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Small mounded contourite drifts associated with deep-water coral banks, Porcupine Seabight, NE Atlantic Ocean

By
D. Van Rooij
D. Van Rooij
1
Renard Centre of Marine Geology, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281 S8, B-9000 Gent, Belgium (e-mail: David.VanRooij@UGent.be)
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D. Blamart
D. Blamart
2
Laboratoire des Sciences de Climat et de l'Environnement, Laboratoire mixte CNRS/CEA, B√Ętiment 12, 4 avenue de la Terrasse, F-91198 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
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M. Kozachenko
M. Kozachenko
3
Coastal and Marine Resources Centre, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
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J.-P. Henriet
J.-P. Henriet
1
Renard Centre of Marine Geology, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281 S8, B-9000 Gent, Belgium (e-mail: David.VanRooij@UGent.be)
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Published:
January 01, 2007

Abstract:

Numerous studies on sediment drifts have demonstrated a close interaction between sea-bed morphology, palaeoceanography, sediment supply and climate. Contourites have been reported in areas along continental margins directly influenced by the effect of intensive deep-water currents from the global conveyor belt. In this paper, we report the occurrence of a small-scale confined contourite drift from Porcupine Seabight, SW of Ireland, and its association with a province of coral banks. The Porcupine Basin is a relatively shallow, semi-enclosed basin characterized by the presence of cold-water coral bank provinces. These coral banks are often associated to a strong northward-flowing bottom current, created and steered by a complex interaction of the water mass characteristics, tidal influences and sea-bed morphology. Very high-resolution seismic stratigraphy allowed the identification of a small mounded drift, located between a depression created by (1) an irregular palaeotopography caused by a vigorous Late Pliocene erosion event and (2) a north-south alignment of coral banks. Core MD99-2327, taken on the flank of this drift mound, shows the variability of the bottom currents. Sortable silt data show several periods of bottom-current enhancement, which may be linked with warmer periods and an inferred influx of Mediterranean Outflow Water. The glacial part of the core has been interpreted as a muddy contourite with a high content of ice-rafted debris. The lower part of the core is a deep-water massive contourite sand resembling the present-day sea-floor sediments.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Economic and Palaeoceanographic Significance of Contourite Deposits

A. R. Viana
A. R. Viana
Petrobras, Brazil
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M. Rebesco
M. Rebesco
Petrobras, Brazil
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Geological Society of London
Volume
276
ISBN electronic:
9781862395244
Publication date:
January 01, 2007

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