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Evidence for current-controlled morphology along the western slope of Hatton Bank (Rockall Plateau, NE Atlantic Ocean)

By Miriam Sayago-Gil, David Long, Kenneth Hitchen, Victor Diaz-del-Rio, Miguel Fernandez-Salas and Pablo Duran-Munoz

Abstract

A multibeam bathymetric and high- (airgun and sparker) to very high-resolution (Topas) seismic study of the western slope of Hatton Bank (NE Atlantic), located between 600 m and 2,000 m water depth, has revealed a highly variable range of current-controlled morphological features. Two major seabed areas can be distinguished: (1) a non-depositional area corresponding to the top of the bank and (2) a depositional area in which the Hatton Drift has developed. Both areas are characterised by distinct morphologies associated either with rock outcrops and rocky ridges or with smooth surfaces, slides and bedforms controlled mainly by bottom currents interacting with the topography of the bank. The water depth separating the morphological areas probably coincides with the boundary of the Labrador Sea Water and the Lower Deep Water. Morphological features identified in the study area include contourite channels (moats, furrows and scours), fields of sediment waves, edges of contourite deposits, ponded deposits, scarps, gullies, ridges, depressions, slides and slide scars. These morphological features do not necessarily reflect present-day conditions but may have been associated with past current events, consistent with earlier interpretations

Publisher: Springer
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.1007/s00367-009-0163-5
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:9492

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