Impact of sea level fluctuations on the sedimentation patterns of the SE African margin: Implications for slope instability.

Micallef, Aaron , Georgiopoulou, Aggeliki, Green, Andrew and Maselli, Vittorio (2019) Impact of sea level fluctuations on the sedimentation patterns of the SE African margin: Implications for slope instability. In: Subaqueous Mass Movements and their Consequences: Advances in Process Understanding, Monitoring and Hazard . , ed. by Georgiopoulou, A.. Special Publications Geological Society London, 500 . Geological Society of London, London, ?. DOI 10.1144/SP500-2019-172.

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Abstract

The sheared-passive margin offshore Durban (South Africa) is characterised by a narrow continental shelf and steep slope hosting numerous submarine canyons. Supply of sediment to the margin is predominantly terrigenous, dominated by discharge from several short but fast-flowing rivers. IODP Expedition 361 provides a unique opportunity to investigate the role of sea level fluctuations on the sedimentation patterns and slope instability along the South African margin. We analysed >300 sediment samples and downcore variations in P-wave, magnetic susceptibility, bioturbation intensity, and bulk density from site U1474, as well as regional seismic reflection profiles to: (i) document an increase in sand input since the mid-Pliocene; (ii) associate this change to a drop in sea level and extension of subaerial drainage systems towards the shelf-edge; (iii) demonstrate that slope instability has played a key role in the evolution of the South Africa margin facing the Natal Valley. Furthermore, we highlight how the widespread occurrence of failure events reflects the tectonic control on the morphology of the shelf and slope, as well as bottom current scour and instability of fan complexes. This information in important to improve hazard assessment in a populated coastal region with growing offshore hydrocarbon activities.

Document Type: Book chapter
Keywords: Sea level fluctuations, sedimentation patterns, SE African margin
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-GDY Marine Geodynamics
Open Access Journal?: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1144/SP500-2019-172
ISSN: 0305-8719
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2020 15:42
Last Modified: 07 Jan 2020 15:42
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/48576

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