New seismic-reflection data show that large sand waves near the head of Wilmington Canyon on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf have a spacing of 100-650 m and a relief of 2-9 m. The bedforms trend northwest and are asymmetrical, the steeper slopes being toward the south or west. Vibracore sediments indicate that the waves apparently have formed on a substrate of relict nearshore sediments. Although the age of the original bedforms is unknown, the asymmetry is consistent with the dominant westerly to southerly drift in this area which has been determined by other methods; the asymmetry, therefore, is probably modern. Observations in the sand-wave area from a submersible during August 1975, revealed weak bottom currents, sediment bioturbation, unrippled microtopography, and lack of scour. Thus, the asymmetry may be maintained by periodic water motion, possibly associated with storms or perhaps with flow in the canyon head. ?? 1976.
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Large sand waves on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf around Wilmington Canyon, off Eastern United States