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The role of physical oceanographic processes in contourite sedimentation and how we can work together
Wåhlin, A. (2004). The role of physical oceanographic processes in contourite sedimentation and how we can work together, in: Van Rooij, D. et al. (Ed.) (2014). Book of Abstracts. 2nd Deep-Water Circulation Congress: The Contourite Log-book. Ghent, Belgium, 10-12 September 2014. VLIZ Special Publication, 69: pp. 5-6
In: Van Rooij, D.; Rüggeberg, A. (Ed.) (2014). Book of Abstracts. 2nd Deep-Water Circulation Congress: The Contourite Log-book. Ghent, Belgium, 10-12 September 2014. VLIZ Special Publication, 69. Ghent University, Department of Geology and Soil Science/Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ): Oostende. xviii, 152 pp., more
In: VLIZ Special Publication. Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ): Oostende. ISSN 1377-0950, more

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Keywords
    Contourites; Physical oceanography; Marine
Author keywords
    Sedimentary processes

Author  Top 
  • Wåhlin, A.

Abstract
    An overview of the dynamics of geostrophic dense currents flowing along the continental slope is given. The effect of Earth's rotation, bottom friction and additional small-scale topography, for example submarine canyons, on the dense water is considered. As a first-order approximation the water moves forward along the depth contours and parallel to the coast. Bottom friction induces a stress which gives rise to the Ekman spiral and a downhill Ekman transport in the benthic boundary layer. The boundary layer dynamics have consequences for the erosion and deposition of sediment and will be described in detail. The transport in the boundary layer also gives rise to a secondary circulation insidethe main current, which influences the cross-current transport of suspended sediment. Topographic corrugations such as canyons, ridges and corrugations cross-cutting the path of a dense plume may effectively steer all or part of the dense plume downslope, and an overview of such flows will be given. Typical lateral variations of flow speed will be described and discussed. Depending on the scales of the flow these differences can have consequences for the formation of contourites, which will be discussed. Some examples of how successful multidisciplinary studies involving marine geology, benthic biology and physical oceanography will be presented.

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