The role of possible controlling factors in influencing the geomorphology of submarine canyons has been investigated using a database of 282 globally distributed modern examples collated from the literature and open -source worldwide bathymetry. Canyon geomorphology has been characterised quantitatively in terms of maximum and average canyon dimensions, canyon sinuosity, average canyon thalweg gradient, and maximum canyon sidewall steepness. An assessment is made of how geomorphological characteristics vary with respect to the position of the canyon apex relative to the shelf break, continental-margin type, terrestrial source-to-sink system setting, oceanographic environment, and latitude. Scaling relationships between canyon morphometric parameters, and correlations between these and attributes of the canyon physiographic settings, terrestrial catchments, and continental shelves and slopes, have been quantified.Key findings are as follows: (i) a number of scaling relationships describing canyon morphometry (e.g. scaling between maximum canyon dimensions, relationships of maximum canyon sidewall steepness with maximum canyon width and depth) can be recognised globally, suggesting their general predictive value; (ii) possible causal links are identified between hydrodynamic processes (e.g. upwelling, longshore-and along-slope currents) and canyon morphology; (iii) potential predictors of aspects of canyon geomorphology include whether a canyon is incised into the shelf or confined to the slope, the continental-margin type, the oceanographic environment, latitude, and shelf-break depth; (iv) similarity in the distributions of maximum width-to-maximum depth ratios across all settings suggests that the relative magnitudes of canyon-margin erosion and intra-canyon deposition do not vary greatly depending on setting or canyon size.The relationships between canyon geomorphology and environmental variables identified in this study may be incorporated into conceptual models describing canyon geomorphology and its relationship both to other ele-ments of deep-water systems, and to its broader source-to-sink context. The results provide a framework for future experimental and numerical studies of canyon geomorphology.

A global analysis of controls on submarine-canyon geomorphology

Patacci, M;
2022-01-01

Abstract

The role of possible controlling factors in influencing the geomorphology of submarine canyons has been investigated using a database of 282 globally distributed modern examples collated from the literature and open -source worldwide bathymetry. Canyon geomorphology has been characterised quantitatively in terms of maximum and average canyon dimensions, canyon sinuosity, average canyon thalweg gradient, and maximum canyon sidewall steepness. An assessment is made of how geomorphological characteristics vary with respect to the position of the canyon apex relative to the shelf break, continental-margin type, terrestrial source-to-sink system setting, oceanographic environment, and latitude. Scaling relationships between canyon morphometric parameters, and correlations between these and attributes of the canyon physiographic settings, terrestrial catchments, and continental shelves and slopes, have been quantified.Key findings are as follows: (i) a number of scaling relationships describing canyon morphometry (e.g. scaling between maximum canyon dimensions, relationships of maximum canyon sidewall steepness with maximum canyon width and depth) can be recognised globally, suggesting their general predictive value; (ii) possible causal links are identified between hydrodynamic processes (e.g. upwelling, longshore-and along-slope currents) and canyon morphology; (iii) potential predictors of aspects of canyon geomorphology include whether a canyon is incised into the shelf or confined to the slope, the continental-margin type, the oceanographic environment, latitude, and shelf-break depth; (iv) similarity in the distributions of maximum width-to-maximum depth ratios across all settings suggests that the relative magnitudes of canyon-margin erosion and intra-canyon deposition do not vary greatly depending on setting or canyon size.The relationships between canyon geomorphology and environmental variables identified in this study may be incorporated into conceptual models describing canyon geomorphology and its relationship both to other ele-ments of deep-water systems, and to its broader source-to-sink context. The results provide a framework for future experimental and numerical studies of canyon geomorphology.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11697/222101
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