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Dense shelf water cascading in the Gulf of Lion and its implications for the Western Mediterranean paleoceanographic record

AuthorsCanals, Miquel; Puig, Pere ; Palanques, Albert ; Grimalt, Joan O. ; Sierro, Francisco Javier
Issue DateMar-2007
CitationSymposium GLOBEC-IMBER España : Libro de resúmenes: 39 (2007)
AbstractSome recent papers (Canals et al., 2006; Gaudin et al., 2006; Heussner et al., 2006; and Palanques et al., 2006) have illustrated the consequences of Dense Shelf Water Cascading (DSWC) in the western Gulf of Lion. Winter and early spring DSWC may last for more than one month (i.e. 40 days during the 2005 severe DSWC event). During such events large amounts of dense water sink down along the seafloor while carrying sedimentary particles from the continental shelf and organic matter from the shallowest reservoirs. Submarine canyons, and specially the Cap the Creus Canyon (CCC), play a principal role in funnelling dense water downslope. While DSWC-carried coarse sediment is able to reshape canyon floors, DSWC also is a significant natural carbon sequestration and deep ecosystem fuelling mechanism. It is reasonable to assume that during the different phases of the Pleistocene climatic oscillations DSWC had variable frequencies and intensities. It is also reasonable to assume that DSWC left their imprint on the sediment record. Marked variations on bottom circulation have been identified by paleoceanographers (e.g. Frigola et al., 2007) directly off the Gulf of Lions. As cascaded waters move down till they reach their density equilibrium level it seems possible that past intensification and weakening of the near-bottom circulation was, at least partly, related to DSWC fluctuations. However, this still is a matter of debate on which both modern ocean biogeochemists and paleoceanographers may learn one from each other. Canals, M. et al., 2006. Flushing submarine canyons; Nature, 444: 354-357. Frigola, J. et al., 2007. A deep water sediment record of Holocene climate variability in the Western Mediterranean region; Paleoceanography (in press). Gaudin, M. et al., 2006. Massive sand beds attributed to deposition by dense water cascades in the Bourcart canyon head, Gulf of Lions (northwestern Mediterranean Sea); Marine Geology, 234: 111-128. Heussner, S. et al., 2006; Spatial and temporal variability of downward particle fluxes on a continental slope: lessons from an 8-yr experiment in the Gulf of Lions (NW Mediterranean); Marine Geology, 234: 63-92. Palanques, A. et al., 2006. Suspended sediment fluxes and transport processes in the Gulf of Lions submarine canyons. The role of storms and dense water cascading; Marine Geology, 234: 43-61
DescriptionCanals, Miquel... et al.-- Symposium GLOBEC-IMBER España celebrado del 28-30 marzo de 2007 en Valencia.-- 1 page
Appears in Collections:(CID) Comunicaciones congresos
(ICM) Comunicaciones congresos
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