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Rapidly-migrating and internally-generated knickpoints can control submarine channel evolution

Rapidly-migrating and internally-generated knickpoints can control submarine channel evolution
Rapidly-migrating and internally-generated knickpoints can control submarine channel evolution
Submarine channels are the primary conduits for terrestrial sediment, organic carbon, and pollutant transport to the deep sea. Submarine channels are far more difficult to monitor than rivers, and thus less well understood. Here we present 9 years of time-lapse mapping of an active submarine channel along its full length in Bute Inlet, Canada. Past studies suggested that meander-bend migration, levee-deposition, or migration of (supercritical-flow) bedforms controls the evolution of submarine channels. We show for the first time how rapid (100–450 m/year) upstream migration of 5-to-30 m high knickpoints can control submarine channel evolution. Knickpoint migration-related changes include deep (>25 m) erosion, and lateral migration of the channel. Knickpoints in rivers are created by external factors, such as tectonics, or base-level change. However, the knickpoints in Bute Inlet appear internally generated. Similar knickpoints are found in several submarine channels worldwide, and are thus globally important for how channels operate.
2041-1723
Heijnen, Maarten Sjaak
65fbb0a5-0ee5-4a76-a436-c11f4e2023ae
Clare, Michael A.
599e2862-baed-4d59-8845-3b8499ca0832
Cartigny, Matthieu J.B.
bda1b79b-7e11-4790-8238-b86d80a88bb3
Talling, Peter J.
cda7fee6-bdff-4987-b203-450d1ce01179
Hage, Sophie
a914d294-89b9-4686-94f3-e3d7b0c41d76
Lintern, Gwyn
b5270537-984f-4ec0-a128-025b36ecb411
Stacey, Cooper
36936140-b618-47d1-9d32-76060722ab05
Parsons, Daniel R.
59f2673a-9c73-437a-8865-52d52830a3aa
Simmons, Stephen M.
1aa65c10-98f2-4e55-aa91-9e6edcd9c5ab
Chen, Ye
42b24968-5aaf-4108-ab70-1aebc81d291d
Sumner, Esther
dbba4b92-89cc-45d9-888e-d0e87e5c10ac
Dix, Justin
efbb0b6e-7dfd-47e1-ae96-92412bd45628
Hughes Clarke, John
3cbe9c9e-d4cc-4f68-b30e-0e4e6ec99ace
Heijnen, Maarten Sjaak
65fbb0a5-0ee5-4a76-a436-c11f4e2023ae
Clare, Michael A.
599e2862-baed-4d59-8845-3b8499ca0832
Cartigny, Matthieu J.B.
bda1b79b-7e11-4790-8238-b86d80a88bb3
Talling, Peter J.
cda7fee6-bdff-4987-b203-450d1ce01179
Hage, Sophie
a914d294-89b9-4686-94f3-e3d7b0c41d76
Lintern, Gwyn
b5270537-984f-4ec0-a128-025b36ecb411
Stacey, Cooper
36936140-b618-47d1-9d32-76060722ab05
Parsons, Daniel R.
59f2673a-9c73-437a-8865-52d52830a3aa
Simmons, Stephen M.
1aa65c10-98f2-4e55-aa91-9e6edcd9c5ab
Chen, Ye
42b24968-5aaf-4108-ab70-1aebc81d291d
Sumner, Esther
dbba4b92-89cc-45d9-888e-d0e87e5c10ac
Dix, Justin
efbb0b6e-7dfd-47e1-ae96-92412bd45628
Hughes Clarke, John
3cbe9c9e-d4cc-4f68-b30e-0e4e6ec99ace

Heijnen, Maarten Sjaak, Clare, Michael A., Cartigny, Matthieu J.B., Talling, Peter J., Hage, Sophie, Lintern, Gwyn, Stacey, Cooper, Parsons, Daniel R., Simmons, Stephen M., Chen, Ye, Sumner, Esther, Dix, Justin and Hughes Clarke, John (2020) Rapidly-migrating and internally-generated knickpoints can control submarine channel evolution. Nature Communications, 11 (1), [3129]. (doi:10.1038/s41467-020-16861-x).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Submarine channels are the primary conduits for terrestrial sediment, organic carbon, and pollutant transport to the deep sea. Submarine channels are far more difficult to monitor than rivers, and thus less well understood. Here we present 9 years of time-lapse mapping of an active submarine channel along its full length in Bute Inlet, Canada. Past studies suggested that meander-bend migration, levee-deposition, or migration of (supercritical-flow) bedforms controls the evolution of submarine channels. We show for the first time how rapid (100–450 m/year) upstream migration of 5-to-30 m high knickpoints can control submarine channel evolution. Knickpoint migration-related changes include deep (>25 m) erosion, and lateral migration of the channel. Knickpoints in rivers are created by external factors, such as tectonics, or base-level change. However, the knickpoints in Bute Inlet appear internally generated. Similar knickpoints are found in several submarine channels worldwide, and are thus globally important for how channels operate.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 26 May 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 19 June 2020
Published date: 19 June 2020

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 443834
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/443834
ISSN: 2041-1723
PURE UUID: 359db024-db95-4e7d-ab02-a2b4f000a83d

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 14 Sep 2020 16:36
Last modified: 25 Nov 2021 21:37

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Contributors

Author: Maarten Sjaak Heijnen
Author: Michael A. Clare
Author: Matthieu J.B. Cartigny
Author: Peter J. Talling
Author: Sophie Hage
Author: Gwyn Lintern
Author: Cooper Stacey
Author: Daniel R. Parsons
Author: Stephen M. Simmons
Author: Ye Chen
Author: Esther Sumner
Author: Justin Dix
Author: John Hughes Clarke

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