Morphology and Origins of Sedimentary Structures on Submarine Slopes

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Science  05 Jul 1968:
Vol. 161, Issue 3836, pp. 45-47
DOI: 10.1126/science.161.3836.45


Submarine slopes in deep water, such as continental slopes, are often indented by valleys or channels and made uneven by ridges or levees. The origins of many of these features are unknown or disputed. Morphologically, however, there is often great similarity between forms on deep slopes and forms on shallow slopes or on land. Structurally the slopes in deep water are less well explored, but several observations reveal features, such as lamination and crossbedding, that are known from shallow water also. Measurements of current indicate that periodically the movement of water near the bottom is fast enough to move particles of sediment from time to time. Morphology, fine structure, and currents suggest that internal waves and associated currents, as well as gravity, may control the shape of deep submarine slopes analogously to the shaping by surface waves of slopes in shallow water.

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