Deep-Water Contourite Systems: Modern Drifts and Ancient Series, Seismic and Sedimentary Characteristics
Countourites are a widespread but poorly known group of sediments linked to the action of powerful bottom currents in deep water. Although we know they are especially common along continental margins and through oceanic gateways, they have been surrounded by contoversy since they were first recognized in the early 1960s. Where correctly recognized and decoded they can provide one of the keys to our better understanding of bottom water circulation and of the ocean–climate link. They are part of the spectrum of deposits that confronts the oil industry as exploration moves into progressively greater water depths.
This memoir is an important outcome of the International Geological Correlation Project 432 on Bottom Currents, Contourites and Palaeocirculation. It includes 30 papers involving over 75 key scientists from around the world. Following an introductory state–of–the–art paper by the editors, there are 25 separate case studies on modern drifts and four on ancient contourite series. Each contribution highlights the specific geological and oceanographic setting, bathymetry, physiographic and stratigraphic context, seismic attributes and sedimentary characteristics of that drift. Case studies range from some of the well-documented North Atlantic drifts to those much less known from the Mediterrenean, from important syntheses of the Gulf of Cadiz and Vema Channel Gateway, to completely new data on South Atlantic, Pacific and Antartic margin systems. The four papers on ancient series from Japan, China and Cyprus serve to emphasise the complex nature and subtle characteristics of contourites, which make their identification a scientific challenge.
This volume is dedicated to the memory of Charlie Hollister (1936–1999), one of the founding fathers and pioneers of countourite research.
The southern Weddell Sea: combined contourite–turbidite sedimentation at the southeastern margin of the Weddell Gyre
Published:January 01, 2002
K. H. Michels, G. Kuhn, C.-D. Hillenbrand, B. Diekmann, D. K. Fütterer, H. Grobe, G. Uenzelmann-Neben, 2002. "The southern Weddell Sea: combined contourite–turbidite sedimentation at the southeastern margin of the Weddell Gyre", Deep-Water Contourite Systems: Modern Drifts and Ancient Series, Seismic and Sedimentary Characteristics, D. A. V. Stow, C. J. Pudsey, J. A. Howe, J.-C. Faugères, A. R. Viana
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Sedimentary processes in the southeastern Weddell Sea are influenced by glacial-interglacial ice-shelf dynamics and the cyclonic circulation of the Weddell Gyre, which affects all water masses down to the sea floor. Significantly increased sedimentation rates occur during glacial stages, when ice sheets advance to the shelf edge and trigger gravitational sediment transport to the deep sea. Downslope transport on the Crary Fan and off Dronning Maud and Coats Land is channelized into three huge channel systems, which originate on the eastern, the central and the western Crary Fan. They gradually turn from a northerly direction eastward until they follow...