Two regions on the U.S. Atlantic continental margin were surveyed using single-channel, seismic-reflection profiling techniques: the Mid-Atlantic Continental Slope and Rise seaward of New Jersey in the vicinity of Baltimore Canyon and the Continental Slope and upper Rise just north of Cape Hatteras. Submarine canyons are the dominant morphologic feature in both areas. The Continental Slope in the Baltimore Canyon area has a general sea-floor gradient of 3?-4? and a width of approximately 40 km, whereas the study area north of Cape Hatteras has a general sea-floor gradient of approximately 9? and a width of 20 km. The dominant slope process differs in each area. In the Baltimore Canyon area, subbottom reflectors suggest that sediment deposition with progradation of the slope is related to canyon processes. In the study area north of Cape Hatteras, the canyons appear erosional and mass wasting is the dominant erosional process. Dominant slope processes appear to be correlated with the width and sea-floor gradient of the Continental Slope. Although the absolute age of the canyons is difficult to determine without rotary-drill cores for stratigraphic control, Baltimore Canyon is suggested to be older than the shelf-indenting canyon just north of Cape Hatteras. An anomalously large ridge flanking Baltimore Canyon on the upper rise appears to be related to canyon depositional and erosional processes.
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USGS Numbered Series
Submarine canyon and slope processes of the U.S. Atlantic continental margin