A suspension flow , turbid flow or turbidite flow is a flow of fast-flowing, heavily sediment-containing water masses on undersea slopes. The in suspension contained sediment thereby increasing the density of the current in comparison to the surrounding water and thus cause a downward acceleration.
Suspension flows were observed for the first time in an inland body of water, Lake Geneva . Their oceanographic importance was discovered by the Dutch geologist Philip Henry Kuenen , who studied the currents in the laboratory in the 1930s: They occur mainly on the slopes of the continental shelf and in deep-sea channels . These currents can even erode material from the bottom of the water and lead to canyon-like depressions on continental slopes . They are triggered by the sediment load from rivers or by earthquakes or seaquakes . Sediment layers on slopes start to slide. Increasing the gradient increases the speed of the stream. This in turn leads to an increase in turbulence and further uptake of loose sediments. The effect is like a self-reinforcing avalanche .
- Suspension stream , entry Lexicon of Geosciences , Spektrum.de