A submarine canyon is a valley cut into the seafloor of the continental shelf, forming a notch in the shelf break and continuing as a steep-sided valley down the continental slope.
The discovery of submarine canyons can be traced back to the late nineteenth century. James Dana reported on soundings revealing the Hudson submarine river channel in 1890.
The Distribution of Submarine Canyons
Small submarine canyons are common along active continental margins. They are more widely separated along passive margins. Some submarine canyons have their heads on the continental shelf and are directly associated with large rivers. Others have their head near the break in the slope and have no obvious association with existing rivers.
Canyons cut into continental slopes can be traced down to depths of 2 km or more below sea level. They can continue as submarine channels on the continental rise extending for hundreds of kilometers.
Origin of Submarine Canyons
The origin of...