Submarine landslides in the Great Barrier Reef margin: preliminary characterization of the their morphology and behaviour
September 21, 2016

Authors: Puga-Bernabéu, A., Lopez-Cabrera, F.J., Webster, J.M., Beaman, R.J.

Year: 2016

Publication: 35th International Geological Congress, 27 August-4 September 2016. International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS), Cape Town, South Africa


Submarine landslides are ubiquitous features on slopes worldwide, either passive or active continental margins, including glacially-influenced, river-dominated, volcanic and carbonate slopes. However, studies on submarine mass-wasting are relatively scarce in mixed carbonate-siliciclastic margins, which are characterized by variable lithologies with different rheologic properties that vary spatially and temporally.

We present the preliminary results of the study on a unique open slope submarine landslide dataset (>1 km2) in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) margin, north-eastern Australia, which represents the largest modern carbonate-siliciclastic depositional system in the world.

We used high-resolution multibeam bathymetry and GIS analysis to perform a morphometric characterization of the submarine landslides in three distinctive regions of this archetypal margin, from north to south: Ribbon Reef (RR), Noggin Passage (NG) and Palm Passage (PP).

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