Abstract

Seaward of the base of the Blake Escarpment, a buried bench forms the top of a seismically incoherent zone. We believe that this bench was formed by erosion of the escarpment during formation of the Au deep-sea unconformity when about 2,000 km3 of material was removed from the face of the escarpment, causing it to retreat as much as 15 km. Undercutting during subsequent events progressively increased the steepness of the escarpment. Thus, we suggest that the Blake Escarpment is not structurally controlled, as has been suggested, but is an erosional feature.

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