Turbidity Current Activity in a British Columbia Fjord

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Science  11 Sep 1987:
Vol. 237, Issue 4820, pp. 1330-1333
DOI: 10.1126/science.237.4820.1330


A year-long monitoring program within an elongated channel-fan system in Bute Inlet of British Columbia, Canada, detected active sand-transporting turbidity currents. Measurements of bottom velocities and sediment collected in traps, as well as damage to moorings and equipment, captured the signatures of frequent energetic events. Maximum calculated velocities achieved were 335 centimeters per second, with flow thicknesses of more than 30 meters. Coarse sand was transported at least 6 to 7.5 meters above the sea floor. Turbidity currents flowed a minimum distance of 25.9 kilometers, but possibly as far as 40 to 50 kilometers, over bottom slopes of generally less than 1°