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TitleChronology of slope failures in the Fram Slide Complex: Evaluation of the influence of regional processes on slope stability
AuthorElger, J; Bemdt, C; Krastel, S; Gross, S; Piper, D J WORCID logo; Geissler, W H
SourceMarine Geology 2016., Open Access logo Open Access
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20150474
PublisherElsevier BV
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
AreaSvalbard; Norway
Lat/Long WENS -9.0000 12.0000 81.0000 78.0000
Subjectssedimentology; marine geology; landslides; mudflows; slope stability; slope failures; methane hydrate; hydrate; continental margins; bathymetry; marine deposits; marine sediments
Illustrationslocation maps; bathymetric profiles; seismic profiles; tables; geological sketch maps
ProgramOffshore Geoscience
Released2016 12 05
AbstractThe glaciated NW European continental margins are affected by many submarine landslides, which occur predominantly at the front of cross-shelf troughs where the alternation of rapidly deposited glacigenic and hemipelagic material generates sedimentary overpressure. Here, we investigate the influence of local and regional processes such as tectonic activity, changes of climate and oceanography, gas hydrates and fluid migration systems, slope gradient, toe erosion and contourite deposition on slope stability by comparing seismic and bathymetric data of the Fram Slide Complex with data from the tectonically similar Vestnesa area at the northern termination of the Knipovich Ridge approximately 120 km farther south. We show that variation in the local controls has a strong impact on slope stability. Two areas within the Fram Slide Complex underwent different phases of slope failures, whereas there is no evidence at all for major slope failures between the Knipovich Ridge and Vestnesa Ridge farther south. This suggests that slope shape, which influences contour currents and the resulting sedimentation pattern, toe erosion dependent on the throw of normal faults, and the different thickness of contourite deposits exert pronounced effects on slope stability. These results highlight the limitations of regional hazard assessments as small differences in local controlling factors in the region have led to substantially different local slope failure histories.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
This paper examines the origins of submarine landslides on a glaciated continental margin analogous to parts of the eastern Canadian continental margin. It concludes that local erosion at the base of slope is the most important factor influencing landslide hazard.

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