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Bedforms, coastal-trapped waves, and scour process observations from the continental shelf of the northern Black Sea

By
A. Trembanis
A. Trembanis
Department of Geological Sciences, University of Delaware, 109 Penny Hall, Newark, Delaware 19716, USA
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S. Nebel
S. Nebel
Department of Geological Sciences, University of Delaware, 109 Penny Hall, Newark, Delaware 19716, USA
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A. Skarke
A. Skarke
Department of Geological Sciences, University of Delaware, 109 Penny Hall, Newark, Delaware 19716, USA
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D.F. Coleman
D.F. Coleman
Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, South Ferry Road, Narragansett, Rhode Island 02882, USA
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R.D. Ballard
R.D. Ballard
Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, South Ferry Road, Narragansett, Rhode Island 02882, USA
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A. Yankovsky
A. Yankovsky
Marine Science Program and Department of Geological Sciences, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina 29208, USA
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I.V. Buynevich
I.V. Buynevich
Geology & Geophysics Department, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, MS 22, Woods Hole, Massachusetts 02543, USA
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S. Voronov
S. Voronov
Department of Underwater Heritage, Institute for Archaeology, Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine
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Published:
January 01, 2011

The Black Sea basin presents an ideal laboratory for investigations of morphodynamic interplay between response (morphology) and force (processes) associated with shelf sedimentation. Recent studies along the perimeter of the basin have documented the existence of a complex, heterogeneous seafloor varyingly composed of sand, gravel, silt, and clay. Side-scan sonar data are utilized to establish the spatial patterns of bedform types in the area. In addition, a benthic tripod, configured with an acoustic Doppler current profiler, a rotary fanbeam sonar, and a conductivity-temperature sensor was deployed to record seabed dynamics in response to changing forcing conditions. Together, the tripod and side-scan survey data sets provide a complementary basis for deciphering the processes responsible for the observed seafloor morphology.

The side-scan sonar data allows for the determination of spatial patterns of bedform length and orientation. In total, 2376 individual large sand wave bedforms were digitized in geographic information systems with mean and modal wavelengths of 72.8 and 15.7 m respectively. The correlation of near-inertial waves (velocity amplitude 12–20 cm/s and period 12–16 h) and bedform geometry suggest that the extensive sand-wave patches imaged across the shelf are affected by active modern processes and may themselves be modern features or perhaps relict features that remain active presently. Progressive vector diagrams of the nearbed mean current flow indicate a component of cross-shelf directed flow, suggesting an enhanced potential for artifact preservation via cross-shelf advection of anoxic bottom waters by the near-inertial flows measured in this study.

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GSA Special Papers

Geology and Geoarchaeology of the Black Sea Region: Beyond the Flood Hypothesis

Ilya V. Buynevich
Ilya V. Buynevich
Department of Earth and Environmental Science, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
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Valentina Yanko-Hombach
Valentina Yanko-Hombach
Avalon Institute of Applied Science, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and Department of Physical and Marine Geology, Odessa National I.I. Mechnikov University, Odessa, Ukraine
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Allan S. Gilbert
Allan S. Gilbert
Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Fordham University, Bronx, New York, USA
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Ronald E. Martin
Ronald E. Martin
Department of Geological Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, USA
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Geological Society of America
Volume
473
ISBN print:
9780813724737
Publication date:
January 01, 2011

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