Late Quaternary channel avulsions on the Danube deep-sea fan, Black Sea

Type Article
Date 2001-09
Language English
Author(s) Popescu Irina, Lericolais GillesORCID, Panin N, Wong H, Droz Laurence
Affiliation(s) Geo Eco Mar Constanta, Constanta, Romania.
IFREMER Brest, DROGM, Lab environm Sedimentaires, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
Geo Eco Mar Bucharest, Bucharest 70318, Romania.
Univ Hamburg, Inst Biogeochem & Marine Chem, D-20146 Hamburg, Germany.
UBO, Inst Univ Europeen Mer, CNRS, UMR Domaines Ocean 6538, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
Source Marine Geology (0025-3227) (Elsevier), 2001-09 , Vol. 179 , N. 1-2 , P. 25-37
DOI 10.1016/S0025-3227(01)00197-9
WOS© Times Cited 75
Keyword(s) High resolution seismic, Late Quaternary, Avulsion, Deep sea fan, Black Sea
Abstract Analysis of new high-resolution seismic-reflection profiles, chirp profiles and previously published sidescan data, together with piston cores on the Danube Fan provide new insight into the recent sedimentation processes in the deep northwestern Black Sea.The latest channel-levee system on the Danube Fan developed probably during the Neoeuxinian lowstand (oxygene isotope stage 2) in a semi-freshwater basin with a water level about 100 m lower than today. Sediment supplied by the Danube was transported to the deep basin through the Viteaz Canyon, which was directly connected to the leveed channel of this system on the middle slope. Channel avulsion was common in the middle fan, as indicated by four main phases of bifurcation. Each phase developed after the same pattern: breaching of the lower and narrower left levee by turbidity currents, building of a unit of High Amplitude Reflection Packets (HARP) by the unchannelized flow while the former channel was abandoned, followed by initiation of a new meandering leveed channel. The northward migration through successive bifurcations is influenced by the asymmetry between levees, hence by the Coriolis effect. In the lower fan where the levees became too low to maintain a stable pathway for the turbiditic flows, channel migration occurred. Locations of HARPs and channels after bifurcation are controlled by the pre-existing bathymetry. Sedimentary deposits are confined between the high levees of unit 0 (the initial phase of the youngest channel-levee system) to the south, and the steep relief of the Dniepr Fan to the north.The HARPs of the most recent phase of avulsion are the most severely constrained by local topography and form a very narrow elongate structure that is at most half as thick as the previous HARPs. Their distal part is not covered by channel-levee systems and is visible both on sidescan mosaics and on chirp profiles and was sampled in core BLKS 98-20.Sea level controlled fan activity but the evolution of the last channel-levee system with several bifurcations during a single sea level lowstand suggests that the primary control of channel avulsion and sand delivery is probably autocyclic.The presence of important HARP sand bodies in the mud-rich Danube Fan is presumed by analogy with a similar seismic facies on the Amazon Fan and indicated by the sands cored in BLKS98-20. However, only drilling of the HARP units could verify this interpretation.
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