Collaborative Research: Constraints on Sediment Physical Properties at the Cape Fear and Currituck landslides from velocity analysis of new, open access seismic reflection data
DESCRIPTION: Seafloor landslides that occur just offshore of continents can have significant impacts on coastal areas. On the continental margin offshore of the heavily populated U.S. Mid-Atlantic, about 15% of the continental slope shows scars from large submarine landslides. This study aims to understand the driving mechanisms behind these common features. The role that fluids within the sediments play in triggering landslides will be examined by applying new analysis techniques to existing data. Slope failure can occur gradually or catastrophically, and the type of failure will control the severity of the impacts to coastal areas. Results of this study will provide a better understanding of the following: (1) the natural hazard risk from tsunamis generated by catastrophic slope failures, (2) potential impacts when trapped greenhouse gases are released from both gradual and catastrophic failures, and (3) sedimentary systems along continental margins in a broader scientific sense. The project supports the training of two graduate students and a post-doctoral investigator.