculated specimens. On an alpine graded ski slope the survival of inoculated compared to non-treated Salix herbacea cuttings was significant after one vegetation period only for one of the three added mycorrhizal fungus species. However, after three years all of the inoculated plantlets performed significantly better than the non-inoculated controls. The analysis of the potential for producing and stabilising soil aggregates of five different ectomycorrhizal fungi showed high variation and, for the species Inocybe lacera, no significant difference compared to untreated soil. Furthermore, inoculation of Salix

  9. Seabeam and seismic reflection imaging of the tectonic regime of the Andean continental margin off Peru (4°S to 10°S)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bourgois, J.; Pautot, G.; Bandy, W.; Boinet, T.; Chotin, P.; Huchon, P.; Mercier de Lepinay, B.; Monge, F.; Monlau, J.; Pelletier, B.; Sosson, M.; von Huene, R.

    1988-01-01

    Marine geophysical surveys employing Seabeam, multi- and single-channel seismic reflection, gravity and magnetic instruments were conducted at two locations along the continental slope of the Peru Trench during the Seaperc cruise of the R/V "Jean Charcot" in July 1986. These areas are centered around 5°30'S and 9°30'S off the coastal towns of Paita and Chimbote respectively. These data indicate that (1) the continental slope off Peru consists of three distinct morpho-structural domains (from west to east are the lower, middle and upper slopes) instead of just two as previously reported; (2) the middle slope has the characteristics of a zone of tectonic collapse at the front of a gently flexured upper slope; (3) the upper half of the lower slope appears to represent the product of mass wasting; (4) thrusting at the foot of the margin produces a continuous morphologic feature representing a deformation front where the products of mass-wasting are overprinted by a compressional tectonic fabric; (5) a change in the tectonic regime from tensional to compressional occurs at the mid-slope-lower slope boundary, the accretionary prism being restricted to the very base of the lower slope in the Paita area. The Andean margin off Peru is an "extensional active margin" or a "collapsing active margin" developing a subordinated accretionary complex induced by massive collapse of the middle slope area.

  10. Estimation of continental precipitation recycling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brubaker, Kaye L.; Entekhabi, Dara; Eagleson, P. S.

    1993-01-01

    The total amount of water that precipitates on large continental regions is supplied by two mechanisms: 1) advection from the surrounding areas external to the region and 2) evaporation and transpiration from the land surface within the region. The latter supply mechanism is tantamount to the recycling of precipitation over the continental area. The degree to which regional precipitation is supplied by recycled moisture is a potentially significant climate feedback mechanism and land surface-atmosphere interaction, which may contribute to the persistence and intensification of droughts. Gridded data on observed wind and humidity in the global atmosphere are used to determine the convergence of atmospheric water vapor over continental regions. A simplified model of the atmospheric moisture over continents and simultaneous estimates of regional precipitation are employed to estimate, for several large continental regions, the fraction of precipitation that is locally derived. The results indicate that the contribution of regional evaporation to regional precipitation varies substantially with location and season. For the regions studied, the ratio of locally contributed to total monthly precipitation generally lies between 0. 10 and 0.30 but is as high as 0.40 in several cases.

  11. The Influence of Shales on Slope Instability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stead, Doug

    2016-02-01

    Shales play a major role in the stability of slopes, both natural and engineered. This paper attempts to provide a review of the state-of-the-art in shale slope stability. The complexities of shale terminology and classification are first reviewed followed by a brief discussion of the important physical and mechanical properties of relevance to shale slope stability. The varied mechanisms of shale slope stability are outlined and their importance highlighted by reference to international shale slope failures. Stability analysis and modelling of anisotropic rock slope masses are briefly discussed and the potential role of brittle rock fracture and damage highlighted. A short review of shale slopes in open pits is presented.

  12. Drifter observations in the summer time Bay of Biscay slope current

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porter, M.; Inall, M. E.; Green, J. A. M.; Simpson, J. H.; Dale, A. C.; Miller, P. I.

    2016-05-01

    During the summer of 2012, 20 surface drifters drogued at 50 m depth were deployed on the continental slope to the north of the Bay of Biscay. Initially after release the drifters all crossed the slope, with 14 continuing equatorward, parallel to the slope following an absolute dynamic topography feature and 6 returning to the slope, in an eddy, visible in chlorophyll-a maps. Lagrangian statistics show an anisotropic flow field that becomes less tied to the absolute dynamic topography and increasingly dominated by diffusion and eddy processes. A weaker tie to the absolute dynamic topography allowed for total of 8 of the drifters crossed from the deep water onto the shelf, showing pathways for flow across the slope. A combination of drifter trajectories, absolute dynamic topography and chlorophyll-a concentration maps has been used to show that small anticyclonic eddies, tied to the complex slope topography provide a mechanism for on shelf transport. During the summer, the presence of these eddies can be seen in surface chlorophyll-a maps.

  13. 3-D view of erosional scars on U. S. Mid-Atlantic continental margin

    SciTech Connect

    Farre, J.A.; Ryan, W.B.

    1985-06-01

    Deep-towed side-scan and bathymetric data have been merged to present a 3-D view of the lower continental slope and upper continental rise offshore Atlantic City, New Jersey. Carteret Canyon narrows and becomes nearly stranded on the lower slope where it leads into one of two steep-walled, flat-floored erosional chutes. The floors of the chutes, cut into semilithified middle Eocene siliceous limestones, are marked by downslope-trending grooves. The grooves are interpreted to be gouge marks formed during rock and sediment slides. On the uppermost rise, beneath the chutes, is a 40-m deep depression. The origin of the depression is believed to be related to material moving downslope and encountering the change in gradient at the slope/rise boundary. Downslope of the depression are channels, trails, and allochthonous blocks. The lack of significant post-early Miocene deposits implies that the lower slope offshore New Jersey has yet to reach a configuration conducive to sediment accumulation. The age of erosion on the lower slope apparently ranges from late Eocene-early Miocene to the recent geologic past.

  14. Drift of continental rafts with asymmetric heating.

    PubMed

    Knopoff, L; Poehls, K A; Smith, R C

    1972-06-02

    A laboratory model of a lithospheric raft is propelled through a viscous asthenospheric layer with constant velocity of scaled magnitude appropriate to continental drift. The propulsion is due to differential heat concentration in the model oceanic and continental crusts.

  15. Hydrological heterogeneity in Mediterranean reclaimed slopes: runoff and sediment yield at the patch and slope scales along a gradient of overland flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merino-Martín, L.; Moreno-de las Heras, M.; Pérez-Domingo, S.; Espigares, T.; Nicolau, J. M.

