Abstract

A new morphosedimentary map of the Gulf of Cadiz is presented, showing the contourite depositional system on the gulf's middle slope. This map is constructed from a broad database provided by the Spanish Research Council and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. Our map shows that this contourite depositional system comprises five morphosedimentary sectors: (1) proximal scour and sand ribbons; (2) overflow sedimentary lobe; (3) channels and ridges; (4) contourite deposition; and (5) submarine canyons. The Gulf of Cadiz contourite depositional system stems directly from the interaction between Mediterranean Outflow Water and the seafloor; its morphosedimentary sectors are clearly related to the systematic deceleration of the Mediterranean Outflow Water's westward branches, bathymetric stress on the margin, and the Coriolis force. The slope's depositional system can be considered as a mixed contourite and turbidite system, i.e., a detached combined drift and fan.

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