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A subsurface evacuation model for submarine slope failure

Bull, Suzanne, Cartwright, Joseph Albert and Huuse, Mads 2009. A subsurface evacuation model for submarine slope failure. Basin Research 21 (4) , pp. 433-443. 10.1111/j.1365-2117.2008.00390.x

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Analysis of three-dimensional (3D) seismic reflection data from the Norwegian continental margin provides an insight into an unusual, buried submarine slope failure, which occurred adjacent to the later Holocene-age Storegga Slide. The identified failure, informally named the ‘South Vøring Slide’ (SVS), occurs in fine-grained hemipelagic and contourite sediments on a slope of 0.5°, and is characterised by a deformed seismic facies unit consisting of closely spaced pyramidal blocks and ridges bound by small normal faults striking perpendicular to the slope. The SVS contrasts with other previously described submarine slope failures in that it cannot be explained by a retrogressive model. The defining characteristic is the high relative volume loss. The area affected by sliding has thinned by some 40%, seen in combination with very modest extension in the translation direction, with line length balancing yielding an extension value of only 4.5%. The volume loss is explained by the mobilisation of an approximately 40 m thick interval at the lower part of the unit and its removal from beneath a thin overburden, which subsequently underwent extensional fragmentation. Evidence for the mobilisation of a thick fine-grained interval in the development of a submarine slope failure from a continental margin setting may have implications for the origins of other large-scale slope failures on the Norwegian margin and other glacially influenced margins worldwide.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Ocean Sciences
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GC Oceanography
Q Science > QE Geology
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 0950-091X
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2019 02:15

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