Deep sea fans

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The submarine Mississippi fan in the Gulf of Mexico at the foot of the submarine canyon of the same name

Deep-sea fans , also submarine fans , are finger-shaped sediment coverings of the sea floor, starting from the end point ( mouth ) of a submarine canyon .

Deep-sea fans are created similar to alluvial fans in arid areas. Similar to rivers, suspension flows transport loose material from the continental shelf and slope into the ocean basin, often through canyons cut deep into the continental slopes . Where the slope becomes flatter and the flow velocity slows, the material is deposited as loose sediment ( turbidites ). Repeated deposition creates submarine compartments. These can have different morphologies : radial or elongated. Their size can be from one to a thousand square kilometers. Mainly marine and pelagic sediments are deposited.

The world's largest active deep-sea fan is the Bengali deep-sea fan .


  • JA Covault: Submarine Fans and Canyon-Channel Systems: A Review of Processes, Products, and Models . In: Nature Education Knowledge . 2011 ( ).
  • G. Shanmugam: Submarine fans: A critical retrospective (1950-2015) . In: Journal of Palaeogeography . April 2016, doi : 10.1016 / j.jop.2015.08.011 (open access).

Individual evidence

  1. created with GeoMappApp , based on GMRT data: WBF Ryan, SM Carbotte, J. Coplan, S. O'Hara, A. Melkonian, R. Arko, RA Weissel, V. Ferrini, A. Goodwillie, F. Nitsche , J. Bonczkowski, and R. Zemsky: Global Multi-Resolution Topography (GMRT) synthesis data set . In: Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. tape 10 , Q03014, 2009, doi : 10.1029 / 2008GC002332 (data doi: 10.1594 / IEDA.0001000 ).
  2. Frank Press, Raymond Siever: General Geology - Introduction to the Earth System . 3. Edition. Spektrum Akademischer Verlag, 2003, ISBN 3-8274-0307-3 , pp. 464-467 .