Multichannel seismic data collected off Western Wilkes Land (East Antarctica) reveal the occurrence of mega
debris flow deposits on the lower slope and rise that were formed throughout the Miocene. Commonly, debris flow units
are separated by thin deposits of well-stratified facies, interpreted as predominantly glaciomarine mixed contouritic and
distal turbidite deposits. These units could act as weak layers and could have played a major role in the slope instability.
High sedimentation rates, due to large amounts of sediment delivered from a temperate, wet-based ice sheet, constituted
a key factor in the sediment failures. The main trigger mechanism would probably have been earthquakes enhanced by
isostatic rebound following major ice sheet retreats.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Mega debris flow deposits on the western Wilkes Land margin, East Antarctica