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Experimental Evidence for Cyclic Steps Created by Turbidity Currents

Author(s): B. Spinewine; O. E. Sequeiros; R. T. Beaubouef; T. Sun; M. H. Garcia; G. Parker

Linked Author(s): Gary Parker, Marcelo García

Keywords: No Keywords

Abstract: Sediment waves represent the most common bedform on the seafloor. They tend to be large-scale features, with wavelengths up to ~ 6 km and wave heights up to ~ 50 m. They are commonly seen at slope breaks such as the base of the continental slope, and on the levees of submarine channels. They have also been observed in freshwater lakes. Sediment waves are emplaced by turbidity currents. They invariably migrate upstream. They have recently been interpreted to fall within the class of cyclic steps, i.e. upstream-migrating rhythmic bedforms associated with trains of hydraulic jumps. Fluvial cyclic steps have been observed and documented experimentally in the fluvial setting, and can form in both alluvium and bedrock. Here we provide the first experimental documentation of cyclic steps that is applicable to sediment waves formed by turbidity currents in submarine/sublacustrine (subaqueous) setting.


Year: 2009

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