Multi-beam bathymetry and seismic reflection data document major submarine canyon systems in the Bonin fore-arc, with both straight and sinuous trends and a dendritic drainage pattern. The canyons deeply incise the gentle slopes of the upper fore-arc but lose bathymetric definition on the thinly sedimented upper trench slope, apparently being unable to cut into the igneous basement. The canyons cross the outer-arc high at structural low points, pond sediments along a mid-slope terrace, and do not reach to the trench axis. Volcaniform highs spaced along the mid-slope terrace may be diapirs of remobilized fore-arc material resulting from subduction-related dewatering.

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