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Abstract

The southern Tuaheni Landslide Complex (TLC) at the Hikurangi subduction margin displays distinctive morphological features along its distribution over the Tuaheni slope offshore Gisborne, New Zealand. We here present first analyses of a gravity core transect that systematically samples surficial sediments from the source area to the toe of this landslide complex, thus providing important new insight into shallow lithological variation in the slide complex. Geophysical and geochemical core logs and core descriptions form the basis for a characterization of representative sediment successions that are indicative of the respective slope segment of recovery. Our results show that the lithology of surficial sediments varies significantly along the length of the landslide complex. Depending on the slope segment observed, this variation includes post-Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) outer-shelf sediments, and hemipelagic drape and near-surface reworked debris avalanche deposits, as well as multiple intercalated thinner turbidites and tephra layers at the distal end of the profile. Lithological downslope variability suggests ongoing mass transport events through the late Holocene that were likely to have been limited to small mud-turbidite flows. Integration with acoustic sub-bottom imagery reveals the presence of multiple stacked mass-transport deposits at depth, contrasting with previous interpretations of a single parent failure.

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