Bottom-current control on sedimentation in the western Bellingshausen Sea, West Antarctica

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Scheuer, C. , Gohl, K. and Udintsev, G. (2006): Bottom-current control on sedimentation in the western Bellingshausen Sea, West Antarctica , Geo-marine letters . doi: 10.1007/s00367-006-0019-1
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A set of single channel and multi channel seismic reflection profiles provide insights in the young Cenozoic sedimentation history on the continental rise of the western Bellingshausen Sea west and north of Peter I Island. This area was mainly influenced by the glacial controlled sediment supply from the continental shelf and by bottom current activity. The seismic data show northwards structural altering of a prominent sediment mound from a sediment drift structure into a oppositional orientated large channel-levee complex lying west of an erosional channel. This change indicates a northward decreasing influence of a westward flowing bottom contour current. The topography suggests Peter I Island to be the main feature for the change of the bottom current influence, acting as a barrier for the bottom current and the entrained sediment material. West of Peter I Island the eastward orientated Coriolis force remains as the affecting force which deflects suspended load of the turbidites to the west and leads to a stronger grow of the western channel-levee. Calculated sediment deposition rates based on the seismic data reveal the sediment mound as a remarkable and important sediment depocentre for young Cenozoic glacial transported and contouritic sediment material in the Bellingshausen Sea.

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