Canyon morphology on a modern carbonate slope of the Bahamas: Evidence of regional tectonic tilting
T. Mulder et al., Universit de Bordeaux, UMR 5805 EPOC, 33405 Talence cedex, France. Posted online 29 June 2012; doi: 10.1130/G33327.1.
New high-quality bathymetry data collected in November 2010 during an international cruise led by the University of Bordeaux on the French Oceanographic research vessel Le Surot depict the morphology of the northern slope of the Little Bahama Bank (North of Gran Bahama). The survey reveals the details of large and small-scale morphologies, including slope failure scars and canyons. The slope shows true turbidite systems extending over approx. 40 km and built by mass-flow events and turbidity currents. Slope failures show sinuous head scarps, most of them being filled with recent sediment. Canyons have amphitheater-shaped heads resulting from these coalescing slump scars. Canyons rapidly open on a short channel and a depositional lobe. Detailed analyses of bathymetric data show that the canyon and failure-scar morphology and geometry vary following a W-E trend along the bank slope, consistently with a westward tectonic tilt of the bank during the Cenozoic. The study of such carbonate turbidite systems could lead of the discovery of new types of rock-bearing hydrocarbon reservoirs in similar syste
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