Submarine landslides and associated mass-transport deposits (MTDs) modify the physiography of continental margins and influence the evolution of submarine sediment routing systems. Previous studies highlighted the control of landslides and MTDs on subsequent sedimentary processes and deposits at spatial scales ranging from tens of centimeters to few kilometers, leaving a knowledge gap on how and for how long large-scale submarine landslides (i.e., headscarps wider than 50–100 km) may affect the stratigraphic evolution of continental margins. To fill this gap, we used three-dimensional seismic reflection data tied to an exploration well to investigate the impact of one of the largest submarine landslides discovered on Earth, the Mafia mega-slide (Mms) offshore Tanzania, on slope sediment deposition. Seismic data interpretation indicates that turbidite lobes/lobe complexes and coalescent mixed turbidite-contourite systems formed the pre-Mms stratigraphy between 38 and ca. 21 Ma (age of the Mms), whereas coarser-grained sheet turbidites and debrites accumulated after the Mms for ∼15 m.y., primarily on the topographic lows generated by the emplacement of the landslide. We interpret this drastic and long-lasting regime shift in sediment deposition to be driven by the increase in seafloor gradient and the capture and focus of feeding systems within the broad failed area. We propose that the extensive evacuation zones associated with such giant landslides can generate major “conveyor belts”, trapping land-derived material or sediments transported by along-slope processes such as bottom currents. During the progressive healing of the landslide escarpments, which may last for several million years, sand-prone facies are deposited primarily in the upper slope, filling up the accommodation space generated by the landslide, while deeper-water environments likely remain sediment starved or experience accumulation of finer-grained deposits. Our study provides new insights into the long-term response of slope depositional systems to large-scale submarine landslides, with implications for the transfer of coarse-grained sediments that can be applied to continental margins worldwide.

Large-scale submarine landslide drives long-lasting regime shift in slope sediment deposition / Dottore Stagna, M; Maselli, V; van Vliet, A. - In: GEOLOGY. - ISSN 0091-7613. - 51:(2023), pp. 167-173. [10.1130/G50463.1]

Large-scale submarine landslide drives long-lasting regime shift in slope sediment deposition

Maselli V;
2023

Abstract

Submarine landslides and associated mass-transport deposits (MTDs) modify the physiography of continental margins and influence the evolution of submarine sediment routing systems. Previous studies highlighted the control of landslides and MTDs on subsequent sedimentary processes and deposits at spatial scales ranging from tens of centimeters to few kilometers, leaving a knowledge gap on how and for how long large-scale submarine landslides (i.e., headscarps wider than 50–100 km) may affect the stratigraphic evolution of continental margins. To fill this gap, we used three-dimensional seismic reflection data tied to an exploration well to investigate the impact of one of the largest submarine landslides discovered on Earth, the Mafia mega-slide (Mms) offshore Tanzania, on slope sediment deposition. Seismic data interpretation indicates that turbidite lobes/lobe complexes and coalescent mixed turbidite-contourite systems formed the pre-Mms stratigraphy between 38 and ca. 21 Ma (age of the Mms), whereas coarser-grained sheet turbidites and debrites accumulated after the Mms for ∼15 m.y., primarily on the topographic lows generated by the emplacement of the landslide. We interpret this drastic and long-lasting regime shift in sediment deposition to be driven by the increase in seafloor gradient and the capture and focus of feeding systems within the broad failed area. We propose that the extensive evacuation zones associated with such giant landslides can generate major “conveyor belts”, trapping land-derived material or sediments transported by along-slope processes such as bottom currents. During the progressive healing of the landslide escarpments, which may last for several million years, sand-prone facies are deposited primarily in the upper slope, filling up the accommodation space generated by the landslide, while deeper-water environments likely remain sediment starved or experience accumulation of finer-grained deposits. Our study provides new insights into the long-term response of slope depositional systems to large-scale submarine landslides, with implications for the transfer of coarse-grained sediments that can be applied to continental margins worldwide.
2023
51
167
173
Large-scale submarine landslide drives long-lasting regime shift in slope sediment deposition / Dottore Stagna, M; Maselli, V; van Vliet, A. - In: GEOLOGY. - ISSN 0091-7613. - 51:(2023), pp. 167-173. [10.1130/G50463.1]
Dottore Stagna, M; Maselli, V; van Vliet, A
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11380/1331505
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