Subbottom profiles and sidescan-sonar images collected on and around the Palos Verdes Shelf show a surficial deposit interpreted to contain effluent from the White's Point diffusers, as well as showing several geologic features that affect the deposit's distribution. The effluent-affected deposit is visible in high-resolution subbottom profiles on the shelf and the adjacent San Pedro basin slope to water depths of 170 m. It has a maximum thickness of 75 cm and was mapped acoustically over an area of 10.8 km2, which encompasses a volume of about 3.2 million m3. The deposit's basal reflector is acoustically distinct over most of the mapped area. implying that the deposit has not been extensively mixed across its base, perhaps being relatively free of reworking since its initial deposition. Nearshore, the basal reflector is weak and fades away toward land, which could result from syndepositional intermixing of coarse native sediment (particularly from the Portuguese Bend landslide) with effluent in the high-energy nearshore zone, or postdepositionally by physical (wave) or biological mixing across the interface. The geometry of the deposit implies that effluent is dispersed primarily in a northwesterly and seaward direction from the diffusers. Dispersal across the shelf break is in some places strongly affected by topography, particularly by submarine canyons. The deposit overlies stratified and unstratified Quaternary sediment, up to 30m thick, that in turn overlies the irregular erosional surface of deformed Miocene bedrock that crops out in places on the shelf and upper basin slope. The effluent-affected deposit rests on potentially unstable landslide deposits on the San Pedro basin slope. The acoustic profiles and side-scan images show evidence for active and inactive vents, probably of hot water and gas, some of which are within the boundary of the effluent-affected sediment deposit and could disrupt it if seepage occurs. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Additional publication details
Acoustic profiles and images of the Palos Verdes margin: Implications concerning deposition from the White's Point outfall