Volume 41 Issue 9
Aug.  2022
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Xishuang Li, Chengyi Zhang, Baohua Liu, Lejun Liu. Mounded seismic units in the modern canyon system in the Shenhu area, northern South China Sea: Sediment deformation, depositional structures or the mixed system?[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2022, 41(9): 107-116. doi: 10.1007/s13131-022-2002-8
Citation: Xishuang Li, Chengyi Zhang, Baohua Liu, Lejun Liu. Mounded seismic units in the modern canyon system in the Shenhu area, northern South China Sea: Sediment deformation, depositional structures or the mixed system?[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2022, 41(9): 107-116. doi: 10.1007/s13131-022-2002-8

Mounded seismic units in the modern canyon system in the Shenhu area, northern South China Sea: Sediment deformation, depositional structures or the mixed system?

doi: 10.1007/s13131-022-2002-8
Funds:  The National Natural Science Foundation of China under contract No. 41876061; the National Key Research and Development Program under contract No. 2016YFC0301403.
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  • Corresponding author: E-mail: lxs@fio.org.cn
  • Received Date: 2020-11-22
  • Accepted Date: 2022-02-05
  • Available Online: 2022-05-31
  • Publish Date: 2022-08-31
  • The canyon system, including 17 small slope-confined canyons in the Shenhu area, northern South China Sea, is significantly characterized by mounded or undulating features on the canyon flanks and canyon heads. However, the mechanism underlying the formation of these features has yet to be elucidated. In previous studies, most of them were interpreted as sediment deformation on the exploration seismic profiles. In this paper, we collected high-resolution bathymetric data, chirp profiles and geotechnical test data to investigate their detailed morphology, internal structures, and origin. The bathymetric data indicated that most mounded seismic units have smooth seafloors and are separated by grooves or depressions. The distance between two adjacent mounded units is only hundreds of meters. On chirp profiles, mounded seismic units usually exhibit chaotic reflections and wavy reflections, of which the crests migrate upslope. The slope stability analysis results revealed that the critical angle of the soil layers in the study area tends to be 9°, indicating that most mounded seismic units on the canyon flanks and heads are stable at present. The terrain characteristics and seismic configurations combined with the slope stability analysis results indicated that most mounded seismic units are not sediment deformation but depositional structures or mixed systems composed of deformation and depositional structures.
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