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Title

Submarine canyon-head morphologies and inferred sediment transport processes in the Almanzora-Alías-Garrucha canyon system (SW Mediterranean)

AuthorsDurán, Ruth ; Muñoz, Araceli; Puig, Pere ; Elvira, Elena; Guillén, Jorge
Issue Date15-Dec-2015
PublisherAmerican Geophysical Union
CitationAGU Fall Meeting 2015: OS23E-06 (2015)
AbstractSubmarine canyons are morphological incisions into continental margins that act as major conduits of sediment from shallow- to deep-sea regions. Different transport processes and triggering mechanisms involving various time-scales can operate through them. Canyon heads are key areas for understanding the shelf-to-canyon sedimentary dynamics and assessing the predominant hydrodynamic and sedimentary processes shaping their morphology. High-resolution multibeam bathymetries were conducted at the various heads from the Almanzora-Alías-Garrucha canyon system to recognize their specific morphological features. A direct connection from the Almanzora River was evidenced by the coalescence of cyclic steps on the prodelta deposits and their continuation towards various canyon heads. This suggests the occurrence of flood events causing hyperpycnal flows that progress directly into the canyon. A second type of canyon head results from the formation and merging of linear gullies at the southern limit of the prodelta, being interpreted as the morphological expression of the distal off-shelf transport of flood-related hyperycnal flows potentially transformed into wave-supported sediment gravity flows. These two canyon head occur at 80-90 m water depth, incising only the outer shelf. A third canyon head morphological type was found at much shallower water depths (10-20 m), being disconnected from any major river source. They cut into the infralittoral prograding wedge and some tributaries show crescent shaped bedforms (CSB) along their axis. These CSB have been observed until a water depth of 90 m and have been interpreted as the result of storm-induced sediment gravity flows. An instrumented mooring was deployed from October 2014 to April 2015 to monitor the contemporary sediment transport processes through a canyon axis with CSB. The sedimentary dynamics was governed by storms, with several down-canyon transport events, but none of the storms triggered a sediment gravity flow
DescriptionAmerican Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, 14-18 December 2015, San Francisco
Publisher version (URL)https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm15/webprogram/Paper78073.html
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/141055
Appears in Collections:(ICM) Comunicaciones congresos
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