    2012-05-01

    Hydrological heterogeneity is recognized as a fundamental ecosystem attribute in drylands controlling the flux of water and energy through landscapes. Therefore, mosaics of runoff and sediment source patches and sinks are frequently identified in these dry environments. There is a remarkable scarcity of studies about hydrological spatial heterogeneity in restored slopes, where ecological succession and overland flow are interacting. We conducted field research to study the hydrological role of patches and slopes along an "overland flow gradient" (gradient of overland flow routing through the slopes caused by different amounts of run-on coming from upslope) in three reclaimed mining slopes of Mediterranean-continental climate. We found that runoff generation and routing in non-rilled slopes showed a pattern of source and sink areas of runoff. Such hydrological microenvironments were associated with seven vegetation patches (characterized by plant community types and cover). Two types of sink patches were identified: shrub Genista scorpius patches could be considered as "deep sinks", while patches where the graminoids Brachypodium retusum and Lolium perenne dominate were classified as "surface sinks" or "runoff splays". A variety of source patches were also identified spanning from "extreme sources" (Medicago sativa patches; equivalent to bare soil) to "poor sources" (areas scattered by dwarf-shrubs of Thymus vulgaris or herbaceous tussocks of Dactylis glomerata). Finally, we identified the volume of overland flow routing along the slope as a major controlling factor of "hydrological diversity" (heterogeneity of hydrological behaviours quantified as Shannon diversity index): when overland flow increases at the slope scale hydrological diversity diminishes.

  16. Post-Ellesmerian depositional sequences of central North Slope subsurface

    SciTech Connect

    Noonan, W.G.

    1985-04-01

    Detailed electrical-log correlations of bedding in the Mesozoic to recent intervals define nearly time-equivalent stratigraphic units. Basinal depositional minima separate them into depositional cycles of 15 to 40-m.y. duration, and sequences of similar cycles correspond to the major episodes of Arctic tectonism. The close of the Sag River cycle in Pleinsbachian time ended the Ellesmerian sequence of accretionary tectonics and northerly continental provenance. Long,oscillating uplift to the northwest during the Jurassic Kingak cycle, and five or more subcycles of emergence along an ancestral Barrow arch rift shoulder during the Lower Cretaceous Kup River cycle show that the Barrovian sequence accompanied Arctic rifting. The Brookian sequence records a time of Arctic seafloor spreading coincident with underthrusting of the North Slope block toward a convergent Pacific margin. A series of major overthrusts onto the block from this margin were sources for Lower Torok, Nanushuk, Schrader Bluff, Prince Creek, and Franklin Bluffs cycles. The lower Torok source was in a distant westerly direction, and those of the following cycles became progressively closer and more southerly, ending near the present position of the central and western Brooks Range. A collision between Alaska and Siberia in mid-Tertiary time initiated the Eurekan sequence of circum-arctic compressional tectonics. The North Slope block was tilted northeast, and the Nuwok cycle was derived from the resulting regional erosion. Similar tilting and erosion beginning in the Pleistocene started the Gubik cycle that is still being deposited.

  17. Furrowed outcrops of Eocene chalk on the lower continental slop offshore New Jersey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Robb, James M.; Kirby, John R.; Hampson, John C., Jr.; Gibson, Patricia R.; Hecker, Barbara

    1983-01-01

    A sea bottom of middle Eocene calcareous claystone cut by downslope-trending furrows was observed during an Alvin dive to the mouth of Berkeley Canyon on the continental slope off New Jersey. The furrows are 10 to 50 m apart, 4 to 13 m deep, linear, and nearly parallel in water depths of 2,000 m. They have steep walls and flat floors 3 to 5 m wide, of fine-grained sediment. Mid-range sidescan-sonar images show that similarly furrowed surfaces are found on nearby areas of the lower continental slope, not associated with canyons. The furrows are overlain in places by Pleistocene sediments. Although they show evidence of erosional origin, they do not appear to be related to observed structures, and their straight, parallel pattern is not well understood. A general cover of flocky unconsolidated sediments implies that bottom-current erosion is not active now.

  18. Submarine processes of the middle Atlantic continental rise based on GLORIA imagery

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schlee, J.S.; Robb, James M.

    1991-01-01

    Approximately 6100 km of 3.5-kHz echo-sounding profiles was correlated with a GLORIA side-scan sonar image of the mid-Atlantic United States (34??N, 70??W) lower slope-upper continental rise. The image allows us to map the major erosional and depositional features and to identify major processes that have shaped the area. Interpretation of GLORIA imagery and echo-sounding profiles indicates that mass movement is the predominant process affecting sediment on the United States east coast mid-Atlantic slope and upper rise and that isobath-parallel sediment movement by geostrophic currents is restricted mainly to the lower continental rise. The mass-movement processes evident on the rise probably were most active during the Pleistocene, when sea level was lower and sediment input more active. -from Authors

  19. Large-scale subduction of continental crust implied by India-Asia mass-balance calculation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ingalls, Miquela; Rowley, David B.; Currie, Brian; Colman, Albert S.

    2016-11-01

    Continental crust is buoyant compared with its oceanic counterpart and resists subduction into the mantle. When two continents collide, the mass balance for the continental crust is therefore assumed to be maintained. Here we use estimates of pre-collisional crustal thickness and convergence history derived from plate kinematic models to calculate the crustal mass balance in the India-Asia collisional system. Using the current best estimates for the timing of the diachronous onset of collision between India and Eurasia, we find that about 50% of the pre-collisional continental crustal mass cannot be accounted for in the crustal reservoir preserved at Earth's surface today--represented by the mass preserved in the thickened crust that makes up the Himalaya, Tibet and much of adjacent Asia, as well as southeast Asian tectonic escape and exported eroded sediments. This implies large-scale subduction of continental crust during the collision, with a mass equivalent to about 15% of the total oceanic crustal subduction flux since 56 million years ago. We suggest that similar contamination of the mantle by direct input of radiogenic continental crustal materials during past continent-continent collisions is reflected in some ocean crust and ocean island basalt geochemistry. The subduction of continental crust may therefore contribute significantly to the evolution of mantle geochemistry.

  20. Interaction of along-slope and down-slope sedimentation processes on the Argentina/Uruguayan slope - First seismo-acoustic results from the Meteor cruise M78/3

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwenk, T.; Preu, B.; Krastel, S.; Fekete, N.; Meyer, M.; Lindhorst, K.; Anasetti, A.; Domnina, Y.

