Abstract

A sea bottom of middle Eocene calcareous claystone cut by downslope-trending furrows was observed during an Alvin dive to the mouth of Berkeley Canyon on the continental slope off New Jersey. The furrows are 10 to 50 m apart, 4 to 13 m deep, linear, and nearly parallel in water depths of 2,000 m. They have steep walls and flat floors 3 to 5 m wide, of fine-grained sediment. Mid-range sidescan-sonar images show that similarly furrowed surfaces are found on nearby areas of the lower continental slope, not associated with canyons. The furrows are overlain in places by Pleistocene sediments. Although they show evidence of erosional origin, they do not appear to be related to observed structures, and their straight, parallel pattern is not well understood. A general cover of flocky unconsolidated sediments implies that bottom-current erosion is not active now.

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