Flat-bottomed depression 50-150 m in diameter and 60-80 cm deep occur in the floor of Norton Sound, Bering Sea. These large erosional bedforms and associated current ripples are found in areas where sediment grain size is 0.063-0.044 mm (4-4.5 ??), speeds of bottom currents are greatest (20-30 cm/s mean speeds under nonstorm conditions, 70 cm/s during typical storms), circulation of water is constricted by major topographic shoals (kilometers in scale), and small-scale topographic disruptions, such as ice gouges, occur locally on slopes of shoals. These local obstructions on shoals appear to disrupt currents, causing separation of flow and generating eddies that produce large-scale scour. Offshore artificial structures also may disrupt bottom currents in these same areas and have the potential to generate turbulence and induce extensive scour in the area of disrupted flow. The size and character of natural scour depressions in areas of ice gouging suggest that large-scale regions of scour may develop from enlargement of local scour sites around pilings, platforms, or pipelines. Consequently, loss of substrate support for pipelines and gravity structures is possible during frequent autumn storms. ?? 1979 Springer-Verlag New York Inc.
Additional Publication Details
Geologic implications and potential hazards of scour depressions on bering shelf, Alaska