    2009-12-01

    Down-slope and along-slope sediment transport processes play a prominent role by shaping of passive continental margins. Mass wasting phenomena at continental margins have become a hot topic in recent time because of their coastal geo-hazard potential. In addition, deposition (and erosion) related to along-slope transport processes documents the impact of bottom currents in time and space. The Argentina/Uruguay margin forms a setting that is well suited to study the interaction of both processes. First, the area is characterized by the huge sediment discharge of the Rio de la Plata draining an extensive hinterland, which leads to a high potential of sedimentary instability and finally favors mass wasting phenomena. Additionally, several canyons deeply incised into the slope contribute to down-slope sediment transport. Second, the area is not only influenced by the Malvinas-Brazil Current confluence, a prominent element in global surface water circulation, but forms also a key location in the intermediate and deep water global conveyor belt, with both the latter having a major impact on lateral sediment transport by strong contour currents. Therefore, the area has been chosen to be one major target of a new project “Slope architecture and evolution of sedimentary regimes” at the MARUM (Center for Marine Environmental Sciences) at the University of Bremen, Germany. During RV Meteor Cruise M78/3 in May-July 2009 (carried out in cooperation between the MARUM, Bremen and the IFM-GEOMAR, Kiel) sediment transport and depositional patterns from the coast to the deep-sea were be investigated offshore Argentina and Uruguay by means of bathymetric swath-sounder, sediment echosounder, high-resolution multichannel seismic as well as coring. On the slope, the work concentrated one two study areas. North of the Rio de la Plata Mouth, slides, scarps and drift features were be imaged and mapped. In front of and south of the Rio de la Plate Mouth, the Mar del Plate canyon was

  1. Ocean Drilling Program Leg 178 (Antarctic Peninsula): Sedimentology of glacially influenced continental margin topsets and foresets

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eyles, N.; Daniels, J.; Osterman, L.E.; Januszczak, N.

    2001-01-01

    Ocean Drilling Program Leg 178 (February-April 1998) drilled two sites (Sites 1097 and 1103) on the outer Antarctic Peninsula Pacific continental shelf. Recovered strata are no older than late Miocene or early Pliocene (<4.6 Ma). Recovery at shallow depths in loosely consolidated and iceberg-turbated bouldery sediment was poor but improved with increasing depth and consolidation to allow description of lithofacies and biofacies and interpretation of depositional environment. Site 1097 lies on the outer shelf within Marguerite Trough which is a major outlet for ice expanding seaward from the Antarctic Peninsula and reached a maximum depth drilled of 436.6 m below the sea floor (mbsf). Seismic stratigraphic data show flat-lying upper strata resting on strata that dip gently seaward. Uppermost strata, to a depth of 150 mbsf, were poorly recovered, but data suggest they consist of diamictites containing reworked and abraded marine microfauna. This interval is interpreted as having been deposited largely as till produced by subglacial cannibalization of marine sediments (deformation till) recording ice sheet expansion across the shelf. Underlying gently dipping strata show massive, stratified and graded diamictite facies with common bioturbation and slump stuctures that are interbedded with laminated and massive mudstones with dropstones. The succession contains a well-preserved in situ marine microfauna typical of open marine and proglacial marine environments. The lower gently dipping succession at Site 1097 is interpreted as a complex of sediment gravity flows formed of poorly sorted glacial debris. Site 1103 was drilled in that part of the continental margin that shows uppermost flat-lying continental shelf topsets overlying steeper dipping slope foresets seaward of a structural mid-shelf high. Drilling reached a depth of 363 mbsf with good recovery in steeply dipping continental slope foreset strata. Foreset strata are dominated by massive and chaotically

  2. HDMR methods to assess reliability in slope stability analyses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kozubal, Janusz; Pula, Wojciech; Vessia, Giovanna

    2014-05-01

    Stability analyses of complex rock-soil deposits shall be tackled considering the complex structure of discontinuities within rock mass and embedded soil layers. These materials are characterized by a high variability in physical and mechanical properties. Thus, to calculate the slope safety factor in stability analyses two issues must be taken into account: 1) the uncertainties related to structural setting of the rock-slope mass and 2) the variability in mechanical properties of soils and rocks. High Dimensional Model Representation (HDMR) (Chowdhury et al. 2009; Chowdhury and Rao 2010) can be used to carry out the reliability index within complex rock-soil slopes when numerous random variables with high coefficient of variations are considered. HDMR implements the inverse reliability analysis, meaning that the unknown design parameters are sought provided that prescribed reliability index values are attained. Such approach uses implicit response functions according to the Response Surface Method (RSM). The simple RSM can be efficiently applied when less than four random variables are considered; as the number of variables increases, the efficiency in reliability index estimation decreases due to the great amount of calculations. Therefore, HDMR method is used to improve the computational accuracy. In this study, the sliding mechanism in Polish Flysch Carpathian Mountains have been studied by means of HDMR. The Southern part of Poland where Carpathian Mountains are placed is characterized by a rather complicated sedimentary pattern of flysh rocky-soil deposits that can be simplified into three main categories: (1) normal flysch, consisting of adjacent sandstone and shale beds of approximately equal thickness, (2) shale flysch, where shale beds are thicker than adjacent sandstone beds, and (3) sandstone flysch, where the opposite holds. Landslides occur in all flysch deposit types thus some configurations of possible unstable settings (within fractured rocky

  3. Production and remineralization in continental shelf ecosystems: A test of the SEEP hypothesis

    SciTech Connect

    Rowe, G.T.

    1986-09-01

    The hypothesis that continental shelf ecosystems export a major fraction of the carbon produced by the phytoplankton during the spring bloom was tested during the Shelf Edge Exchange Processes (SEEP) experiment off the northeast US coast in 1984. This study, along with a reanalysis of traditional concepts, leads to the conclusion that only a small fraction of continental shelf phytodetritus is exported across a distinct shelf-slope hydrographic frontal system. What is not consumed in the spring is utilized on the shelf during the ensuing stratified season. More open ended ecosystems may export production more readily. The total benthic standing stocks in terms of organic carbon (macrofauna, meiofauna, and bacteria) have been estimated in the SEEP area. Their preponderance on the continental shelf was partial evidence that little organic matter escapes to the upper continental slope. Measurements of the metabolism of the biota allowed calculation of turnover times of organic detritius and the total biota. The turnover time of detritus increased as grain size decreased, suggesting that fine-grained deposits contain mostly refractory, nonreactive compounds, especially on the deep slope. Turnover times of the total biota were about the same in the coarse versus fine-grained shelf deposits, but a far larger fraction of the turnover was attributed to the bacteria in the fine sediments than in the coarse. On average, about 25% of the primary production appeared to be utilized by the aerobic benthos on the continental shelf in the SEEP area. The role of anaerobes at depth in the sediments remains uncertain.

  4. Transport and transfer rates in the waters of the continental shelf. Annual report

    SciTech Connect

    Biscaye, P.E.

    1980-09-01

    The goal of govern project is to understand and quantify the processes that the transport and dispersal of energy-related pollutants introduced to the waters of the continental shelf and slope. The report is divided into sections dealing with processes associated with suspended solids; processes associated with sediments sinks for radionuclides and other pollutants; and spreading of water characteristics and species in solution. (ACR)

  5. Potential geologic hazards on the eastern Gulf of Cadiz slope (SW Spain)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baraza, J.; Ercilla, G.; Nelson, C.H.

