Quantitative textural analyses of TOBI sonar imagery along the Almería Canyon, Almería Margin, Alborán Sea, SE Spain
Published:January 01, 2005
Olga Gómez Sichi, Philippe Blondel, Eulàlia Gràcia, Juan José Dañobeitia, 2005. "Quantitative textural analyses of TOBI sonar imagery along the Almería Canyon, Almería Margin, Alborán Sea, SE Spain", Submarine Slope Systems: Processes and Products, David M. Hodgson, Stephen S. Flint
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Hydrocarbon exploration and the ongoing assessment of potential seismic risks are the main drivers behind the high-resolution mapping of continental margins. The large volume of literature devoted to turbidite systems in particular shows the importance of detailed descriptions of their characteristics and overall geomorphological variability, primarily through the distribution of sediment facies. These descriptions rely mainly on acoustic measurements, which are notoriously difficult to interpret. Textural analyses quantify the second-order statistics of sonar imagery, detecting and quantifying details invisible to the human eye. We show the potential (and limitations) of this approach using high-resolution (6 m) towed ocean bottom instrument (TOBI) sidescan sonar imagery acquired in the Alborán Sea, south of Almería, Spain, during the high resolution imaging of Tsunamigenic structures (HITS) 2001 programme. The imagery is co-registered with EM-12 multibeam bathymetry, topographic parametric sonar (TOPAS) sub-bottom profiles, and localized ground truthing. Our study focuses on the Almería Canyon, a meandering channel system more than 57 km long and transporting large amounts of sediments from the coast down to the Alborán Trough, c. 1700 m deep. Textural analyses quantify the variations of sediment processes along the slope of the Almería Canyon. They agree with the results of previous studies, and they can be used to provide new insights in the dynamics and evolution of the canyon.
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Submarine Slope Systems: Processes and Products
Submarine slopes provide the critical link between shallow-water and deep-water sedimentary environments. They accumulate a sensitive record of sediment supply, accommodation creation/destruction, and tectonic processes during basin filling. There is a complex stratigraphic response to the interplay between parameters that control the evolution of submarine slope systems, e.g. slope gradient, topographic complexity, sediment flux and calibre, base-level change,tectonic setting, and post-depositional sediment remobilization processes. The increased understanding of submarine slope system has been driven partly by the discovery of large hydrocarbon fields in morphologically complex slope settings, such as the Gulf of Mexico and offshore West Africa, and has led to detailed case studies and improved generic models for their evolution. This volume brings together research papers from modern, outcrop and subsurface settings to highlight these recent advances in understanding of the stratigraphic evolution of submarine slope systems.