Deep-water sedimentary systems and processes on the continental margin offshore NW Africa
Deep-water sedimentary systems are important components of continental margins. Deep-water sedimentary processes, including gravity-driven downslope and along-slope processes, affect the construction and erosion of continental margins. Various types of deep-water sedimentary systems have been found at the Northwest Africa continental margin, e.g., canyons, mass transport deposits, turbidites, and contourites. It is an ideal laboratory for investigating different deep-water sedimentary processes. Therefore, this thesis focuses on the investigation of deep-water sedimentary processes affecting the Northwest African margin. Two research areas along the NW African margin were chosen: the Western Saharan margin and the Moroccan margin. On the Western Saharan margin, high-resolution multibeam bathymetry, sidescan sonar, sub-bottom profiler, 2D seismic data, and sediment gravity-cores were acquired during RV Maria S. Merian-Cruise MSM11/2 in 2009 and RV Poseidon-Cruise P395 in 2010. The acquired data allowed a detailed analysis of the upper headwall area of the Sahara Slide Complex and three giant, buried sediment mounds beneath the upper headwall area. On the Moroccan margin, high-resolution multibeam bathymetry data, 2D seismic profiles, and gravity cores were collected during RV Maria S. Merian-Cruise MSM32 in 2013. One focus of this cruise was an in-depth investigation of the Agadir Slide, a mega slide on the Moroccan margin, which was not described before.