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Sea-Floor Sunday #23: Alvin photos of sediments in Laurentian Channel

June 29, 2008

Instead of the usual bathymetric image, this week’s Sea-Floor Sunday highlights some photographs of the sea floor in deep water.

The photographs below are from a 2007 paper by Piper et al. in the journal Paleogeography, Paleoclimatology, Paleoecology* about the Laurentian submarine channel and fan system, which is offshore of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, eastern Canada. The paper is titled “Stratigraphic and sedimentological evidence for late Wisconsinan sub-glacial outburst floods to Laurentian Fan”. Very cool stuff.


The photographs are taken by the manned submersible Alvin … how awesome would that be!

What you’re looking at are likely Pleistocene-aged turbidite deposits that are now exposed in an ‘outcrop’ on the sea floor. Subsequent turbidity currents have come down the submarine valley and eroded and sculpted the seascape leaving some remnant older deposits.

This Geological Survey of Canada site shows the evolution of the onshore and continental shelf areas from the Last Glacial Maximum (~20,000 yrs ago) and during subsequent sea-level rise as the ice sheets melted (~12,000 yrs ago).

* That’s right … I took the extra (and unnecessary) “a” out of those words … I was recently forced to change a bunch of words to the “British” version to get a paper published. Spelling them the way I want to on my own blog is my only way of stickin’ it to the British man! :)


4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 30, 2008 6:31 am

    Since the barbaric American habit of dropping ‘unnecessary’ letters has infested most of the known world, I don’t really see the need to stick it to the ‘British man’…

  2. June 30, 2008 6:40 am

    Chris … I was hoping to draw you in with my underhanded remark about the motherland … Sedimentology made me change ‘paleocurrent’ to ‘palaeocurrent’ and ‘meters’ to ‘metres’ among other things recently … this is my only recourse, as pathetic as it is.

  3. July 1, 2008 6:18 am

    In Brooklyn, we just call it Pcurrent. Don’t have time for the whole word.

  4. July 1, 2008 9:40 pm

    R2K … ha, nice … my buddy from Brooklyn calls the American Museum of Natural History the “Natty Hist”.

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