The influence of submarine currents associated with the Subtropical Front upon seafloor depression morphologies on the eastern passive margin of South Island, New Zealand.

Hillman, Jess I. T., Klaucke, Ingo , Pecher, Ingo A., Gorman, Andrew R., Schneider von Deimling, Jens and Bialas, Jörg (2018) The influence of submarine currents associated with the Subtropical Front upon seafloor depression morphologies on the eastern passive margin of South Island, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 61 (1). pp. 112-125. DOI 10.1080/00288306.2018.1434801.

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Abstract

Submarine currents are a principal factor in controlling seafloor geomorphology. Herein, we investigate the role of dynamic current systems associated with the Subtropical Front in the formation and modification of seafloor depressions off the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island. Seafloor depressions are widespread in this region, with a diverse range of morphologies and sizes. We focus on two ‘end-member’ classes of depressions; densely spaced decametre-scale structures and more isolated ‘giant’ depressions of up to 12 km in diameter. Our results reveal a direct correlation between the dominant current flow direction, and the modification and alignment of depressions. We present a model to illustrate the role of submarine currents in shaping the morphology of these enigmatic seafloor depressions. This model demonstrates how contour currents, and potentially eddy currents, have extensively modified seafloor structures, resulting in elongate, asymmetrical depressions, partially infilled by sediment drift deposits.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: New Zealand, seafloor depressions, ocean currents, geomorphology, contour currents, RV Tangaroa, RV Polaris II, RV Sonne, MV Nordic Explorer
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-GDY Marine Geodynamics
Kiel University
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1080/00288306.2018.1434801
ISSN: 0028-8306
Expeditions/Models/Experiments:
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2018 10:28
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2019 15:14
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/41919

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