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Observations on depositional environments and benthos of the continental slope and rise, east of Newfoundland
Carter, L.; Schafer, Ch.T.; Rashid, M.A. (1979). Observations on depositional environments and benthos of the continental slope and rise, east of Newfoundland. Can. J. Earth Sci. = J. Can. Sci. Terre 16(4): 831-846
In: Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences = Journal Canadien des Sciences de la Terre. National Research Council Canada: Ottawa. ISSN 0008-4077, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Benthos; Depositional environments; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Carter, L.
  • Schafer, Ch.T.
  • Rashid, M.A.

    Sedimentologic, biologic, and morphologic criteria permit recognition of four depositional environments on the continental slope and rise, east of Newfoundland. The 'upper slope' (300-700 m) has a hummocky substrate with a mantle of terrigenous, gravelly muddy sand which is a mixture of ice-rafted detritus and sediment reworked from underlying glacial drift deposits. The featureless bottom of the 'middle slope' (700-2000 m) is the principal depositional site of Recent mud. Fines, reworked from shelf and upper slope sediments, settle out together with fines transported to the area by the southeast-flowing Western Boundary Undercurrent (WBU). Compared to the upper slope this deeper environment receives less ice-rafted clasts, supports a richer macrofauna, and has a higher total species diversity of foraminifera. The 'lower slope' (2000-2500 m) is characterized by higher amounts of gravel and sand mixed with the mud, increasing numbers of current bedforms, and a more diverse foraminiferal assemblage, all of which correlate with the increasing power of the WBU with depth. The gravel was ice rafted probably at the end of the late Wisconsin to early Holocene and its presence on the seabed reflects the power of the WBU to inhibit deposition of Recent mud. The 'rise' (2500 to >3000 m) is heralded by a subtle break in slope at about 2500 m. A high speed core of the undercurrent is situated in this area as indicated by the coarseness of the sediments (gravelly muddy sand) and the observed current bedforms. A marked increase in the numbers of benthonic and planktonic foraminifera is related primarily to the winnowing capacity of WBU.

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