The Kongsfjorden Channel System offshore NW Svalbard: downslope sedimentary processes in a contour-current-dominated setting


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Christian.Hass [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

Submarine channel systems on and off glaciated continental margins can be up to hundreds of kilometres long, tens of kilometres wide and hundreds of metres deep. They result from repeated erosion and various downslope processes predominantly during glacial periods and can, therefore, provide valuable tools for the reconstruction of past ice-sheet dynamics. The Kongsfjorden Channel System (KCS) on the continental slope off northwest Svalbard provides evidence that downslope sedimentary processes are locally more dominant than regional along-slope sedimentation. It is a relatively short channel system (*120 km) that occurs at a large range of water depths (*250–4000 m) with slope gradients varying between 0 and 20. Multiple gullies on the Kongsfjorden Trough Mouth Fan merge to small channels that further merge to a main channel. The overall location of the channel system is controlled by variations in slope gradients and the ambient regional bathymetry. The widest and deepest incisions occur in areas of the steepest slope gradients. The KCS has probably been active since *1 Ma when glacial activity on Svalbard increased and grounded ice expanded to the shelf break off Kongsfjorden repeatedly. Activity within the system was probably highest during glacials. However, reduced activity presumably took place also during interglacials.



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ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
39388
DOI 10.1007/s41063-015-0018-4

Cite as
Forwick, M. , Laberg, J. S. , Hass, H. C. and Osti, G. (2015): The Kongsfjorden Channel System offshore NW Svalbard: downslope sedimentary processes in a contour-current-dominated setting , Arktos, 1 (1) . doi: 10.1007/s41063-015-0018-4


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