The Gulf of Cadiz: an unstable giant contouritic levee

Mulder, T.; Habgood, E.; Kenyon, N.H.. 2003 The Gulf of Cadiz: an unstable giant contouritic levee. Geo-Marine Letters, 23 (1). 7-18.

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Recent multibeam bathymetry and acoustic imagery data provide a new understanding of the sedimentary system located in the Gulf of Cadiz which is under the influence of a strong current, the Mediterranean Outflow Water (MOW). When it comes out from the Strait of Gibraltar, the MOW is either channelled along major or secondary channels, or spills over a sedimentary levee. Frequent earthquakes and the constant current shearing generate widespread sediment deformation and instability of contourite deposits. Secondary channels can form by retrogression following an initial failure. At their mouth, sediment accumulates in the form of small sandy contourite lobes. These observations suggest that the Gulf of Cadiz system shares many similarities with channel-levee complexes formed by turbidity current activity. The main difference is that, in the Gulf of Cadiz, the main process is a strongly flowing saline current which locally interacts with gravity processes.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Date made live: 23 Apr 2004 +0 (UTC)

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