Report

The Shaping of Continental Slopes by Internal Tides

Science  26 Apr 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5568, pp. 724-727
DOI: 10.1126/science.1069803

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Abstract

The angles of energy propagation of semidiurnal internal tides may determine the average gradient of continental slopes in ocean basins (∼2 to 4 degrees). Intensification of near-bottom water velocities and bottom shear stresses caused by reflection of semi-diurnal internal tides affects sedimentation patterns and bottom gradients, as indicated by recent studies of continental slopes off northern California and New Jersey. Estimates of bottom shear velocities caused by semi-diurnal internal tides are high enough to inhibit deposition of fine-grained sediment onto the slopes.

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