Rocks dredged from the continental margin in eastern Bering Sea in and near the Pribilof Canyon indicate that the acoustic basement represents the upper surface of thoroughly lithified turbidite beds of graywacke and siltstone of Late Cretaceous age. The stratified sequence covering the acoustic basement is gently deformed and includes marine clastic and diatomaceous sediments ranging in age from middle or late Miocene through early Pleistocene. Dense argillite, siltstone, and calcareous sandstone of early Tertiary age in and near the Zhemchug Canyon probably represent an older part of this sequence. The main layered sequence accumulated above the acoustic basement in shallow water, and, because the older beds now lie as much as 1000 m below sea level, the continental margin must have undergone considerable subsidence during late Tertiary and Quaternary time. A rich pollen flora indicates that the shoreline lay only a few tens of kilometers away from the site of the Pribilof Canyon during late Miocene time.

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