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Prodigious submarine landslides during the inception and early growth of volcanic islands

Hunt, James; Jarvis, Ian. 2017 Prodigious submarine landslides during the inception and early growth of volcanic islands. Nature Communications, 8. 2061. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-017-02100-3

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Abstract/Summary

Volcanic island inception applies large stresses as the ocean crust domes in response to magma ascension and is loaded by eruption of lavas. There is currently limited information on when volcanic islands are initiated on the seafloor, and no information regarding the seafloor instabilities island inception may cause. The deep sea Madeira Abyssal Plain contains a 43 million year history of turbidites among which many originate from mass movements in the Canary Islands. Here, we investigate the composition and timing of a distinctive group of turbidites that we suggest represent a new unique record of large-volume submarine landslides triggered during the inception, submarine shield growth, and final subaerial emergence of the Canary Islands. These slides are predominantly multi-stage and yet represent among the largest mass movements on the Earth’s surface up to three or more-times larger than subaerial Canary Islands flank collapses. Thus whilst these deposits provide invaluable information on ocean island geodynamics they also represent a significant, and as yet unaccounted, marine geohazard.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-017-02100-3
ISSN: 20411723
Date made live: 15 Jan 2018 16:49 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/517994

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