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Submarine Mass Movements Along a Sediment Starved Margin: The Menorca Channel (Balearic Islands – Western Mediterranean)

Submarine Mass Movements Along a Sediment Starved Margin: The Menorca Channel (Balearic Islands – Western Mediterranean)
Submarine Mass Movements Along a Sediment Starved Margin: The Menorca Channel (Balearic Islands – Western Mediterranean)
The Malta-Sicily Escarpment (MSE) is a steep carbonate escarpment that appears to have largely remained isolated from inputs of fluvial and littoral sediments since the Messinian Salinity Crisis. Mass movement activity has so far only been inferred from sediment cores at the base of the MSE. In this study we use geophysical and sedimentological data acquired from the upper MSE and outer Malta Plateau to: (i) map and characterise the dominant forms of mass movements, and (ii) determine the nature and origin of these mass movements, and their role in the evolution of the MSE. We document 67 mass movement scars across 370 km2 of seafloor. Slope instability entailed translational slides, spreads and debris flows that mobilised Plio-Pleistocene outer shelf hemipelagic/pelagic sediments or carbonate sequences across the upper continental slope. Slope failure events are caused by loss of support associated with the formation of channels, gullies, canyon heads and fault-related escarpments. Mass movements play a key role in eroding the seafloor and transferring material to the lower MSE. In particular, they control the extent of headward and lateral extension of submarine canyons, facilitate tributary development, remove material from the continental shelf and slope, and feed sediment and drive its transport across the submarine canyon system.
978-3-319-00971-1
37
329-338
Springer International
Lo Iacono, Claudio
2ec2b5f4-a134-462b-b8ba-f7bd757040f5
Urgeles, Roger
54eb52b9-4519-464e-8755-b3afbb52b610
Polizzi, S.
c9ad4faf-ec77-41da-9a7b-b5213aacd3e0
Grinyó, J.
ef799108-7954-4fed-8371-d1e11d6c3dd8
Druet, M.
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Agate, M.
ffadfec0-bbb7-4dbc-ad27-c8189ebeafca
Gili, J.M.
489607e0-85f7-4739-8921-a860de28e173
Acosta, J.
9e9d9d78-c062-4b7f-8ca3-727eb27b40c8
Krastel, S.
Behrmann, J-H.
Volker, D.
Stipp, M.
Berndt, C.
Urgeles, R.
Chaytor, J.
Huhn, K.
Strasser, M.
Harbitz, C.B.
Lo Iacono, Claudio
2ec2b5f4-a134-462b-b8ba-f7bd757040f5
Urgeles, Roger
54eb52b9-4519-464e-8755-b3afbb52b610
Polizzi, S.
c9ad4faf-ec77-41da-9a7b-b5213aacd3e0
Grinyó, J.
ef799108-7954-4fed-8371-d1e11d6c3dd8
Druet, M.
05ceec0a-7a70-4391-b63e-4333e9a5241c
Agate, M.
ffadfec0-bbb7-4dbc-ad27-c8189ebeafca
Gili, J.M.
489607e0-85f7-4739-8921-a860de28e173
Acosta, J.
9e9d9d78-c062-4b7f-8ca3-727eb27b40c8
Krastel, S.
Behrmann, J-H.
Volker, D.
Stipp, M.
Berndt, C.
Urgeles, R.
Chaytor, J.
Huhn, K.
Strasser, M.
Harbitz, C.B.

Lo Iacono, Claudio, Urgeles, Roger, Polizzi, S., Grinyó, J., Druet, M., Agate, M., Gili, J.M. and Acosta, J. (2014) Submarine Mass Movements Along a Sediment Starved Margin: The Menorca Channel (Balearic Islands – Western Mediterranean). In, Krastel, S., Behrmann, J-H., Volker, D., Stipp, M., Berndt, C., Urgeles, R., Chaytor, J., Huhn, K., Strasser, M. and Harbitz, C.B. (eds.) Submarine Mass Movements and Their Consequences: 6th International Symposium. (Advances in Natural and Technological Hazards Research, 37) Cham,Switzerland. Springer International, pp. 329-338. (doi:10.1007/978-3-319-00972-8_29).

Record type: Book Section

Abstract

The Malta-Sicily Escarpment (MSE) is a steep carbonate escarpment that appears to have largely remained isolated from inputs of fluvial and littoral sediments since the Messinian Salinity Crisis. Mass movement activity has so far only been inferred from sediment cores at the base of the MSE. In this study we use geophysical and sedimentological data acquired from the upper MSE and outer Malta Plateau to: (i) map and characterise the dominant forms of mass movements, and (ii) determine the nature and origin of these mass movements, and their role in the evolution of the MSE. We document 67 mass movement scars across 370 km2 of seafloor. Slope instability entailed translational slides, spreads and debris flows that mobilised Plio-Pleistocene outer shelf hemipelagic/pelagic sediments or carbonate sequences across the upper continental slope. Slope failure events are caused by loss of support associated with the formation of channels, gullies, canyon heads and fault-related escarpments. Mass movements play a key role in eroding the seafloor and transferring material to the lower MSE. In particular, they control the extent of headward and lateral extension of submarine canyons, facilitate tributary development, remove material from the continental shelf and slope, and feed sediment and drive its transport across the submarine canyon system.

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More information

Published date: 2014
Organisations: Marine Geoscience

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 362811
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/362811
ISBN: 978-3-319-00971-1
PURE UUID: ce01f77b-0727-4676-8b98-2e031d6a4b0e

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 06 Mar 2014 14:53
Last modified: 09 Nov 2021 01:04

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Contributors

Author: Claudio Lo Iacono
Author: Roger Urgeles
Author: S. Polizzi
Author: J. Grinyó
Author: M. Druet
Author: M. Agate
Author: J.M. Gili
Author: J. Acosta
Editor: S. Krastel
Editor: J-H. Behrmann
Editor: D. Volker
Editor: M. Stipp
Editor: C. Berndt
Editor: R. Urgeles
Editor: J. Chaytor
Editor: K. Huhn
Editor: M. Strasser
Editor: C.B. Harbitz

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