    1999-01-01

    Geologic hazards resulting from sedimentary, oceanographic and tectonic processes affect more than one third of the offshore Gulf of Cadiz, and are identified by interpreting high-resolution seismic profiles and sonographs. Hazards of sedimentary origin include the occurrence of slope instability processes in the form of single or multiple slumps occupying up to 147 km2 mainly concentrated in the steeper, upper slope area. Besides the presence of steep slopes, the triggering of submarine landslides is probably due to seismic activity and favoured by the presence of biogenic gas within the sediment. Gassy sediments and associated seafloor pockmarks cover more than 240 km2 in the upper slope. Hazards from oceanographic processes result from the complex system of bottom currents created by the interaction of the strong Mediterranean Undercurrent and the rough seafloor physiography. The local intensification of bottom currents is responsible for erosive processes along more than 1900 km2 in the upper slope and in the canyons eroded in the central area of the slope, undermining slopes and causing instability. The strong bottom currents also create a mobile seafloor containing bedforms in an area of the Gulf that extends more than 2500 km2, mostly in the continental slope terraces. Hazards of tectonic origin are important because the Gulf of Cadiz straddles two major tectonic regions, the Azores-Gibraltar fracture zone and the Betic range, which results in diapir uplift over an area of more than 1000 km2, and in active seismicity with earthquakes of moderate magnitude. Also, tsunamis produced by strong earthquakes occur in the Gulf of Cadiz, and are related to the tectonic activity along the Azores-Gibraltar fracture zone.

  6. Continental collisions and seismic signature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meissner, R.; Wever, Th.; Sadowiak, P.

    1991-04-01

    Reflection seismics in compressional belts has revealed the structure of crustal shortening and thickening processes, showing complex patterns of indentation and interfingering of colliding crusts and subcrustal lithospheres. Generally, in the upper crust large zones of detachments develop, often showing duplexes and 'crocodile' structures. The lower crust from zones of active collision (e.g. Alps, Pyrenees) is characterized by strongly dipping reflections. The base of the crust with the Moho must be continuously equilibrating after orogenic collapse as areas of former continental collision exhibit flat Mohos and subhorizontal reflections. The depth to the Moho increases during collision and decreases after the onset of post-orogenic extension, until finally the crustal root disappears completely together with the erosion of the mountains. Processes, active during continental collisions and orogenic collapse, create distinct structures which are imaged by reflection seismic profiling. Examples are shown and discussed.

  7. The continental margin is a key source of iron to the HNLC North Pacific Ocean

    SciTech Connect

    Lam, P.J.; Bishop, J.K.B

    2008-01-15

    Here we show that labile particulate iron and manganese concentrations in the upper 500m of the Western Subarctic Pacific, an iron-limited High Nutrient Low Chlorophyll (HNLC) region, have prominent subsurface maxima between 100-200 m, reaching 3 nM and 600 pM, respectively. The subsurface concentration maxima in particulate Fe are characterized by a more reduced oxidation state, suggesting a source from primary volcagenic minerals such as from the Kuril/Kamchatka margin. The systematics of these profiles suggest a consistently strong lateral advection of labile Mn and Fe from redox-mobilized labile sources at the continental shelf supplemented by a more variable source of Fe from the upper continental slope. This subsurface supply of iron from the continental margin is shallow enough to be accessible to the surface through winter upwelling and vertical mixing, and is likely a key source of bioavailable Fe to the HNLC North Pacific.

  8. Dip-slope and Dip-slope Failures in Taiwan - a Review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, C.

    2011-12-01

    Taiwan is famous for dip-slope and dip-slope slides. Dip-slopes exist at many places in the fold-and-thrust belt of Taiwan. Under active cutting of stream channels and man-made excavations, a dip-slope may become unstable and susceptible for mass sliding. Daylight of a bedding parallel clay seam is the most dangerous type for dip-slope sliding. Buckling or shear-off features may also happen at toe of a long dip-slope. Besides, a dip-slope is also dangerous for shallow debris slides, if the slope angle is between 25 to 45 degrees and the debris (colluvium or slope wash) is thick (>1m). These unstable slopes may slide during a triggering event, earthquake or typhoon storm; or even slide without a triggering event, like the 2010 Tapu case. Initial buckling feature had been found in the dip-slope of the Feitsui arch dam abutment after detailed explorations. Shear-off feature have also been found in dip-slope located in right bank of the Nahua reservoir after field investigation and drilling. The Chiufengerhshan slide may also be shear-off type. On the other hand, the Tapu, the Tsaoling slides and others are of direct slide type. The Neihoo Bishan slide is a shallow debris slide on dip-slope. All these cases demonstrate the four different types of dip-slope slide. The hazard of a dip-slope should be investigated to cover these possible types of failure. The existence of bedding parallel clay seams is critical for the stability of a dip-slope, either for direct slide or buckling or shear-off type of failure, and is a hot point during investigation. Because, the stability of a dip-slope is changing with time, therefore, detailed explorations to including weathering and erosion rates are also very necessary to ensure the long-term stability of a dip-slope.

  9. Plankton blooms, ocean circulation and the European slope current: Response to weather and climate in the Bay of Biscay and W English Channel (NE Atlantic)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pingree, Robin D.; Garcia-Soto, Carlos

    2014-08-01

    The flow of upper-layer surface water and circulation for the Bay of Biscay, continental slope and in the wider region of the NE Atlantic is presented, as well as the seasonality of flow and internal tides. The marine plankton environments of Biscay Ocean, Biscay Eddies, Biscay Slope and Biscay Shelf are defined. The Shelf region (Armorican and Celtic) is further divided into Stratified Shelf, Frontal and Tidally Mixed. Seasonal distributions of chlorophyll a are given for all environment from in situ measurements and remote sensing data. Mixing and stabilisation of surface water in the euphotic layer for the start of the spring bloom using in situ profiling measurements is examined. Some regional responses for the slope current, dinoflagellate blooms and interannual variations in spring diatom numbers with respect to weather and climate in the Bay of Biscay and around the British Isles are suggested and discussed. An example of the Eastern European Ocean Margin continental slope response to winter weather (sea level atmospheric pressure forcing) resulting in warm winter water in the southern Bay of Biscay (Navidad, with eddy production) and off the Shetland continental slopes (the warm-water supply route to the Arctic) is given from the slope climate observation series.

  10. Low-frequency currents and continental shelf waves in the southern Weddell Sea

    SciTech Connect

    Middleton, J.H.; Foster, T.D.; Foldvik, A.

