Lewis P. Bailey
Preconditioning by sediment accumulation can produce powerful turbidity currents without major external triggers
Bailey, Lewis P.; Clare, Michael A.; Rosenberger, Kurt J.; Cartigny, Matthieu J.B.; Talling, Peter J.; Paull, Charles K.; Gwiazda, Roberto; Parsons, Daniel R.; Simmons, Stephen M.; Xu, Jingping; Haigh, Ivan D.; Maier, Katherine L.; McGann, Mary; Lundsten, Eve; Monterey CCE Team
Michael A. Clare
Kurt J. Rosenberger
Matthieu J.B. Cartigny
Peter J. Talling
Charles K. Paull
Professor Daniel Parsons D.Parsons@hull.ac.uk
Professor in Sedimentology/ Director, Energy and Environment Institute
Dr Steve Simmons S.Simmons@hull.ac.uk
Ivan D. Haigh
Katherine L. Maier
Monterey CCE Team
Turbidity currents dominate sediment transfer into the deep ocean, and can damage critical seabed infrastructure. It is commonly inferred that powerful turbidity currents are triggered by major external events, such as storms, river floods, or earthquakes. However, basic models for turbidity current triggering remain poorly tested, with few studies accurately recording precise flow timing. Here, we analyse the most detailed series of measurements yet made of powerful (up to 7.2 m s−1) turbidity currents, within Monterey Canyon, offshore California. During 18-months of instrument deployment, fourteen turbidity currents were directly monitored. No consistent triggering mechanism was observed, though flows did cluster around enhanced seasonal sediment supply. We compare turbidity current timing at Monterey Canyon (a sandy canyon-head fed by longshore drift) to the only other systems where numerous (>10-100) flows have been measured precisely via direct monitoring; the Squamish Delta (a sandy fjord-head delta), and the Congo Canyon (connected to the mud-dominated mouth of the Congo River). A common seasonal pattern emerges, leading to a new model for preconditioning and triggering of turbidity currents initiating through slope failure in areas of sediment accumulation, such as canyon heads or river mouths. In this model, rapid or sustained sediment supply alone can produce elevated pore pressures, which may persist, thereby predisposing slopes to fail. Once preconditioned, a range of minor external perturbations, such as moderate storm-waves, result in local pore pressure variation, and thus become effective triggers. Major external triggers are therefore not always a prerequisite for triggering of powerful turbidity currents.
Bailey, L. P., Clare, M. A., Rosenberger, K. J., Cartigny, M. J., Talling, P. J., Paull, C. K., …Monterey CCE Team, . (2021). Preconditioning by sediment accumulation can produce powerful turbidity currents without major external triggers. Earth and planetary science letters, 562, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2021.116845
|Journal Article Type||Article|
|Acceptance Date||Feb 17, 2021|
|Online Publication Date||Mar 3, 2021|
|Publication Date||May 15, 2021|
|Deposit Date||Mar 9, 2021|
|Publicly Available Date||Mar 4, 2022|
|Journal||Earth and Planetary Science Letters|
|Peer Reviewed||Peer Reviewed|
|Keywords||Submarine canyon; Turbidity current; Geohazard; Direct monitoring; Preconditioning; Triggering|
|Additional Information||This article is maintained by: Elsevier; Article Title: Preconditioning by sediment accumulation can produce powerful turbidity currents without major external triggers; Journal Title: Earth and Planetary Science Letters; CrossRef DOI link to publisher maintained version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2021.116845; Content Type: article; Copyright: © 2021 Published by Elsevier B.V.|
This file is under embargo until Mar 4, 2022 due to copyright reasons.
Contact S.Simmons@hull.ac.uk to request a copy for personal use.
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