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«No. 285 Krastel, S., G. Wefer, A. Anasetti, R. Andreula, G.L. Arnold, A. Beck, V. Bender, M. Bergenthal, K. Bogus, G. Bozzano, C. Chiessi, J. ...»

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aus dem Fachbereich Geowissenschaften

der Universität Bremen

No. 285

Krastel, S., G. Wefer,

A. Anasetti, R. Andreula, G.L. Arnold, A. Beck, V. Bender, M. Bergenthal,

K. Bogus, G. Bozzano, C. Chiessi, J. Collins, S. Dekeyzer, V. Diekamp,

Y. Domnia, R. Düßmann, F.D. Esteban, N. Fekete, C. Fink, M. Formolo,

T. Freudenthal, G. Greif, T. Hanebuth, S. Henkel, C. Hilgenfeld, H.-J. Hohnberg,

T. Huppertz, S. Kasten, T. Klein, H.-O. Könnecker, B. Kokisch, M. Lange,

H. Lantzsch, K. Lindhorst, M. Meyer, S. Mill, H. Müller, O. Mund, W.-T. Ochsenhirt, B. Preu, A. Raeke, S. Razik, J. Renken, N. Riedinger, U. Rosiak, J.E. Sawicka, W. Schmidt, T. Schwenk, C. Seiter, M. Strasser, J. Tomasini, T. Truscheit, R. Violante, A. Vossmeyer, D. Winkelmann

REPORT AND PRELIMINARY RESULTS OF RV METEOR CRUISE M78/3.

SEDIMENT TRANSPORT OFF URUGUAY AND ARGENTINA:

FROM THE SHELF TO THE DEEP SEA.

19.05.2009 – 06.07.2009, Montevideo (Uruguay) – Montevideo (Uruguay).

Berichte, Fachbereich Geowissenschaften, Universität Bremen, No. 285, 79 pages, Bremen 2012 ISSN 0931-0800 The "Berichte aus dem Fachbereich Geowissenschaften" are produced at irregular intervals by the Department of Geosciences, Bremen University and by MARUM.

They serve for the publication of cruise reports, PhD-theses, experimental works, and scientific contributions made by members of the department.

Reports can be ordered from:

Monika Bachur DFG-Forschungszentrum MARUM Universität Bremen Postfach 330 440 D 28334 BREMEN Phone: (49) 421 218-65516 Fax: (49) 421 218-65515 e-mail: MBachur@uni-bremen.de

Citation:

Krastel, S., G. Wefer and cruise participants

Report and preliminary results of RV METEOR Cruise M78/3. Sediment transport off Uruguay and Argentina:

From the shelf to the deep sea. 19.05.2009 – 06.07.2009, Montevideo (Uruguay) – Montevideo (Uruguay).

Berichte, Fachbereich Geowissenschaften, Universität Bremen, No. 285, 79 pages. Bremen, 2012.

ISSN 0931-0800 METEOR-Berichte 78-3

Sediment transport off Uruguay and Argentina:

From the shelf to the deep sea Cruise No. 78, Leg 3 19.05.2009 – 06.07.2009, Montevideo (Uruguay) – Montevideo (Uruguay) Sebastian Krastel, Gerold Wefer A. Anasetti, R. Andreula, G.L. Arnold, A. Beck, V. Bender, M. Bergenthal, K. Bogus, G.

Bozzano, C. Chiessi, J. Collins, S. Dekeyzer, V. Diekamp, Y. Domnia, R. Düßmann, F.D.

Esteban, N. Fekete, C. Fink, M. Formolo, T. Freudenthal, G. Greif, T. Hanebuth, S. Henkel, C.

Hilgenfeld, H.-J. Hohnberg, T. Huppertz, S. Kasten, T. Klein, H.-O. Könnecker, B. Kokisch, M.

Lange, H. Lantzsch, K. Lindhorst, M. Meyer, S. Mill, H. Müller, O. Mund, W.-T. Ochsenhirt, B.

Preu, A. Raeke, S. Razik, J. Renken, N. Riedinger, U. Rosiak, J.E. Sawicka, W. Schmidt, T.

Schwenk, C. Seiter, M. Strasser, J. Tomasini, T. Truscheit, R. Violante, A. Vossmeyer, D.

