Evolution of depositional and slope instability processes on Bryant Canyon area, Northwest Gulf of Mexico
MetadataShow full item record
Bryant and Eastern Canyon systems are located on the northwest Gulf of Mexico, and they are characterized by a very complex sedimentological history related to glacioeustatic cycles, river discharges, and interactions of depositional and halokinetic processes. Both canyon systems were active during the low sea-level stand of Oxygen Isotope Stage 6, and provided the pathways for the transport of enormous amounts of sediments on the continental slope and abyssal plain of the northwest Gulf of Mexico. Right after their abandonment, at the beginning of Stage 5, salt diapirs encroached into the canyons, and resulted in their transformation into a network of intraslope basins. The transformation of the canyons resulted in the generation of massive sediment failures. The mid-shelf (Stages 4 and 3) to shelf edge (Stage 2) lowering of the sea-level during the last glacial episode resulted in: 1) extensive river-sourced deposits on the outer shelf and/or upper continental slope that contributed in a seaward mobilization of the underlying salt masses, and 2) the generation of numerous gravity flows and turbidity currents on the outer shelf/upper continental slope. The seaward mobilization of the salt masses resulted in the oversteepening of the flanks of the basins, and consequently in the generation of numerous and massive sediment failures. The turbidity currents were confined on the intraslope basins of the upper continental slope, depositing their coarsest material. However, their most diluted upper and end members were able to continue their downslope propagation depositing characteristic fine-grained turbidites. The frequency of the turbidity currents was highly increased during the last glacial maximum (Stage 2), and three short melt-water pulses centered at 30.5, 36, and 52 ky B.P. The last deglaciation event is characterized by the development of a major melt water event that resulted in the deposition of distinct organic rich sediments, similar to the sapropels of the Eastern Mediterranean. At about 11 ky B.P. the melt water discharges of the North America switched from Mississippi River to St Lawrence Seaway, causing the domination of hemipelagic sedimentation on the continental slope of the northwest Gulf of Mexico.
uniform mud deposits
low-density turbidity currents
Tripsanas, Efthymios (2003). Evolution of depositional and slope instability processes on Bryant Canyon area, Northwest Gulf of Mexico. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from