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Submarine landslides on the north continental slope of the South China Sea

Author:
Weiwei Wang  Dawei Wang  Shiguo Wu  David Völker  Hongliu Zeng  Guanqiang Cai  Qingping Li  


Journal:
Journal of Ocean University of China


Issue Date:
2018


Abstract(summary):

Recent and paleo-submarine landslides are widely distributed within strata in deep-water areas along continental slopes, uplifts, and carbonate platforms on the north continental margin of the South China Sea (SCS). In this paper, high-resolution 3D seismic data and multibeam data based on seismic sedimentology and geomorphology are employed to assist in identifying submarine landslides. In addition, deposition models are proposed that are based on specific geological structures and features, and which illustrate the local stress field over entire submarine landslides in deep-water areas of the SCS. The SCS is one of the largest fluvial sediment sinks in enclosed or semi-enclosed marginal seas worldwide. It therefore provides a set of preconditions for the formation of submarine landslides, including rapid sediment accumulation, formation of gas hydrates, and fluid overpressure. A new concept involving temporal and spatial analyses is tested to construct a relationship between submarine landslides and different time scale trigger mechanisms, and three mechanisms are discussed in the context of spatial scale and temporal frequency: evolution of slope gradient and overpressure, global environmental changes, and tectonic events. Submarine landslides that are triggered by tectonic events are the largest but occur less frequently, while submarine landslides triggered by the combination of slope gradient and over-pressure evolution are the smallest but most frequently occurring events. In summary, analysis shows that the formation of submarine landslides is a complex process involving the operation of different factors on various time scales.


Page:
83–100


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