    1982-07-01

    The salient features of low-frequency current fluctuations, obtained from an analysis of eight current meter records from the continental shelf and slope of the southern Weddell sea, are compared to baroclinic and barotropic theories. A simple baroclinic theory of internal waves is used successfully to predict high-frequency spectral cutoff values from low-frequency velocity ellipse calculations made from the continental slope mooring data. The success of this theory indicates that the higher spectral energy levels observed over the slope compared to the shelf are probably due to baroclinic motions. A barotropic model of free continental shelf waves proposed by Saint-Guily (1976) is adapted for the local topography and the predictions of the model compared to observations. Coherences and phases between moorings separated by 10 and 160 km in the long-shelf direction provide substantial evidence of the existence of shelf waves as predicted by the theory for periods of 3--60 days and for the lowest three modes. For periods of 3--8 days rotary spectral levels indicate anticlockwise rotating current vectors over the shelf as predicted by theory, but for longer periods current vectors rotate clockwise. It is speculated that fluctuations in along-shelf wind stress drive the shelf waves but that the longer period motions are driven directly by the wind stress.

  11. Physical oceanography of continental shelves

    SciTech Connect

    Allen, J.S.; Beardlsey, R.C.; Blanton, J.O.; Boicourt, W.C.; Butman, B.; Coachman, L.K.; Huyer, A.; Kinder, T.H.; Royer, T.C.; Schumacher, J.D.

    1983-06-01

    Knowledge of the physical oceanography of continental shelves has increased tremendously in recent years, primarily as a result of new current and hydrographic measurements made in locations where no comparable measurements existed previously. In general, observations from geographically distinct continental shelves have shown that the nature of the flow may vary considerably from region to region. Although some characteristics, such as the response of currents to wind forcing, are common to many shelves, the relative importance of various physical processes in influencing the shelf flow field frequently is different. In the last several years, the scientific literature on shelf studies has expanded rapidly, with that for separate regions, to some extent, developing independently because of the variable role played by different physical effects. Consequently, it seems that a simultaneous review of progress in physical oceanographic research in different shelf regions would be especially useful at this time in order to help assess the overall progress in the field. This multi-author report has been compiled as a result. Included are sections on the physical oceanography of continental shelves, in or off of, the eastern Bering Sea, northern Gulf of Alaska, Pacific Northwest, southern California, west Florida, southeastern US, Middle Atlantic Bight, Georges Bank and Peru. These discussions clearly point to the diverse nature of the dominant physics in several of the regions, as well as to some of the dynamical features they share in common. 390 references, 23 figures.

  12. Continental crust beneath southeast Iceland

    PubMed Central

    Torsvik, Trond H.; Amundsen, Hans E. F.; Trønnes, Reidar G.; Doubrovine, Pavel V.; Gaina, Carmen; Kusznir, Nick J.; Steinberger, Bernhard; Corfu, Fernando; Ashwal, Lewis D.; Griffin, William L.; Werner, Stephanie C.; Jamtveit, Bjørn

    2015-01-01

    The magmatic activity (0–16 Ma) in Iceland is linked to a deep mantle plume that has been active for the past 62 My. Icelandic and northeast Atlantic basalts contain variable proportions of two enriched components, interpreted as recycled oceanic crust supplied by the plume, and subcontinental lithospheric mantle derived from the nearby continental margins. A restricted area in southeast Iceland—and especially the Öræfajökull volcano—is characterized by a unique enriched-mantle component (EM2-like) with elevated 87Sr/86Sr and 207Pb/204Pb. Here, we demonstrate through modeling of Sr–Nd–Pb abundances and isotope ratios that the primitive Öræfajökull melts could have assimilated 2–6% of underlying continental crust before differentiating to more evolved melts. From inversion of gravity anomaly data (crustal thickness), analysis of regional magnetic data, and plate reconstructions, we propose that continental crust beneath southeast Iceland is part of ∼350-km-long and 70-km-wide extension of the Jan Mayen Microcontinent (JMM). The extended JMM was marginal to East Greenland but detached in the Early Eocene (between 52 and 47 Mya); by the Oligocene (27 Mya), all parts of the JMM permanently became part of the Eurasian plate following a westward ridge jump in the direction of the Iceland plume. PMID:25825769

  13. Continental crust beneath southeast Iceland.

    PubMed

    Torsvik, Trond H; Amundsen, Hans E F; Trønnes, Reidar G; Doubrovine, Pavel V; Gaina, Carmen; Kusznir, Nick J; Steinberger, Bernhard; Corfu, Fernando; Ashwal, Lewis D; Griffin, William L; Werner, Stephanie C; Jamtveit, Bjørn

    2015-04-14

    The magmatic activity (0-16 Ma) in Iceland is linked to a deep mantle plume that has been active for the past 62 My. Icelandic and northeast Atlantic basalts contain variable proportions of two enriched components, interpreted as recycled oceanic crust supplied by the plume, and subcontinental lithospheric mantle derived from the nearby continental margins. A restricted area in southeast Iceland--and especially the Öræfajökull volcano--is characterized by a unique enriched-mantle component (EM2-like) with elevated (87)Sr/(86)Sr and (207)Pb/(204)Pb. Here, we demonstrate through modeling of Sr-Nd-Pb abundances and isotope ratios that the primitive Öræfajökull melts could have assimilated 2-6% of underlying continental crust before differentiating to more evolved melts. From inversion of gravity anomaly data (crustal thickness), analysis of regional magnetic data, and plate reconstructions, we propose that continental crust beneath southeast Iceland is part of ∼350-km-long and 70-km-wide extension of the Jan Mayen Microcontinent (JMM). The extended JMM was marginal to East Greenland but detached in the Early Eocene (between 52 and 47 Mya); by the Oligocene (27 Mya), all parts of the JMM permanently became part of the Eurasian plate following a westward ridge jump in the direction of the Iceland plume.

  14. Why does continental convergence stop

    SciTech Connect

    Hynes, A.

    1985-01-01

    Convergence between India and Asia slowed at 45 Ma when they collided, but continues today. This requires that substantial proportions of the Indian and/or Asian lithospheric mantle are still being subducted. The resulting slab-pull is probably comparable with that from complete lithospheric slabs and may promote continued continental convergence even after collision. Since descending lithospheric slabs are present at all collision zones at the time of collision such continued convergence may be general after continental collisions. It may cease only when there is a major (global) plate reorganization which results in new forces on the convergent continents that may counteract the slab-pull. These inferences may be tested on the late Paleozoic collision between Gondwanaland and Laurasia. This is generally considered to have been complete by mid-Permian time (250 Ma). However, this may be only the time of docking of Gondwanaland with North America, not that of the cessation of convergence. Paleomagnetic polar-wander paths for the Gondwanide continents exhibit consistently greater latitudinal shifts from 250 Ma to 200 Ma than those of Laurasia when corrected for post-Triassic drift, suggesting that convergence continued through late Permian well into the Triassic. It may have been accommodated by crustal thickening under what is now the US Coastal Plain, or by strike-slip faulting. Convergence may have ceased only when Pangea began to fragment again, in which case the cause for its cessation may be related to the cause of continental fragmentation.

