Sediment dynamics and geohazards off Uruguay and the de la Plata River region (northern Argentina and Uruguay).

Krastel, Sebastian , Wefer, Gerold, Hanebuth, Till J. J., Antobreh, Andrew A., Freudenthal, Tim, Preu, Benedict, Schwenk, Tilmann, Strasser, Michael, Violante, Roberto and Winkelmann, Daniel (2011) Sediment dynamics and geohazards off Uruguay and the de la Plata River region (northern Argentina and Uruguay). Geo-Marine Letters, 31 . pp. 271-283. DOI 10.1007/s00367-011-0232-4.

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The continental margin off Uruguay and northern Argentina is characterized by high fluvial input by the de la Plata River and a complex oceanographic regime. Here we present first results from RV Meteor Cruise M78/3 of May–July 2009, which overall aimed at investigating sediment transport processes from the coast to the deep sea by means of hydroacoustic and seismic mapping, as well as coring using conventional tools and the new MARUM seafloor drill rig (MeBo). Various mechanisms of sediment instabilities were identified based on geophysical and core data, documenting particularly the continental slope offshore Uruguay to be locus of submarine landsliding. Individual landslides are relatively small with volumes <2km3. Gravitational downslope sediment transport also occurs through the prominent Mar del Plata Canyon and several smaller canyons. The canyons originate at a midslope position, and the absence of buried upslope continuations strongly suggests upslope erosion as main process for canyon evolution. Many other morphological features (e.g., slope-parallel scarps with scour geometries) and abundant contourites in a 35-m-long MeBo core reveal that sediment transport and erosion are controlled predominantly by strong contour currents. Despite numerous landslide events, their geohazard potential is considered to be relatively small, because of their small volumes and their occurrence at relatively deep water depths of more than 1,500 m.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Geodynamics; Sediment transport processes
Research affiliation: OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence > FO-R06
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-GDY Marine Geodynamics
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB4 Dynamics of the Ocean Floor > FB4-JRG-B4 Submarine Hazards
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1007/s00367-011-0232-4
ISSN: 0276-0460
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 20 May 2011 11:36
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 19:15

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