New insights into the morphology and sedimentary processes along the western slope of Great Bahama Bank.

T. Mulder, E. Ducassou, G.P. Eberli, V. Hanquiez, E. Gonthier, P. Kindler, M. Principaud, F. Fournier, P.S. Leonide, I. Billeaud, B. Marsset, J.J.G. Reijmer, C. Bondu, R. Joussiaume, M. Pakiades

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Abstract

    New high-quality multibeam and seismic data image the western slope of the Great Bahama Bank and the adjacent floor of the Straits of Florida. The extensive survey reveals several unexpected large- and small-scale morphologies. These include bypass areas, channel-leveelobe systems, gullied slopes, and products of slope instabilities at various scales, including long slump scars at the lower slope and mass transport complexes that extend ~30 km into the adjacent basin floor. The toe of the slope is irregularly covered with deep-water carbonate mounds. The abundance of the individual morphological features varies from north to south. From 26°00'N to 25°20'N, the slope is dissected by numerous deep canyons that abruptly end southward, where the slope is characterized by a smooth lower portion and small regularly spaced furrows in its upper part. Further south, two long (25-50 km) scars document instability at the lower slope. One of these scars is the source area of a large mass transport complex. In addition to this large-scale feature, several types of gravity-induced sedimentary processes are revealed. Most of the morphologies and inferred processes of this carbonate system are similar to those observed in siliciclastic systems, including mass transport complexes, gravity currents initiated by density cascading, and overspilling channeled turbidity currents. For the first time, a clear asymmetric channel-levee system has been identified along the slope, suggesting similitude in sorting processes between carbonate and siliciclastic systems and enhancing the reservoir-bearing potential of carbonate slopes. Notable differences with siliciclastic systems include: the lack of connection with the shallow and emerged part of the system (i.e., bank top), and the small size of the sedimentary system. © 2012 Geological Society of America.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)603-606
    Number of pages4
    JournalGeology
    Volume40
    Issue number7
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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