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The Fram Slide off Svalbard: a submarine landslide on a low-sedimentation-rate glacial continental margin

posted on 21.06.2016, 11:44 authored by Judith Elger, Christian Berndt, Sebastian Krastel, David J. W. Piper, Felix Gross, Robert F. Spielhagen, Sebastian Meyer

Submarine slope failures are a widespread, hazardous phenomenon on continental margins. The prevailing opinion links large submarine landslides along the glaciated NW European continental margins to overpressure generated by the alternation of rapidly deposited glacigenic and hemipelagic material. Here, we report a newly discovered large landslide complex off NW Svalbard. It differs from all known large slides off NW Europe, as the available data rule out that this slope failure resulted from rapid glacigenic deposition. This suggests that processes such as contour currents, tectonic faulting, and overpressure build-up related to the gas hydrate system must be considered for hazard assessment.