Slope instabilities at an active continental margin: large-scale polyphase submarine slides along the northern Peruvian margin, between 5 °S and 6 °S

Duperret, A., Bourgois, J., Lagabrielle, Y. and Suess, Erwin (1995) Slope instabilities at an active continental margin: large-scale polyphase submarine slides along the northern Peruvian margin, between 5 °S and 6 °S Marine Geology, 122 (4). pp. 303-328. DOI 10.1016/0025-3227(94)00125-5.

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A mega-submarine slide was evidenced along the Peruvian margin during a Seabeam survey of the R/V Charcot (Bourgois et al., 1986). The debris-slide was initially interpreted as the result of the slope failure occurring along a seaward curved scarp, and extending from east to west, along the line of maximum slope. Complementary bathymetrie data obtained from the R/V Sonne survey conducted to the north and to the south of the previous surveyed area has resulted in the identification of large-scale polyphase submarine slides involving a total surface of about 1000 km2, between latitudes 5 °15′S and 6 °05′S. Using Seabeam and Hydrosweep multibeam echosounder data in combination with deep-sea submersible observations, three distinct slope-failure types related to three main stages have been revealed. The three sliding phases occurred roughly along the same trend, orientated N230 °, and are therefore mainly controlled by the N80 ° orientation of the subducting Nazca plate. (1) The first phase of slope failure is documented by a debris-avalanche deposit, which extends from the lower slope down to 5 km within the trench floor. The deposit originates from the northern wall of a wide valley located along the upper slope. (2) The second phase of slope failure is characterized by a debris-avalanche, with a crescent-shaped scar, located along the middle slope and a hummocky deposit covering the lower slope and extending up to 10 km across the trench. The volume of rock involved in this event is estimated to some 250 km3. The slope failure is assumed to be related to an oversteepening of the middle slope induced by a rollover deformation. (3) The third phase of slope failure corresponds to a translational sliding block and a toppling block with volumes of 6 km3 and 13 km3, respectively. The seismic energy produced during the seismic cycle has greatly increased facturation and fluids buildup along the area previously weakened by a rollover fold. A restricted N-S folding is observed in the vicinity of the trench, to the north of the two debris-avalanche deposits. It may have formed in relation to the local compression limited to the subduction of the Nazca plate. Sliding and folding thus document the paradox between the compressive regime in the lower plate and the extensional regime in the upper part of the upper plate.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Slope instabilities, active continental margin, northern Peruvian Margin, RV Charcot, RV Nadir, RV Sonne, Nautile,
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-MG Marine Geosystems
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1016/0025-3227(94)00125-5
ISSN: 0025-3227
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2008 17:27
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2018 11:50

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