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Abstract

The collection of high-resolution multibeam bathymetry off the tectonically controlled Tyrrhenian Calabrian margin (southern Tyrrhenian Sea) allowed us to recognize several mass-wasting processes, including shelf-indenting canyons and several landslide scars ranging over different spatial scales. In this paper, we aim to characterize two large submarine landslides (S1 and S2) affecting an area of c. 7 and 14 km2, respectively; both scars occur within water depths of 700–1000 m on slope gradients of 1.5−3°. S1 is interpreted as a disintegrative landslide, because most parts of the related landslide deposits were evacuated from the scar and are not recognizable on the present-day bathymetry, whereas the landslide deposits of S2 are well-preserved and mostly confined within the scar, indicating a different post-failure evolution. Based on the integration of multibeam bathymetry and single-channel seismic profiles, both the landslides are interpreted as translational failures, whereas their different post-failure behaviour has been associated with differences in material properties (inferred by headscarp morphology), depth of their failure plane and frontal confinement. We also suggest that thick contourite deposits recognized in the area may represent an important preconditioning factor for the development of these landslides, similarly to that observed in the nearby Capo Vaticano scar complex.

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