  15. Unsteady Katabatic Winds on Mountain Slopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernando, H. J. S.; Princevac, M.; Hunt, J. C. R.

    2003-04-01

    UNSTEADY KATABATIC WINDS ON MOUNTAIN SLOPES H.J.S. Fernando (1), M. Princevac (1) and J.C.R. Hunt (2) (1) Arizona State University, Tempe, (2) University College, London j.fernando@asu.edu Theoretical and field studies were carried out on velocity and temperature fields of an unsteady nighttime atmospheric boundary layer on sloping surfaces. Field data were collected during the Vertical Transport and Mixing Experiment (VTMX) conducted in the Salt Lake basin, Utah. Nighttime data from two slope sites, with measurements taken using six tethersonde systems and three sonic anemometers placed at a various representative locations along the slope, were used in the analysis. This analysis concerned simple katabatic flows as well as the interaction between (evening) down-slope flows on lower (elevation) gentle slopes and those originating at adjoining higher (elevation) steep mountain slopes. Katabatic winds that form on the steep slope overrun those on the lower slope, thus dominating the micrometeorology at the bottom of the valley. Yet, the flow and temperature on higher slopes are independent of those in the lower valley, given that katabatic flows on steeper slopes are generally supercritical and do not transmit flow information upstream. By employing assumptions on the flow structure and using parameterizations for pertinent processes, an expression was derived for the layer-averaged katabatic flow velocity. Using energy arguments to calculate the growth rate of the katabatic-layer thickness, a new expression for the flow depth was derived. Extensive comparisons between theoretical results and field observations were made, allowing cross-fertilization between theoretical developments, eduction of flow physics and interpretation of field data. Unsteady effects pertinent to katabatic flows were also considered, following Fleagle’s approach, and it is shown theoretically and using observations that the down-slope flow pulsates with a period inversely proportional to

  16. Percent Agricultural Land Cover on Steep Slopes

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Clearing land for agriculture tends to increase soil erosion. The amount of erosion is related to the steepness of the slope, farming methods used and soil type. High amounts of agriculture on steep slopes can increase the amount of soil erosion leading to increased sediment in surface water. Agricultural land cover on steep slopes (AGSL) is the percent of agriculture on slopes greater than or equal to 9%. More information about these resources, including the variables used in this study, may be found here: https://edg.epa.gov/data/Public/ORD/NERL/ReVA/ReVA_Data.zip.

  17. Geological controls on the Storegga gas-hydrate system of the mid-Norwegian continental margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bünz, Stefan; Mienert, Jürgen; Berndt, Christian

    2003-04-01

    The geologic setting of the formerly glaciated mid-Norwegian continental margin exerts specific controls on the formation of a bottom-simulating reflector (BSR) and the inferred distribution of gas hydrates. On the continental slope the lithology of glacigenic debris flow deposits and pre-glacial basin deposits of the Kai Formation prevent gas-hydrate formation, because of reduced pore size, reduced water content and fine-grained sediment composition. Towards the continental shelf, the shoaling and pinch-out of the gas-hydrate stability zone terminates the area of gas-hydrate growth. These geological controls confine the occurrence of gas hydrates and ensuing formation of a BSR to a small zone along the northern flank of the Storegga submarine slide and the slide area itself. A BSR inside the slide area indicates a dynamically adjusting gas-hydrate system to post-slide pressure-temperature equilibrium conditions. These observations, together with widespread evidence for fluid flow and deep-seated hydrocarbon reservoirs, suggest that the formation of BSR and gas hydrates on the mid-Norwegian continental margin is dominated by an advection of gas from the strata distinctly beneath the gas-hydrate stability zone. Fluids migrate upward within the Naust Formation and are deflected laterally by hydrated sediments and less permeable layers. Gases continually accumulate at the top of the slope, where overpressure eventually results in the formation of blow-out pipes and consequent pockmark development on the seabed.

  18. Continental Flood Basalt Chemistry, Age and Volcanic Volumes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Humler, E.; Doubre, C.; Doubre, C.

    2001-12-01

    We have compiled a large collection of published chemical analyses of the 11 known continental flood basalts of the last 250 millions years. Only basaltic lavas and some related basic intrusive rocks are considered to be representative of the major episodes. Differentiation trends exhibit varying amounts of scatter, the trends for SiO2, FeO, and TiO2 are quite well defined, have slopes of the same sign, and can be represented adaquately by straigth lines. In contrast, the trends of CaO, Al2O3 and Na2O are often poorly defined. There are clear differences in major element abundances between volcanic suites, particularly for elements with well defined slopes. The results of our regressions are generally consistent with those of Turner and Hawkesworth (1995), Peng et al (1994) and Lassister and DePaolo (1997), although some differences exist. Examination of the global data base shows that there are systematic global variations in continental flood basalt chemistry that correlate with age. Old CFB, such as the Central Atlantic and Karoo-Ferrar, show the following characteristics: low Na2O, TiO2 and FeO, high SiO2. In contrast, basalts associated with recent breakups such as Afar-Yemen and Ethiopia, show the opposite chemical trends. Between these old and young continental breakup, a continuum of compositions is observed. The observed chemical systematics suggest that basalts associated with old breakups are derived by larger extent of melting at shallower mean pressures of melt segregation. Estimating the original volumes of lava in flood basalt provinces is rendered difficult due to subsequent erosion, partial destruction during continental collisions or burial beneath passive margin sedimentation wedges. Many CFBs were erupted in geologically brief intervals (0.5 to 2 Ma) although some, notably the Siberian Traps and Brito-Arctic Province, were emplaced in two or more distinct phases separeted by quiescent intervals. Our calculated emplacement rate show correlation

  19. Inorganic geochemistry of surface sediments of the Ebro shelf and slope, northwestern Mediterranean

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gardner, J.V.; Dean, W.E.; Alonso, B.

