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Modern sedimentary processes at the heads of Martínez Channel and Steffen Fjord, Chilean Patagonia

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Abstract
Chilean fjord sediments constitute high-resolution archives of climate and environmental change in the southern Andes. To interpret such records accurately, it is crucial to understand how sediment is transported and deposited within these basins. This issue is of particular importance in glaciofluvial Martinez Channel and Steffen Fjord (48 degrees S), due to the increasing occurrence of Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs) originating from outlet glaciers of the Northern Patagonian Icefield. Hence, the bathymetry of the head of Martinez Channel and Steffen Fjord was mapped at high resolution and the grain-size and organic carbon content of grab sediment samples were examined. Results show that the subaquatic deltas of Baker and Huemules rivers at the head of Martinez Channel and Steffen Fjord, respectively, are deeply incised (up to 36 m) by sinuous channels. The presence of sediment waves and coarser sediments within these channels imply recent activity and sediment transport by turbidity currents. Although several triggering mechanisms are possible, we argue that elevated river discharge and the associated relatively high suspended sediment loads is the main cause of the occurrence of turbidity currents at the head of these fjords and are of key importance in shaping the fjord's subaquatic morphology. This study shows that the heads of Martinez Channel and Steffen Fjord are dynamic sedimentary environments with rapidly migrating channels. It highlights the importance of site selection and multi-coring in any future project aimed at reconstructing environmental change using the sediments of either fjord.
Keywords
Chilean fjords, Multibeam bathymetry, Submarine channel, Turbidity current, Sediment transport, SEA-SURFACE TEMPERATURE, TURBIDITY CURRENTS, SEISMIC STRATIGRAPHY, CYCLIC STEPS, SOUTHERN WESTERLIES, NORTHERN PATAGONIA, BRITISH-COLUMBIA, GLACIAL ADVANCES, MONTEREY CANYON, DELTA

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Citation

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MLA
Vandekerkhove, Elke, et al. “Modern Sedimentary Processes at the Heads of Martínez Channel and Steffen Fjord, Chilean Patagonia.” MARINE GEOLOGY, vol. 419, 2020, doi:10.1016/j.margeo.2019.106076.
APA
Vandekerkhove, E., Bertrand, S., Crescenzi Lanna, E., Reid, B., & Pantoja, S. (2020). Modern sedimentary processes at the heads of Martínez Channel and Steffen Fjord, Chilean Patagonia. MARINE GEOLOGY, 419. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.margeo.2019.106076
Chicago author-date
Vandekerkhove, Elke, Sebastien Bertrand, Eleonora Crescenzi Lanna, Brian Reid, and Silvio Pantoja. 2020. “Modern Sedimentary Processes at the Heads of Martínez Channel and Steffen Fjord, Chilean Patagonia.” MARINE GEOLOGY 419. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.margeo.2019.106076.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Vandekerkhove, Elke, Sebastien Bertrand, Eleonora Crescenzi Lanna, Brian Reid, and Silvio Pantoja. 2020. “Modern Sedimentary Processes at the Heads of Martínez Channel and Steffen Fjord, Chilean Patagonia.” MARINE GEOLOGY 419. doi:10.1016/j.margeo.2019.106076.
Vancouver
1.
Vandekerkhove E, Bertrand S, Crescenzi Lanna E, Reid B, Pantoja S. Modern sedimentary processes at the heads of Martínez Channel and Steffen Fjord, Chilean Patagonia. MARINE GEOLOGY. 2020;419.
IEEE
[1]
E. Vandekerkhove, S. Bertrand, E. Crescenzi Lanna, B. Reid, and S. Pantoja, “Modern sedimentary processes at the heads of Martínez Channel and Steffen Fjord, Chilean Patagonia,” MARINE GEOLOGY, vol. 419, 2020.
@article{8635476,
  abstract     = {Chilean fjord sediments constitute high-resolution archives of climate and environmental change in the southern Andes. To interpret such records accurately, it is crucial to understand how sediment is transported and deposited within these basins. This issue is of particular importance in glaciofluvial Martinez Channel and Steffen Fjord (48 degrees S), due to the increasing occurrence of Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs) originating from outlet glaciers of the Northern Patagonian Icefield. Hence, the bathymetry of the head of Martinez Channel and Steffen Fjord was mapped at high resolution and the grain-size and organic carbon content of grab sediment samples were examined. Results show that the subaquatic deltas of Baker and Huemules rivers at the head of Martinez Channel and Steffen Fjord, respectively, are deeply incised (up to 36 m) by sinuous channels. The presence of sediment waves and coarser sediments within these channels imply recent activity and sediment transport by turbidity currents. Although several triggering mechanisms are possible, we argue that elevated river discharge and the associated relatively high suspended sediment loads is the main cause of the occurrence of turbidity currents at the head of these fjords and are of key importance in shaping the fjord's subaquatic morphology. This study shows that the heads of Martinez Channel and Steffen Fjord are dynamic sedimentary environments with rapidly migrating channels. It highlights the importance of site selection and multi-coring in any future project aimed at reconstructing environmental change using the sediments of either fjord.},
  articleno    = {106076},
  author       = {Vandekerkhove, Elke and Bertrand, Sebastien and Crescenzi Lanna, Eleonora and Reid, Brian and Pantoja, Silvio},
  issn         = {0025-3227},
  journal      = {MARINE GEOLOGY},
  keywords     = {Chilean fjords,Multibeam bathymetry,Submarine channel,Turbidity current,Sediment transport,SEA-SURFACE TEMPERATURE,TURBIDITY CURRENTS,SEISMIC STRATIGRAPHY,CYCLIC STEPS,SOUTHERN WESTERLIES,NORTHERN PATAGONIA,BRITISH-COLUMBIA,GLACIAL ADVANCES,MONTEREY CANYON,DELTA},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {14},
  title        = {Modern sedimentary processes at the heads of Martínez Channel and Steffen Fjord, Chilean Patagonia},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.margeo.2019.106076},
  volume       = {419},
  year         = {2020},
}

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