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Large submarine sand waves and gravel lag substrates on Georges Bank off Atlantic Canada

January 1, 2012

Georges Bank is a large, shallow, continental shelf feature offshore of New England and Atlantic Canada. The bank is mantled with a veneer of glacial debris transported during the late Pleistocene from continental areas lying to the north. These sediments were reworked by marine processes during postglacial sea-level transgression and continue to be modified by the modern oceanic regime. The surficial geology of the Canadian portion of the bank is a widespread gravel lag overlain in places by well sorted sand occurring as bedforms. The most widespread bedforms are large, mobile, asymmetrical sand waves up to 19 m in height formed through sediment transport by strong tidal-driven and possibly storm-driven currents. Well-defined curvilinear bedform crests up to 15 km long form a complex bifurcating pattern having an overall southwest–northeast strike, which is normal to the direction of the major axis of the semidiurnal tidal current ellipse. Minor fields of immobile, symmetrical sand waves are situated in bathymetric lows. Rare mobile, asymmetrical barchan dunes are lying on the gravel lag in areas of low sand supply. On Georges Bank, the management of resources and habitats requires an understanding of the distribution of substrate types, their surface dynamics and susceptibility to movement, and their associated fauna.

Publication Year 2012
Title Large submarine sand waves and gravel lag substrates on Georges Bank off Atlantic Canada
DOI 10.1016/B978-0-12-385140-6.00015-3
Authors B.J. Todd, Page C. Valentine
Publication Type Book Chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Index ID 70044436
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center