Journal of Marine Sciences ›› 2023, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (2): 1-13.DOI: 10.3969/j.issn.1001-909X.2023.02.001

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Debris flows deposition in the Northwind Basin, western Arctic Ocean

XU Yixin1,2(), SHEN Zhongyan1,2,*(), YANG Chunguo1,2, ZHANG Tao1,2   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Submarine Geosciences, MNR, Hangzhou 310012, China
    2. Second Institute of Oceanography, MNR, Hangzhou 310012, China
  • Received:2023-02-21 Revised:2023-04-08 Online:2023-06-15 Published:2023-07-27


Subaqueous debris flows are widely developed on polar continental margins, many of which are glacigenic, representing the products of ice sheets reaching the shelf edge. In the western Arctic Ocean, a large number of debris flows have been identified at the continental margin west of the Northwind Basin, however research on debris flows within this basin has hardly been carried out. In this study, the distribution of debris flows was outlined and their formation ages were determined using the high-resolution sub-bottom profiler data. Then the mega-scale glacial lineations (MSGL) was used as the judgment indicators to infer the origin of these debris flows. It is found that the debris flows in the study area are mainly distributed on the southwestern and northern-central slope of the western sub-basin, in the southeastern part of the eastern sub-basin, and on the slopes of some seamounts and cliffs. They are from the surrounding continental shelf, ridges and seamounts. Most debris flows coexist with MSGL and are presumed to be glacigenic. More than 9 glacigenic debris flows have been found on the southwestern slope, which may indicate more than 9 ice streams advances through the Broad Bathymetric Trough. The number of ice streams advances are much more than the previous speculation (3-5). There are also some debris flows with no ice-grounding landforms (e.g. MSGL) have been found in the nearby seamounts and are presumed to be non-glacigenic. The shock caused by the grounding of the ice sheets/shelves in the nearby area or tectonic movement may be the trigger factors for this kind of debris flows.

Key words: Northwind Basin, Chukchi Borderland, glacigenic debris flows, MSGL

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