Mass Wasting on Alpha Ridge in the Arctic Ocean: New Insights from Multibeam Bathymetry and Sub-bottom Profiler Data

TitleMass Wasting on Alpha Ridge in the Arctic Ocean: New Insights from Multibeam Bathymetry and Sub-bottom Profiler Data
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year2020
AuthorsBoggild, K, Mosher, DC, Travaglini, PG, Gebhardt, C, Mayer, LA
JournalGeological Society of London, Special Publication
Volume500
Pages323-340
Date PublishedMay 13

Marine geological and geophysical data from Alpha Ridge in the Arctic Ocean are sparse because of thick perennial sea-ice cover, which prevents access by most surface vessels. Rare seismic data in this area, acquired largely from drifting ice-camps, had shown the hemipelagic drape that covers most of the ridge is highly disrupted within a large (>90 000 km2) south central region. Here, evidence of pronounced seafloor erosion and debris flows infilling seafloor lows was previously interpreted to be the result of a possible bolide impact. In recent years, several icebreaker expeditions have successfully acquired multibeam bathymetry and sub-bottom profiler data in the western segment of this region. Analysis of these data reveals a complex seafloor morphology characterized by ridges and troughs, angular blocks and escarpments as well as seismic facies characterized by hyperbolic seafloor reflections, and convoluted to incoherent and transparent sub-bottom reflectivity. These features are interpreted as evidence of sediment mass movement with varying degrees of lateral transport deformation. At least two episodes of failure are interpreted based on the presence of both buried and surficial mass-transport features. As multiple events are interpreted, seismicity is the most plausible trigger mechanism rather than bolide impact.

DOI10.1144/SP500-2019-196
Region
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