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Marine turbidite records have been used to infer palaeoseismicity and estimate recurrence intervals for large (>Mw7) earthquakes along the Cascadia Subduction Zone. Conventional models propose that upper slope failures are funneled into submarine canyons and develop into turbidity flows that are routed down-canyon to deep-water channel and fan systems. However, the sources and pathways of these turbidity flows are poorly constrained, leading to uncertainties in the connections between ground shaking, slope failure and deep-water turbidites. We examine the spatial distribution of submarine landslides along the southern Cascadia margin to identify source regions for slope failures that may have developed into turbidity flows. Using multibeam bathymetry, sparker multichannel seismic and chirp sub-bottom data, we observe relatively few canyon head slope failures and limited evidence of large landslides on the upper and middle slope. Most of the submarine canyons are draped with sediment infill in the upper reaches and do not appear to be active sediment conduits during the recent sea-level highstand. In contrast, there is evidence of extensive mass wasting of the lower slope and non-channelized downslope flows. Contrary to previous studies, we propose that failures along the lower slope are the primary sources for deep-sea seismoturbidites in southern Cascadia.

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