Dakar Slide Offshore Senegal, NW-Africa: Interaction of Stacked Giant Mass Wasting Events and Canyon Evolution

  • Mathias MeyerEmail author
  • Jacob Geersen
  • Sebastian Krastel
  • Tilmann Schwenk
  • Daniel Winkelmann
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Natural and Technological Hazards Research book series (NTHR, volume 31)


Acoustic data reveal giant submarine slides offshore Senegal. The most prominent slide, named Dakar Slide, shows a headwall with a length of at least 100 km in water depths of 2,000–3,100 m. The slide is situated between two canyons, the Dakar Canyon in the north and the Diola Canyon in the south. Seismic data indicate a complex interaction of mass wasting and canyon evolution during the formation of this part of the continental margin. The northern sidewall of the Dakar Slide crosses the distal part of the Dakar Canyon, which was repeatedly destroyed and filled by slide deposits. The area above the headwall does not show major mass-wasting events though the slope gradient there is significantly steeper. The Dakar Slide is underlain by multiple giant mass transport deposits reaching back to Oligocene times.


Submarine landslide Mass failure Canyon Seismic reflection 



We thank all scientists and crew who supported data collection. The authors are thankful to Aggeliki Georgiopoulou and Jan Sverre Laberg for their reviews and constructive comments. Financial support was provided by the DFG.


  1. Antobreh A, Krastel S (2007) Mauritania Slide Complex: morphology, seismic characterisation and processes of formation. Int J Earth Sci 96:451–472CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Brownfield ME, Charpentier RR (2003) Assessment of the undiscovered oil and gas of the Senegal Province, Mauritania, Senegal, the Gambia, and Guinea-Bissau, Northwest Africa. U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, DenverGoogle Scholar
  3. Hansen DM, Redfern J, Federici F et al (2008) Miocene igneous activity in the Northern Subbasin, offshore Senegal, NW Africa. Mar Petrol Geol 25:1–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Henrich R, Cherubini Y, Meggers H (2010) Climate and sea level induced turbidite activity in a canyon system offshore the hyperarid Western Sahara (Mauritania): the Timiris Canyon. Mar Geol 275:178–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Krastel S, Wynn RB, Hanebuth TJJ et al (2006) Mapping of seabed morphology and shallow ­sediment structure of the Mauritania continental margin, Northwest Africa: some implications for geohazard potential. Nor Geol Tidsskr 86(3):163–176Google Scholar
  6. Krastel S, Wynn RB, Georgiopoulou A et al (2012) Large-scale mass wasting on the Northwest African Continental Margin: some general implications for mass wasting on passive continental margins. In: Yamada Y et al (eds) Submarine mass movements and their consequences, vol. 31, Advances in natural and technological hazards research. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 189–199Google Scholar
  7. Lancelot Y (1978) The evolution of the Central Northeastern Atlantic – summary of results of DSDP Leg 41. DSDP Vol XLI 41:1121–1134Google Scholar
  8. Martinez P, Bertrand P, Shimmield GB et al (1999) Upwelling intensity and ocean productivity changes off Cape Blanc (northwest Africa) during the last 70,000 years: geochemical and micropalaeontological evidence. Mar Geol 158:57–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Pierau R (2008) Climate and sea level controlled sedimentation processes in two submarine ­canyons off NW-Africa. PhD thesis, Bremen University, p 90Google Scholar
  10. Pierau R, Hanebuth TJJ, Krastel S et al (2010) Late Quaternary climatic events and sea-level changes recorded by turbidite activity, Dakar Canyon, NW Africa. Quat Res 73:385–392CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ruddiman W, Sarnthein M, Baldauf J (1988) Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, initial reports. Proceeding ODP 108:16Google Scholar
  12. The Shipboard Scientific Party, Bukry D (1978) Site reports of DSDP Leg 41 – Site 367: Cape Verde Basin. DSDP 41:163–232Google Scholar
  13. Von Rad U, Wissmann G (1982) Cretaceous-Cenozoic history of the West Saharan continental margin (NW Africa): development, destruction and gravitationl sedimentation. In: von Rad U et al (eds) Geology of the Northwest African continental margin. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg/New York, pp 106–131Google Scholar
  14. Wynn RB, Masson DG, Stow DA et al (2000) The Northwest African slope apron: a modern ­analogue for deep-water systems with complex seafloor topography. Mar Pet Geol 17:253–265CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mathias Meyer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jacob Geersen
    • 1
  • Sebastian Krastel
    • 1
  • Tilmann Schwenk
    • 2
  • Daniel Winkelmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR)KielGermany
  2. 2.Marum and Faculty of GeosciencesBremen UniversityBremenGermany

Personalised recommendations