A giant submarine creep zone exceeding 800 km2 on the continental slope offshore the Dongsha Islands, South China Sea, is investigated using bathymetric and 3D seismic data tied to borehole information. The submarine creep zone is identified as a wide area of seafloor undulations with ridges and troughs. The troughs form NW- and WNW-trending elongated depressions separating distinct seafloor ridges, which are parallel or sub-parallel to the continental slope. The troughs are 0.8–4.7 km-long and 0.4 to 2.1 km-wide. The ridges have wavelengths of 1–4 km and vertical relief of 10–30 m. Slope strata are characterised by the presence of vertically stacked ridges and troughs at different stratigraphic depths, but remaining relatively stationary in their position. The interpreted ridges and troughs are associated with large-scale submarine creep, and the troughs can be divided into three types based on their different internal characters and formation processes. The large-scale listric faults trending downslope below MTD 1 and horizon T0 may be the potential glide planes for the submarine creep movement. High sedimentation rates, local fault activity and the frequent earthquakes recorded on the margin are considered as the main factors controlling the formation of this giant submarine creep zone. Our results are important to the understanding of sediment instability on continental slopes as: a) the interpreted submarine creep is young, or even active at present, and b) areas of creeping may evolve into large-scale slope instabilities, as recorded by similar large-scale events in the past.

A giant, submarine creep zone as a precursor of large-scale slope instability offshore the Dongsha Islands (South China Sea)

Rebesco M;
2016

Abstract

A giant submarine creep zone exceeding 800 km2 on the continental slope offshore the Dongsha Islands, South China Sea, is investigated using bathymetric and 3D seismic data tied to borehole information. The submarine creep zone is identified as a wide area of seafloor undulations with ridges and troughs. The troughs form NW- and WNW-trending elongated depressions separating distinct seafloor ridges, which are parallel or sub-parallel to the continental slope. The troughs are 0.8–4.7 km-long and 0.4 to 2.1 km-wide. The ridges have wavelengths of 1–4 km and vertical relief of 10–30 m. Slope strata are characterised by the presence of vertically stacked ridges and troughs at different stratigraphic depths, but remaining relatively stationary in their position. The interpreted ridges and troughs are associated with large-scale submarine creep, and the troughs can be divided into three types based on their different internal characters and formation processes. The large-scale listric faults trending downslope below MTD 1 and horizon T0 may be the potential glide planes for the submarine creep movement. High sedimentation rates, local fault activity and the frequent earthquakes recorded on the margin are considered as the main factors controlling the formation of this giant submarine creep zone. Our results are important to the understanding of sediment instability on continental slopes as: a) the interpreted submarine creep is young, or even active at present, and b) areas of creeping may evolve into large-scale slope instabilities, as recorded by similar large-scale events in the past.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Wei Li Earth Plan Sc Lett 2016 SCS crreping.pdf

non disponibili

Tipologia: Altro materiale allegato
Licenza: Non specificato
Dimensione 9.6 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
9.6 MB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.14083/78
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 26
social impact