Sedimentary growth pattern on the northern Argentine slope: The impact of North Atlantic Deep Water on southern hemisphere slope architecture.

Preu, Benedict, Schwenk, Tilmann, Hernández-Molina, F. Javier, Violante, Roberto, Paterlini, Marcelo, Krastel, Sebastian, Tomasini, Juan and Spieß, Volkhard (2012) Sedimentary growth pattern on the northern Argentine slope: The impact of North Atlantic Deep Water on southern hemisphere slope architecture. Marine Geology, 329-331 . pp. 113-125. DOI 10.1016/j.margeo.2012.09.009.

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Large sedimentary deposits consisting of several major contourite drifts were studied by means of high-resolution multichannel seismic data at the middle slope along the Northern Argentina Continental Margin to determine their evolutionary stages as well as to identify and assess the possible impact of Northern Source Deep Water (NSDW) on the slope architecture. The imaged contouritic sediments allow decoding on the regional paleo-oceanographic setting of the last 32 Ma.

Earliest contouritic sedimentation can be observed close to the Eocene/Oligocene boundary based on an aggradational stacking pattern with a complex and wavy seismic facies, pointing toward a hydrodynamically turbulent flow pattern. This facies is most likely related to the opening of the Drake Passage associated with global cooling and a strengthening of surface, intermediate and deep ocean currents in the Southern Ocean. During the Middle Miocene plastered drift sequences with an aggradational reflection pattern were deposited. Their depositional style indicates weak, non-turbulent current conditions, which are interpreted to be related to a vertical shift of water mass interfaces caused by the first formation of NSDW during the Mid-Miocene climatic optimum. On top, the formation of plastered drift sequences led to the modern extent of the Ewing Terrace, which was probably controlled by the continuous strengthening and thickening of NSDW until the final closure of the Central American Seaway (CAS). During the Pliocene and Quaternary, after the complete closure of the CAS and under the influence of the full force of the NSDW, mounded plastered drift sequences are built upon the Ewing Terrace generating the modern slope morphology. Therefore, we suggest that deep-water production in the northern hemisphere plays a significant role by controlling the shape of the continental slopes in the southwestern South Atlantic since the Middle Miocene.

► Slope of northern Argentine Continental margin is current controlled since 32 Ma. ► Variability of Northern Source Deep Water (NSDW) controls sedimentary processes. ► Sedimentary processes are susceptible to changes of the Brazil-Malvinas Confluence. ► Impact of NSDW on slope processes is underestimated in the southern hemisphere.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000312506300010
Keywords: Marine geodynamics; contourite drifts; contourite depositional system; contourite terrace; water mass interface; Antarctic Intermediate Water; North Atlantic Deep Water; Brazil–Malvinas Confluence; CONTOURITE DEPOSITIONAL SYSTEM; ANTARCTIC CIRCUMPOLAR CURRENT; MIDPLEISTOCENE CLIMATE TRANSITION; CENTRAL-AMERICAN SEAWAY; GLOBAL CLIMATE; CONTINENTAL-SLOPE; SW ATLANTIC; CIRCULATION; BASIN; EVOLUTION
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-GDY Marine Geodynamics
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.margeo.2012.09.009
ISSN: 0025-3227
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2012 13:31
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2017 11:18

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