    1990-01-01

    Distributions of major, minor, and trace elements in surface sediment of the continental shelf and upper slope of the northeastern Spanish continental margin reflect the influences of discharge from the Ebro River and changes in eustatic sea levels. Multivariate factor analysis of sediment geochemistry was used to identify five groupings of samples (factors) on the shelf and slope. The first factor is an aluminosilicate factor that represents detrital clastic material. The second factor is a highly variable amount of excess SiO2 and probably represents a quartz residuum originating from winnowing of relict detrital sediments. A carbonate factor (Factor 3) has no positive correlation with other geochemical parameters but is associated with the sand-size fraction. The carbonate in these sediments consists of a mixture of biogenic calcite and angular to subangular detrital grains. Organic carbon is associated with the aluminosilicate factor (Factor 1) but also factors out by itself (Factor 4); this suggests that there may be two sources of organic matter, terrestrial and marine. The fifth factor comprises upper slope sediments that contain high concentrations of manganese. The most likely explanation for these high manganese concentrations is precipitation of Mn oxyhydroxides at the interface between Mn-rich, oxygen-deficient, intermediate waters and oxygenated surface waters. During eustatic low sea levels of the glacial Pleistocene, the Ebro Delta built across the outer continental shelf and deposited sediment with fairly high contents of organic carbon and continental components. The period of marine transgression from eustatic low (glacial) to eustatic high (interglacial) sea levels was characterized by erosion of the outer shelf delta and surficial shelf sediments and the transport of sediment across the slope within numerous canyons. Once eustatic high sea level was reached, delta progradation resumed on the inner shelf. Today, coarse-grained sediment (silt and

  20. Composition of the Continental Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rudnick, R. L.; Gao, S.

    2003-12-01

    The Earth is an unusual planet in our solar system in having a bimodal topography that reflects the two distinct types of crust found on our planet. The low-lying oceanic crust is thin (˜7 km on average), composed of relatively dense rock types such as basalt and is young (≤200 Ma old) (see Chapter 3.13). In contrast, the high-standing continental crust is thick (˜40 km on average), is composed of highly diverse lithologies (virtually every rock type known on Earth) that yield an average intermediate or "andesitic" bulk composition (Taylor and McLennan (1985) and references therein), and contains the oldest rocks and minerals yet observed on Earth (currently the 4.0 Ga Acasta gneisses (Bowring and Williams, 1999) and 4.4 Ga detrital zircons from the Yilgarn Block, Western Australia (Wilde et al., 2001)), respectively. Thus, the continents preserve a rich geological history of our planet's evolution and understanding their origin is critical for understanding the origin and differentiation of the Earth.The origin of the continents has received wide attention within the geological community, with hundreds of papers and several books devoted to the topic (the reader is referred to the following general references for further reading: Taylor and McLennan (1985), Windley (1995), and Condie (1997). Knowledge of the age and composition of the continental crust is essential for understanding its origin. Patchett and Samson (Chapter 3.10) review the present-day age distribution of the continental crust and Kemp and Hawkesworth (Chapter 3.11) review secular evolution of crust composition. Moreover, to understand fully the origin and evolution of continents requires an understanding of not only the crust, but also the mantle lithosphere that formed more-or-less contemporaneously with the crust and translates with it as the continents move across the Earth's surface. The latter topic is reviewed in Chapter 2.05.This chapter reviews the present-day composition of the

  1. Adjacent Segment Pathology after Anterior Cervical Fusion

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Jae Yoon; Park, Jong-Beom; Seo, Hyoung-Yeon

    2016-01-01

    Anterior cervical fusion has become a standard of care for numerous pathologic conditions of the cervical spine. However, subsequent development of clinically significant disc disease at levels adjacent to fused discs is a serious long-term complication of this procedure. As more patients live longer after surgery, it is foreseeable that adjacent segment pathology (ASP) will develop in increasing numbers of patients. Also, ASP has been studied more intensively with the recent popularity of motion preservation technologies like total disc arthroplasty. The true nature and scope of ASP remains poorly understood. The etiology of ASP is most likely multifactorial. Various factors including altered biomechanical stresses, surgical disruption of soft tissue and the natural history of cervical disc disease contribute to the development of ASP. General factors associated with disc degeneration including gender, age, smoking and sports may play a role in the development of ASP. Postoperative sagittal alignment and type of surgery are also considered potential causes of ASP. Therefore, a spine surgeon must be particularly careful to avoid unnecessary disruption of the musculoligamentous structures, reduced risk of direct injury to the disc during dissection and maintain a safe margin between the plate edge and adjacent vertebrae during anterior cervical fusion. PMID:27340541

  2. Tectonics of China: Continental scale cataclastic flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallagher, John J., Jr.

    Stratigraphic, structural, and earthquake evidence indicates that cataclastic flow, that is, flow by brittle mechanisms (e.g., fracture and slip), was dominant in China from late Paleozoic. This process has operated over a range of scales including the continental scale. China is made up of large brittle basement elements immersed in ductile zones which are analogous to porphyroclasts (large, often brittle fragments) surrounded by fluxion (foliation or flow) structures in cataclastic rocks, respectively. This basement fabric for China is seen on Landsat imagery and on tectonic maps and is comparable to cataclastic rock fabrics seen in fault zones, on outcrops, and in thin sections. Brittle basement elements are broken into two or more large rigid blocks, and the dimensions of elements and blocks are within 1 order of magnitude of each other. Ductile zones are made up of fragments which are many orders of magnitude smaller than the ductile zones. Rigid blocks and fragments are identified, and their dimensions are measured through earthquake, fault, and fracture patterns. Rigid basement blocks are surrounded by earthquakes. The sedimentary rocks over the basement faults at the block boundaries seem to be affected by fault movements because they are characterized by facies changes, thickness changes, high-angle faults, and forced folds. Ductile basement zones are earthquake prone, and deformation of the ductile basement affects the overlying sedimentary rocks, as is demonstrated by unconformities and by a wide variety of structures. Thrust faults, buckle folds, and strike slip faults are common in and adjacent to western ductile zones. Structures are most intensely developed where ductile zones abut brittle elements. Both brittle elements and ductile zones are rifted and cut by strike slip faults in eastern China. The mechanical fabric of China and the boundary conditions acting on China are now and always have been determined by its plate tectonic history. This

  3. Physiography and late Quaternary-Holocene processes of Northeastern Gulf of Mexico outer continental shelf off Mississippi and Alabama

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gardner, J.V.; Dartnell, P.; Sulak, K.J.; Calder, B.; Hellequin, L.

    2001-01-01

    High-resolution multibeam mapping of the mid- and outer continental shelf and upper slope off Mississippi and Alabama reveals a complex bathymetry that reflects conditions during the last eustatic rise and the present high stand of sea level. The most prominent bathymetric features are pinnacles and hardgrounds that are scattered throughout the area. These features generally stand <10 m above the surrounding seafloor, cover large areas, and display a variety of morphologies. Almost all the reef pinnacles and hardgrounds have zones of high acoustic backscatter on their summits and on the seafloor immediately adjacent to their southwest walls. In addition, they also have erosional moats on the seafloor to the southwest. Large fields of bedforms are scattered throughout the mapped area. The asymmetries and orientations of the bedforms suggest that they were formed by excursions of the northeast-flowing Loop Current. In contrast, the pervasive ponding of sediment on the northeast sides of bathymetric highs indicates that one of the predominant directions of sediment transport has been to the south and southwest. The shelf break is a zone of numerous landslides of various sizes and complexities. The morphology of several landslide scars indicates that some of the failures occurred recently. One large reef-capped salt dome was mapped in the area, surrounded by a large field of pock-marks. Fields of pockmarks are also scattered on the shelf. The growth and demise of the reefs are related to the fluctuating transgression of eustatic sea level during the last deglaciation. Two episodes of reef drowning are correlated with the increased rates of sea-level rise during documented melt-water pulses; the first occurred from 14.8 to 14.2 ka and the second from 11.8 to 11.2 ka. Rates of sea-level rise exceeded the maximum growth rate of hermatypic corals only during these two intervals since the last glacial maximum and thus drowned the coral communities.

