Advertisement

Potential Cyclic Steps in a Gully System of the Gulf of Palermo (Southern Tyrrhenian Sea)

  • Claudio Lo IaconoEmail author
  • Matthieu Cartigny
  • Elisabetta Zizzo
  • Mauro Agate
  • Attilio Sulli
Chapter

Abstract

Multibeam bathymetric data revealed the occurrence of a train of bedforms along a gully system in the Gulf of Palermo, southern Tyrrhenian Sea. The observed gullies, located in the westernmost sector of the Gulf of Palermo, incise the outer shelf at a depth of 120 m and converge at the Zafferano Canyon, connecting to the Palermo Basin at a depth of 1300 m. Bedforms develop along these gullies and along the thalweg of the canyon, displaying an average wavelength of 200 m, with maximum values of 340 m. Their gully floor location combined with their wave length, upslope asymmetry and crescent shape point to a possible cyclic step origin of these bedforms. Preliminary numerical modelling suggests that, assuming that these bedforms were formed by cyclic steps in turbidity currents, these flows might have been few meters thick and have had velocities in the range of 0.2–1.5 m/s.

Keywords

Cyclic steps Gullies Submarine canyons Turbidity currents Gulf of palermo Tyrrhenian sea 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Data acquisition was made possible thanks to the Italian National Research Projects MaGIC (Marine Geological Hazard along the Italian Coast), funded by the Italian Civil Protection Department, and CARG (Geological Maps of Italy), funded by the ISPRA-Italian Geological Survey. Constructive reviews by two anonymous reviewers greatly improved the submitted version of the manuscript

References

  1. Cartigny, M. J., Postma, G., van den Berg, J. H., & Mastbergen, D. R. (2011). A comparative study of sediment waves and cyclic steps based on geometries, internal structures and numerical modeling. Marine Geology, 280(1), 40–56.Google Scholar
  2. Chiocci F.L., Ridente D., (2011). Regional-scale seafloor mapping and geohazard assessment. The experience from the Italian project MaGIC (Marine Geohazards along the Italian Coasts). Mar. Geophys. Res. 32, 13–23.Google Scholar
  3. Clarke, J. E. H., Vidiera Marques, C., Pratomo, D. (2014). Imaging active mass-wasting and sediment flows on a fjord delta, Squamish, British Columbia. In S. Krastel et al. (eds.), Submarine Mass Movements and Their Consequences, Advances in Natural and Technological Hazards Research 37, Springer.Google Scholar
  4. Covault, J. A., Kostic, S., Paull, C. K., Ryan, H. F., & Fildani, A. (2014). Submarine channel initiation, filling and maintenance from sea‐floor geomorphology and morphodynamic modelling of cyclic steps. Sedimentology, 61(4), 1031–1054.Google Scholar
  5. Fildani, A., Normark, W. R., Kostic, S., & Parker, G. (2006). Channel formation by flow stripping: Large‐scale scour features along the Monterey East Channel and their relation to sediment waves. Sedimentology, 53(6), 1265–1287.Google Scholar
  6. Hill, P. R., Conway, K., Lintern, D. G., Meulé, S., Picard, K., & Barrie, J. V. (2008). Sedimentary processes and sediment dispersal in the southern Strait of Georgia, BC, Canada. Marine environmental research, 66, S39–S48.Google Scholar
  7. Knaapen, M.A.F., (2005). Sandwave migration predictor based on shape information. J. Geophys. Res. 110, F04S11. doi: 10.1029/2004JF000195
  8. Kostic, S. (2011). Modeling of submarine cyclic steps: Controls on their formation, migration, and architecture. Geosphere, 7(2), 294–304.Google Scholar
  9. Lo Iacono C., Sulli A., Agate M., LoPresti V., Pepe F., Catalano R., (2011). Submarine canyon morphologies in the Gulf of Palermo (Southern Tyrrhenian Sea) and possible implications for geo-hazard. Marine Geophysical Researches 32, 127–138.Google Scholar
  10. Lo Iacono C., Sulli A., Agate M., (2014). Submarine canyons of north-western Sicily (Southern Tyrrhenian Sea): Variability in morphology, sedimentary processes and evolution on a tectonically active margin. Deep-Sea Research II 104, 93–105.Google Scholar
  11. Migeon S., Savoye B., Faugeres JC., (2000). Quaternary development of migrating sediment waves in the Var deep-sea fan: distribution, growth pattern, and implication for levee evolution. Sedimentary Geology 133, 265–293.Google Scholar
  12. Parker, G. (1996). Some speculations on the relation between channel morphology and channel-scale flow structures. Coherent flow structures in open channels, 423.Google Scholar
  13. Pratson L.F., Imran J., Parker G., Syvitski JPM., Hutton E., (2000). Debris flows versus turbidity currents: A modeling comparison of their dynamics and deposits. In: Bouma A.H. and Stone C.G. eds: Fine-Grained Turbidite Systems: American Association of Petroleum Geologists Memoir 72, SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology) Special Publication 68, 57–72.Google Scholar
  14. Urgeles R., Cattaneo A., Puig P., Liquete C., De Mol B., Amblas D., Sultan N., Trincardi F., (2011). A review of undulated sediment features on Mediterranean prodeltas: distinguishing sediment transport structures from sediment deformation. Marine Geophysical Research 32, 1–1, 49–69.Google Scholar
  15. Zhong, G., Cartigny, M.J.B., Kuang, Z., & Wang, L. (2015). Cyclic steps along the South Taiwan Shoal and West Penghu submarine canyons on the northeastern continental slope of the South China Sea. Geological Society of America Bulletin, B31003-1.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claudio Lo Iacono
    • 1
    Email author
  • Matthieu Cartigny
    • 1
  • Elisabetta Zizzo
    • 2
  • Mauro Agate
    • 2
  • Attilio Sulli
    • 2
  1. 1.Marine GeoscienceNational Oceanography CentreSouthamptonUK
  2. 2.Dipartimento delle Scienze della Terra d del MareUniversita’ di PalermoPalermoItaly

Personalised recommendations