Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
 2005 projects
Benthic processes

Mass movement and sediment transport trajectories in submarine canyons and on continental slopes: Monitoring, and testing seafloor failures

Project Manager: Bill Ussler
Lead Scientists: Gary Greene, Charlie Paull, Dave Clague, Dave Caress

We will extend previous studies on continental processes to focus on the mechanism and timing of mass movement in the submarine environment. Two areas have been selected to determine the relationship of geomorphic expression of landslides to age of failure and potential for future failure. The investigation is based on previous MBARI studies, which included Monterey submarine canyon and the north-central part of the Santa Barbara Channel  Our intent is to map in detail, various landslides and model their failures based on size, slope, lithologies, structure and other parameters selected by Steve Ward of UCSC to model mass movement trajectories and sediment distribution in submarine canyons and on slopes. Based on the modeled trajectories we would like to test the predicted location of landslide deposits with the use of the subbottom profiler on the AUV or ROV. Our results should indicate where failures are most likely to occur in the future. In the Monterey Bay area, the MARS network can then be used to monitor for such failures.

Last updated: Feb. 05, 2009