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TitleSeismic stratigraphy of Late Cenozoic sediments in the northern Labrador Sea: a history of bottom circulation and glaciation
AuthorMyers, R A; Piper, D J W
SourceCanadian Journal of Earth Sciences vol. 25, no. 12, 1988 p. 2059-2074, (Open Access)
Alt SeriesGeological Survey of Canada, Contribution Series 32987
PublisherCanadian Science Publishing
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProvinceNorthern offshore region; Eastern offshore region
NTS3; 14; 15; 13P
AreaLabrador Sea; Labrador Basin; Labrador Shelf
Lat/Long WENS -64.0000 -44.0000 64.0000 52.0000
Subjectsgeophysics; sedimentology; stratigraphy; marine geology; geophysical surveys; seismic surveys; sediments; glaciation; pliocene; pleistocene; seismic profiles; sea level fluctuations; current circulation; water circulation patterns; turbidites; sedimentary rocks; continental margins; sediment transport; stratigraphic correlations; geophysical interpretations; wells; geological evolution; erosion; bottom currents; bottom sediments; facies; fans; sedimentation; isopachs; sedimentary facies; geological evolution; paleogeography; Labrador Basin; Labrador Shelf; Cenozoic
Illustrationsprofiles; sketch maps
Newfoundland and Labrador, Natural Resources, Geoscience Publications and Information Section
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AbstractThe seismicstratigraphy of the upper 1 km of sediment in the northern Labrador Sea has been determined from the examination of about 26 000 line kilometres of seismic profiles. Four key reflectors (A to D) have been correlated with Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) and Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) holes and range in age from mid-Pliocene to approximately mid-Pleistocene. Ten seismic facies have been distinguished and are interpreted as resulting from slope progradation, turbidite deposition in channels and on the basin floor, and widespread contourite deposition.Tertiary sediments are predominantly hemipelagic or contourite, but in the mid-Pliocene, turbidite deposition began in the northeast Labrador Basin, which might reflect either Greenland glaciation or lowering of sea level. At the same time, widespread erosion and buildup of drift deposits indicate that there was an intensification of bottom-water circulation, probably reflecting high-latitude cooling. This was followed by a return to less dynamic conditions as increased sea-ice cover reduced bottom-water generation in high-latitude seas. A turbidite deep-sea fan developed off Hudson Strait in the Early Pleistocene. In the mid- and late Quaternary, there was a major increase in the supply of turbidites from the Labrador margin, accompanied by the development of an extensive channel system on the continental margin. This was a consequence of glacial ice sheets extending to the top of the continental slope and discharging sediment directly to deep water.