The Baiyun Slide Complex is one of the largest submarine landslides on the northern margin of the South China Sea. Newly acquired high-resolution bathymetric data, 2D and 3D seismic data permitted the systematic investigation of the Baiyun Slide Complex in terms of its seafloor morphology and associated sedimentary processes. The headwall region of the Baiyun Slide Complex, located at a water depth between 1000 m and 1700 m, is U-shaped and opens towards the east. It was efficiently and almost completely evacuated, generating pronounced headwall and sidewall scarps. Submarine channels, sediment waves, migrating channels, sediment drifts and moats are observed within and around the headwall region, illustrating the effects of both downslope and along-slope sedimentary processes. Submarine channels are 16–37 km-long 800-1500 m-wide, and 20 to 50 m-deep. As a modern example of the interplay between slope instability and subsequent incision, submarine channels were generated after the formation of the Baiyun Slide scar to suggest intensified downslope sedimentary processes after the slope collapsed. The initiation and formation of these submarine channels result from the evacuation of the Baiyun Slide scar, which provided the necessary space of the continental slope to accommodate subsequent turbidity and mass wasting flows. Our results are an important example of how submarine landslides can influence erosional and depositional processes on continental margins.

The Baiyun Slide Complex, South China Sea: A modern example of slope instability controlling submarine-channel incision on continental slopes

Rebesco M;
2020

Abstract

The Baiyun Slide Complex is one of the largest submarine landslides on the northern margin of the South China Sea. Newly acquired high-resolution bathymetric data, 2D and 3D seismic data permitted the systematic investigation of the Baiyun Slide Complex in terms of its seafloor morphology and associated sedimentary processes. The headwall region of the Baiyun Slide Complex, located at a water depth between 1000 m and 1700 m, is U-shaped and opens towards the east. It was efficiently and almost completely evacuated, generating pronounced headwall and sidewall scarps. Submarine channels, sediment waves, migrating channels, sediment drifts and moats are observed within and around the headwall region, illustrating the effects of both downslope and along-slope sedimentary processes. Submarine channels are 16–37 km-long 800-1500 m-wide, and 20 to 50 m-deep. As a modern example of the interplay between slope instability and subsequent incision, submarine channels were generated after the formation of the Baiyun Slide scar to suggest intensified downslope sedimentary processes after the slope collapsed. The initiation and formation of these submarine channels result from the evacuation of the Baiyun Slide scar, which provided the necessary space of the continental slope to accommodate subsequent turbidity and mass wasting flows. Our results are an important example of how submarine landslides can influence erosional and depositional processes on continental margins.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.14083/269
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