Winkelmann Meteor- Cruise 78, Leg 3, Montevideo – Montevideo, 19.05.09 – 06.07.09 Contents

1. Summary

2. Participants

3. Research Program

4. Narrative of the Cruise

5. Preliminary Results

5.1. Hydroacoustics

5.1.1. Bathymetric mapping

5.1.2. Sediment echo sounding

5.2. High resolution multichannel seismic profiling

5.2.1. Introduction

5.2.2. System components

5.2.3. First results of seismic survey

5.3. Sediment Sampling

5.3.1. Introduction

5.3.2. Methods

5.3.3. Sedimentology: Initial shipboard results

5.4. Physical Properties Studies

5.4.1. Introduction

5.4.2. Methods

5.4.3. Preliminary shipboard results

5.5. Sediment and Pore Water Geochemistry

5.5.1. Objectives

5.5.2. Methods

5.5.3. Shipboard Results

5.6. Water column and dinoflagellate studies

5.6.1. Introduction

5.6.2. CTD profiling

5.6.3. Water sampling

5.6.4. In-situ pumps

5.6.5. Sediment samples

6. Ship’s Meteorological Station

6.1. Weather conditions during Leg M78/3a

7. Station List M78/3

8. Data and Sample Storage and Availability

9. Acknowledgements

Appendix

Core plot summary legend

Core descriptions

Physical and geotechnical properties

Meteor- Cruise 78 Leg 3, Montevideo – Montevideo, 19.05.09 – 06.07.09 3

1. Summary The waters off Uruguay and Northern Argentina offer the possibility to study sediment transport processes from ‘source-to-sink’ in a relatively small area. Quickly accumulated sediments are potentially unstable and might be transported downslope in canyons and/or on the open slope.

Strong contour currents result in along-slope sediment transport. Within the scope of MeteorCruise M78/3 we investigated sediment transport and depositional patterns by means of hydroacoustic and seismic mapping as well as geological sampling with conventional coring tools and the new MARUM seafloor drill rig (MeBo). Geotechnical investigations were carried out with the aim to analyze the controlling parameters for the destabilization of the slope and the succeeding failure of a sediment body.





Various types of sediment instabilities have been imaged in geophysical and core data, documenting particularly the continental slope offshore Uruguay to be locus of frequent submarine landslides. Apart from individual landslides, however, gravitational downslope sediment transport along the continental slope is restricted to the prominent Mar del Plata Canyon and smaller canyons identified in the bathymetric data. In contrast, many morphological features reveal that sediment transport is predominantly controlled by strong contour bottom currents. This suggests a significant impact of the western boundary currents on the overall architectural evolution of the margin. The investigations are related to projects of the DFG Research Center / Excellence Cluster 'The Ocean in the Earth System', University of Bremen, as well as the Excellence Cluster 'The Future Ocean', University of Kiel.

Zusammenfassung Das Seegebiet vor Uruguay und Nord-Argentinien bietet in idealer Weise die Möglichkeit, zahlreiche Transport- und Sedimentationsprozesse im „source-to-sink“-Schema auf engem Raum zu untersuchen. Hangabwärts findet Sedimenttransport in Canyons und in Form von Rutschungen statt. Starke Randströmungen führen zudem zu ausgeprägter hangparalleler Verlagerung. Im Rahmen der Meteor-Fahrt M78/3 haben wir Sedimenttransport und Ablagerungsmuster mittels hydroakustischer und seismischer Kartierungen sowie geologischer Probennahme untersucht werden, wobei sowohl konventionelle Beprobungs-Systeme und des am Marum entwickelte Meeresboden-Bohrgerät MeBo eingesetzt wurden. Geotechnische Analysen sollen die für die Destabilisierung und nachfolgende Abscherung von Sedimentkörpern verantwortlichen Mechanismen aufklären.

