Submarine depressions are common features on the eastern Bahamian seafloor but the genesis of the deepest ones (>4000 m in water depth) is not well understood. We conducted a morphometric analysis and compared them to a worldwide database of rounded depressions, whatever their genesis is. The deep Bahamian depressions are large elongated structures, among the largest on Earth, with a width greater than 1000 m and a depth sometimes greater than 200 m. They extend at the toe of the Blake Bahama Escarpment (BBE), one of the tallest escarpments on Earth. Some of them align parallel to the BBE. Other depressions align along large submarine canyon axes. When aligned along canyon axes, the depressions closest to the canyon head are flanked by a topographic high interpreted as a slope-break deposit, i.e., sediment deposited after flow expansion following a hydraulic jump. Turbidity currents in the carbonate canyon system are not permanent processes, but are rather triggered during sea-level highstands when the carbonate platform is flooded. In addition, some depressions are not located in canyon axes. Consequently, the size and location of the depressions are not likely explained by a simple plunge pool mechanical erosion. Rather, our data suggest that all depressions could be initiated by giant karstic dissolution structures (dolines or sinkholes). Under interpretation, those located in canyon axes are sporadically refreshed by carbonate-laden turbidity currents. The height of the outsized chutes marking the crossing of the BBE by the canyon mouth generates a hydraulic jump allowing sediment deposition toward the bottom of the depression. Large depressions observed at this location in the Bahamas were the result of an initial dissolution phase related to retreat of the BBE and the more recent sediment-laden flow activity. The depressions orientated along canyon axes facilitated the regressive erosion that formed the canyons. At present, the depressions located at canyon mouths act as regular plunge pools.

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