Submarine Landslides in an Upwelling System

Urlaub, Morelia, Krastel, Sebastian and Schwenk, Tilmann (2019) Submarine Landslides in an Upwelling System Submarine Landslides: Subaqueous Mass Transport Deposits from Outcrops to Seismic Profiles. UNSPECIFIED, Hoboken, N.J., pp. 299-311. DOI 10.1002/9781119500513.ch18.

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Continental slopes are areas of high primary productivity, in particular where strong winds allow cold, nutrient‐laden deep water to upwell. The seafloor in upwelling areas is affected by repeated large submarine landslides, but the special environmental conditions have as yet not been taken into account in the analysis of these landslides. We show evidence for a potential link between environmental conditions and landslide occurrence for the Cap Blanc Slide Complex in the center of the Cap Blanc upwelling zone. Ocean Drilling Program Site 658 was drilled inside the slide complex, and its integration with high‐resolution seismic lines reveals that the onset of sliding postdates the onset of glaciations in the Northern Hemisphere. The sediment associated with failure surfaces of all seven slide events comprises of diatom ooze, the conditions for the formation of which are only met at the end of glacials. Preconditioning of the slope in the Cap Blanc Slide Complex is thus climatically controlled. We conclude that the presence of ooze formed under specific environmental conditions is an important factor in preconditioning slopes to fail in the Cap Blanc Slide Complex and potentially also at other continental slopes with high primary productivity.

Document Type: Book chapter
Keywords: Cap Blanc Slide Area, core‐seismic integration, failure planes, oceanography, seafloor morphology, sedimentology, seismic reflectors, submarine landslides, upwelling system
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-GDY Marine Geodynamics
Kiel University
DOI etc.: 10.1002/9781119500513.ch18
ISSN: 2328-8779
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2019 12:16
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2019 12:16

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