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Origin of spectacular fields of submarine sediment waves around volcanic islands


Pope, EL and Jutzeler, M and Cartigny, MJB and Sheeve, J and Talling, PJ and Wright, IC and Wysoczanski, RJ, Origin of spectacular fields of submarine sediment waves around volcanic islands, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 493 pp. 12-24. ISSN 0012-821X (2018) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2018 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2018.04.020


Understanding how large eruptions and landslides are recorded by seafloor morphology and deposits on volcanic island flanks is important for reconstruction of volcanic island history and geohazard assessment. Spectacular fields of bedforms have been recognised recently on submerged flanks of volcanic islands at multiple locations worldwide. These fields of bedforms can extend over 50 km, and individual bedforms can be 3 km in length and 150 m in height. The origin of these bedform fields, however, is poorly understood. Here, we show that bedforms result from eruption-fed supercritical density flows (turbidity currents) in some locations, but most likely rotational landslides at other locations. General criteria are provided for distinguishing between submarine bedforms formed by eruptions and landslides, and emphasise a need for high resolution seismic datasets to prevent ambiguity. Bedforms associated with rotational landslides have a narrower source, with a distinct headscarp, they are more laterally confined, and internal bedform structure does not suggest upslope migration of each bedform. Eruption-fed density currents produce wide fields of bedforms, which extend radially from the caldera. Internal layers imaged by detailed seismic data show that these bedforms migrated up-slope, indicating that the flows that produced them were Froude supercritical. Due to the low density contrast between interstitial fluid and sediment, the extent and dimensions of submarine eruption-fed bedforms is much greater than those produced by pyroclastic density currents on land.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:sediment wave, Macauley, Raoul, Kermadec, pumice, volcanic islands, landslides, eruption-fed turbidity currents, geohazards, submarine bedforms
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Geology
Research Field:Volcanology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences
UTAS Author:Jutzeler, M (Dr Martin Jutzeler)
ID Code:125854
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:28
Deposited By:Earth Sciences
Deposited On:2018-05-09
Last Modified:2019-03-13
Downloads:109 View Download Statistics

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