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Geological Investigation of the Equatorial North Pacific Seafloor: A Discussion of Sediment Redistribution

  • James D. Craig
Part of the Marine Science book series (MR, volume 9)

Abstract

Detailed investigations in the equatorial North Pacific (9°05′N, 148°45′W) are used to describe geologic evidence of, and processes involved in, sediment erosion/redistribution on the abyssal sea-floor. Geophysical surveys indicate that sediment thickness typically varies by a factor of two over distances of 10 km, and that sediment thicknesses are inversely correlated to bathymetric slopes. Although most of the sediment redistribution occurred prior to late Miocene time (Line Islands Formation), variation in Quaternary sediment thickness and admixture of reworked Tertiary microfossils indicates that processes are still active. Grain-size analysis, employing a rapid photometric centifuge technique, shows, however, no evidence of grain-size sorting between net erosional and depositional bathymetric settings. Distribution of manganese nodules, which are divided into two distinct facies based on size, morphology, and chemical composition, appears unrelated to sedimentation patterns and is primarily influenced by the proximity of a small seamount. Collection of undisturbed sediment samples by a spade corer and shipboard measurement of shear strength parameters are used as a basis for evaluating seabed erodibility. A speculative sedimentary model involves erosion of bioturbated “mixed layer” sediment by anomalously strong bottom currents, and downslope transport by low-density turbid or “lutite” suspensions.

Keywords

Shear Strength Mixed Layer Liquid Limit Geotechnical Property Sediment Thickness 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • James D. Craig
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Oceanography, Hawaii Institute of GeophysicsUniversity of HawaiiHonoluluUSA

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