Revisiting submarine mass movements along the U.S. Atlantic Continental Margin: Implications for tsunami hazards

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Abstract

Interest in the generation of tsunamis by submarine mass movements has warranted a reassessment of their distribution and the nature of submarine landslides offshore of the eastern U.S. The recent acquisition and analysis of multibeam bathymetric data over most of this continental slope and rise provides clearer view into the extent and style of mass movements on this margin. Debris flows appear to be the dominant type of mass movement, although some translational slides have also been identified. Areas affected by mass movements range in size from less than 9 km2 to greater than 15,200 km2 and reach measured thicknesses of up to 70 m. Failures are seen to originate on either the open-slope or in submarine canyons. Slope-sourced failures are larger than canyonsourced failures, suggesting they have a higher potential for tsunami generation although the volume of material displaced during individual failure events still needs to be refined. The slope-sourced failures are most common offshore of the northern, glaciated part of the coast, but others are found downslope of shelf-edge deltas and near salt diapirs, suggesting that several geological conditions control their distribution.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Revisiting submarine mass movements along the U.S. Atlantic Continental Margin: Implications for tsunami hazards
ISBN 978-1-4020-6512-5
DOI 10.1007/978-1-4020-6512-5_41
Volume 27
Year Published 2007
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description 9 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Other Government Series
Larger Work Title Submarine mass movements and their consequences
First page 395
Last page 403
Country United States
Other Geospatial Atlantic Ocean