  4. Large slope failures in the La Paz basin, Bolivian Andes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, N. J.; Hermanns, R. L.; Rabus, B.; Guzmán, M. A.; Minaya, E.; Clague, J. J.

    2014-12-01

    The La Paz basin in the eastern Bolivian Andes has been a hotspot for large-scale, deep-seated gravitational slope deformation during the Holocene. In less than 2 Ma, a network of steep-sided valleys up to 800 m deep formed in sediments of the Altiplano Plateau and underlying basement rocks. We characterize the distribution, extent, mechanisms, and modern activity of large-scale failures within this landscape using optical image interpretation, existing geologic maps, synthetic RADAR interferometry (InSAR), and field investigation. Deposits of nearly 20 landslides larger than 100 Mm3 occur within the basin. Most failures have occurred in weakly lithified Late Miocene to Pliocene sedimentary rocks and include earth flows, translational and rotational landslides, and plug flows. Failures in underlying tectonized Paleozoic sedimentary rocks include bedding-parallel rockslides. The largest failure is the 3 km3 Achcocalla earth flow (ca. 11 ka BP), which ran out ~20 km. Other dated events span the period from the early Holocene to nearly the Colonial historic period. InSAR results show that many large slope failures, including the Achocalla earth flow, are currently moving at rates of a few centimeters to a few decimeters per year. Rapid deposition, shallow burial, and rapid incision of the basin fills produced steep slopes in weak geologic materials that, coupled with groundwater discharge from the valley walls, are the primary controls on instability. In contrast, the Altiplano surface has changed little in 2 Ma and the adjacent slopes of the Cordilleran Real, although steep, are relatively stable. Of the over 100 landslides that have occurred in the city of La Paz since the early twentieth century, most are at the margins of large, deep-seated prehistoric failures, and two of the most damaging historic landslides (Hanko-Hanko, 1582; Pampahasi, 2011) were large-scale reactivations of previously failed slopes. Improved understanding of large, deep-seated landslides in

  5. Slide Activity along the eastern slope of the Gela Basin (offshore Sicily): First results from expedition MSM-15/3

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huhn, K.; Strasser, M.; Freudenthal, T.; Foglini, F.; Trincardi, F.; Minisini, D.; Msm15/3 Working Group

    2010-12-01

    Submarine slides occur at all sediment bearing margins worldwide (Camerlenghi et al., 2009; Masson et al., 2006). Although numerous studies have dealt with mapping and monitoring of submarine landslide as well as investigations of trigger mechanisms and sediment failure processes, many open questions persist why a given slope fails whereas adjacent remains stable. Besides large slide events, smaller scaled mid-size slides became recently of particular importance because especially these local slides enable investigation of physical and kinematical processes during failure and to test a wide range of different trigger mechanisms. Hence, during the research expedition MSM15/3 we drilled two distinct landslides in the Gela Basin offshore south of Sicily (Italy) utilizing the MARUM sea floor drill rig (MeBo). These so-called ‘Twin Slides’ have previously been identified in water depth between 200 - 800m on the basis of side-scan sonar, Chirp seismics, swath bathymetry and shallow core data. Besides, these landslides are described as multiple failures likely controlled by specific stratigraphic surfaces acting as glide planes (Minisini et al., 2007; Minisini and Trincardi, 2009). Nevertheless, failure planes are located in depth inaccessible by conventional coring and we therefore lack groundtruthing of the geophysical data. Therefore, MeBo was deployed to drill e.g. critical subsurface intervals. A systematic MeBo drilling transect from the undisturbed slope apron to the depositional area of these landslide masses recovers up to 55 meter long cores, including the failure planes and stacked mass transport deposits in the proximal and distal areas, respectively. Sedimentological, geochemical, geophysical and geotechnical analysis of these core materials will enable (1) an age dating and estimation of the recurrence rate of mid-sized slide events and (2) a sediment physical characterization to gain a deeper insight into kinematics and physical processes during failure

  6. Spatio-temporal evolution of a Tertiary carbonate platform margin and adjacent basinal deposits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, Moyra E. J.; Chambers, John L. C.; Manning, Christina; Nas, Dharma S.

    2012-10-01

    The variability in low to moderate energy carbonate platform margins is poorly known from the geological record. Here, the spatial and temporal evolution of platform margin and adjacent basinal deposits is evaluated from the little known Tertiary Kedango Limestone that developed in a semi-enclosed marine embayment in SE Asia. The hypothesis here is that platform margin development will reflect regional and perhaps global influences, such as tectonics, eustasy or biotic change, rather than windward-leeward effects and storms that typically impact strongly upon open oceanic platforms. The development of the carbonate platform was determined through logging, petrography, facies evaluation, provenance and high-resolution dating studies. Eleven carbonate facies were identified from the 30 km long western margin of the > 600 m thick platform and its adjacent slope and basinal deposits. Larger benthic foraminifera and coralline algal packstones and wackestones dominated in shallow waters. During the Oligo-Miocene, coral patch reef-related floatstones, rudstones and less commonly boundstones were also present on the platform top. Perhaps surprisingly for a low energy platform there was considerable variation along the platform margin and much reworking of material into slope and basinal deposits during the Oligo-Miocene. Reworked material includes shallow water bioclasts, clasts from older siliciclastics, fresh feldspars, lithified slope and platform top carbonate clasts, some of the latter showing evidence for karstification. The western platform margin varied laterally over a few kilometres from a gently sloping unrimmed platform, to a probable bank top, with in places coral-fringed, bypass and erosional faulted escarpment margins. Eustasy may have influenced shallowing and deepening trends on the platform top, but apparently had little impact on mass wasting. Instead platform margin development was strongly impacted by tectonics (including active faulting), terrestrial

  7. Stability control in underground working adjacent an in situ oil shale retort

    SciTech Connect

    Ricketts, Th. E.

    1985-07-30

    In situ oil shale retorts are formed in spaced-apart rows, with adjacent rows of such retorts being separated by load-bearing inter-retort pillars of unfragmented formation sufficiently strong for preventing substantial subsidence. Each retort contains a fragmented permeable mass of formation particles containing oil shale. An air level drift is excavated in formation directly above the inter-r