Unterschiedliche Arten von Sediment-Instabilitäten konnten mittels geophysikalischer Daten und geologischer Beprobung nachgewiesen werden. Insbesondere am Kontinentalhang vor Uruguay treten regelmäßig submarine Rutschungen auf. Abgesehen von diesen Rutschungen ist der gravitative Sedimenttransport auf den großen Mar del Plata Canyon und einige kleinere Canyons beschränkt. Im Gegensatz dazu deutet eine Vielzahl morphologischer Strukturen darauf hin, dass der Sedimenttransport insbesondere durch starke Kontur-Ströme kontrolliert wird. Dies weist auf einen signifikanten Einfluss der westlichen Randströmung auf die Entwicklung des Kontinentalhanges hin. Die Untersuchungen werden im Rahmen von Projekten des DFGForschungszentrum / Exzellenzcluster ‚The Ocean in the Earth System‘, Universität Bremen und des Exzellenzcluster ‚The Future Ocean‘, Universität Kiel durchgeführt.

Meteor- Cruise 78, Leg 3, Montevideo – Montevideo, 19.05.09 – 06.07.09

–  –  –

ANCAP Administración Nacional de Combustibles Alcohol y Portland, Exploración y Producción, Montevideo, Uruguay AWI Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Bremerhaven Deutscher Wetterdienst – Seewetteramt, Hamburg DWD IFM-GEOMAR Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences (IFM-GEOMAR), Kiel INPE Center for Earth System Science, National Institute for Space Research, Sao Jose dos Campos SP Marum/GeoB Marum and Fachbereich Geowissenschaften, Universität Bremen MPI Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Bremen Prakla Prakla Bohrtechnik GmbH, Peine SHN Servicio Hidrografía Naval, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires UA Center for Geomicrobiology, Aarhus University, UBA University of Buenos Aires

3. Research Program About 90% of the sediments generated by weathering and erosion on land get finally deposited at the ocean margins. The redistribution of sediments from terrigenous sources to marine sinks is one of the most important processes shaping the surface morphology of Earth. The processes distributing the sediments on land are relatively well understood but there is an urgent need for detailed investigations of submarine transport and sedimentation processes. The type of sediment transport at continental margins is variable and includes turbidity currents as well as different types of mass wasting events, e.g. slumps, translational slides, and debris flows. The pattern is further complicated by slope-parallel sediment transport, which is driven by contour currents.

Submarine mass wasting in this context represents an important sediment transport process, but also a major geohazard due to the increasing numbers of offshore constructions on the shelf and Meteor- Cruise 78, Leg 3, Montevideo – Montevideo, 19.05.09 – 06.07.09 the continental slope as wells as densely populated coastal areas. The interacting processes of sediment redistribution, sediment partitioning, and sediment diagenesis at the ocean margin off Uruguay and Northern Argentina was investigated during Meteor-Cruise M78/3.

The ocean margin in the working area (Fig. 1) is characterized by a high amount of fluvial input by the Rio de la Plata and other rivers. The continental slope is relatively wide and shows average slope gradients between 1° and 2.5° but locally higher slope gradients may occur (5°).

The transition to the continental rise with low slope gradients is found in ~ 3000m water depth.

The working area is located in a highly dynamic oceanographic regime. Cold Antarctic water masses of the northward flowing Falkland/Malvinas current meet warm water masses of the southward flowing Brazil current in the working area.

Sediments deposited on the slope are relatively unstable due to high water contents and high sediment accumulation rates. The continental slope in the working area is therefore characterized by sediment instabilities and various types of sediment transport processes. Geochemical investigations demonstrated that the highly dynamic sedimentation processes in space and time significantly influences early diagenetic and bio-geochemical processes in this region, thereby also influencing geochemical and rock-magnetic parameters.

Previous studies in the working area gave sufficient background information to carry out process-orientated investigations in selected areas (Fig. 1). The sediment transport processes and the depositional patterns were investigated from the coast to the deep sea by means of hydroacoustic and seismic mapping as well as geological sampling. Geotechnical analyses were carried out at selected locations.

During Cruise M78/3 the following specific questions were analyzed:

• Which principal differences in sediment transport pattern can be identified in the working area?

• What is the relevance of sediment transport parallel and perpendicular to the coast for the distribution of sediments delivered by the Rio de la Plata?

• What are the component-specific residence times of sediments in the shelf system? Where, when and what type of sediment is preferentially transported across the shelf edge?

• What types of sediment transport processes occur along the continental slope? What is the relevance of the different processes? Which factors and processes control the sediment transport patterns?



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