Seafloor morphology and acoustic facies of the George V Land shelf, Antartica
May 18, 2003

Authors: Beaman, R.J., Harris, P.T.

Year: 2003

Publication: Deep-Sea Research Part II 50(8-9): 1343-1355. doi: 10.1016/S0967-0645(03)00070-5


To study the seafloor morphology on the George V Land shelf, East Antarctica, over 2000 km of high frequency (3.5 to 27 kHz) echo sounder data were collected between February to March 2000.

Following analysis of the data, the shelf region was divided into four acoustic facies: (a) Type IA-2 seabed is ice-keel turbate found on mid- to outer-shelf banks on seafloor less than 500 m deep; (b) Type IB seabed is siliceous mud and diatom ooze drift, drape and fill deposits within the George V Basin between 750 and 850 metres depth; (c) Type IIB seabed is smooth diamicton below 500 m depth, and occasionally has low relief megaflutes or ridge and swale features; (d) Type IIIC seabed is high relief ridges and canyons, stretching from the coast to the deepest part of the George V Basin.

The acoustic facies can be explained in terms of glacial and oceanographic influences on the shelf since the Last Glacial Maximum.

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