Deep-Sea Sediments by Heiko HüNeke and Thierry Mulder (Eds.)

By Heiko HüNeke and Thierry Mulder (Eds.)

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2. Classification of submarine gravity processes Submarine gravity processes are classified according to the mechanical behaviour of the process, the particle-support mechanism, the concentration or the longitudinal change in their deposits. Classification based on the mechanical behaviour (rheology) of the processes was developed by Dott (1963), Mulder and Cochonat (1996) and Shanmugam (2000) (Fig. 1). This type of classification is particularly well suited for flow processes. The most crucial point is to assess the viscosity of the flow (Locat and Demers, 1988).

2001c) described a turbidite deposited in the Capbreton Canyon just after the violent storm that hit the north European Atlantic coast in late December 1999. Although there is a temporal correspondence between the turbidite deposition and the storm event, the exact triggering cause (or combination) of the turbidity current is uncertain: slump in the canyon head (Fig. 2A) due to excess pore pressure related to swell and wave stress, or oceanic processes (Piper and Normark, 2009) including either acceleration of the southward coastal drift or dissipation of the water bulge accelerating the nepheloid layer (see Section 3).

3. Main types of flow processes The main types of flow processes are rock or consolidated material avalanching, creeping and failures, slides and slumps, flows (cohesive and noncohesive), water-dominated flow and turbulent flow. 1. Rock avalanching The avalanche of discrete blocks of large size (metres to hundreds of metres) occurs only in places where consolidated sediment or rocks outcrop, forming steep slopes or undersea cliffs. The most frequent sedimentary environment where rock avalanching occurs is the volcaniclastic environment (see Carey and Schneider, 2011, this volume, Chapter 7) despite examples of largest sedimentary slope failures (called mass-transport complexes (MTCs)) belong to this category.

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