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The Laurentian Fan: Sohm abyssal plain


The 0.5- to 2-km thick Quaternary Laurentian Fan is built over Tertiary and Mesozoic sediments that rest on oceanic crust. Two 400-km long fan valleys, with asymmetric levees up to 700-m high, lead to an equally long, sandy, lobate basin plain (northern Sohm Abyssal Plain). The muddy distal Sohm Abyssal Plain is a further 400-km long. The sediment supplied to the fan is glacial in origin, and in part results from seismically triggered slumping on the upper continental slope. Sandy turbidity currents, such as the 1929 Grand Banks earthquake event, probably erode the fan-valley floors; but thick muddy turbidity currents build up the high levees.

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Piper, D.J.W., Stow, D.A.V. & Normark, W.R. The Laurentian Fan: Sohm abyssal plain. Geo-Marine Letters 3, 141–146 (1983).

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  • Debris Flow
  • Turbidite
  • Continental Slope
  • Turbidity Current
  • Abyssal Plain