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Morphodynamics of submarine channel inception revealed by new experimental approach.

de Leeuw, Jan and Eggenhuisen, Joris T. and Cartigny, Matthieu J. B. (2016) 'Morphodynamics of submarine channel inception revealed by new experimental approach.', Nature communications., 7 . p. 10886.

Abstract

Submarine channels are ubiquitous on the seafloor and their inception and evolution is a result of dynamic interaction between turbidity currents and the evolving seafloor. However, the morphodynamic links between channel inception and flow dynamics have not yet been monitored in experiments and only in one instance on the modern seafloor. Previous experimental flows did not show channel inception, because flow conditions were not appropriately scaled to sustain suspended sediment transport. Here we introduce and apply new scaling constraints for similarity between natural and experimental turbidity currents. The scaled currents initiate a leveed channel from an initially featureless slope. Channelization commences with deposition of levees in some slope segments and erosion of a conduit in other segments. Channel relief and flow confinement increase progressively during subsequent flows. This morphodynamic evolution determines the architecture of submarine channel deposits in the stratigraphic record and efficiency of sediment bypass to the basin floor.

Item Type:Article
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms10886
Publisher statement:This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Date accepted:29 January 2016
Date deposited:10 November 2016
Date of first online publication:21 March 2016
Date first made open access:10 November 2016

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