Abstract

SeaBeam bathymetric data and GLORIA (Geologic LOng-Range Inclined Asdic) sidescan sonar images of a 175-km-long section of the Florida escarpment in the eastern Guff of Mexico show that this carbonate escarpment has been eroded since its initial formation, but its morphology suggests that erosional processes have not acted uniformly on the escarpment. Parts of the escarpment are notched by box canyons that have extremely steep headwalls and may be sites off active ground-water sapping. The intercanyon areas commonly have previously unrecognized terraces below 2600 m. Above 2600 m, the escarpment is steeper and has no terraces. The terraces may reflect differences in platform strata exposed at the escarpment that are responding differently to erosional processes.

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