Sediment drifts of the Corsica Channel, northern Tyrrhenian Sea
Published:January 01, 2002
Marco Roveri, 2002. "Sediment drifts of the Corsica Channel, northern Tyrrhenian Sea", 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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A sediment drift complex, resulting from the activity of the northward flowing Levantine Intermediate Water, occurs in intermediate water depth (300–600 m) on the eastern flank of the Corsica Basin. Because of the effect of topographic constriction, bottom currents are here accelerated, reaching velocities that are sufficient to erode, transport and redistribute fine-grained sediment. The sediment drift complex shows a variety of depositional and erosional features that appear very similar to oceanic examples. The development of such features appears to be mainly controlled by an interaction between the bottom current regime and slope topography. Seismic geometries and core data show that such features have grown since middle Pliocene time under a long-term stable bottom-current regime. Short-term variability of current efficiency, a concept including the combined effects of current speed, sediment availability and local topography, as a result of climate and sea-level changes, is recorded by the cyclical superposition of small-scale depositional units.
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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.