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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2018-12-14
    Description: Highlights • Northern Hispaniola Margin is studied with new high-resolution bathymetry and vintage seismic data. • Northern Hispaniola Deformed Belt forms an active N-verging fold-and-thrust imbricate system. • Gravity failures are frequent features in the Northern Hispaniola Margin and Bahamas Banks slope. • Oblique collision accelerates the Bahamas Carbonate Province collapse and retreat. • New observations help the assessment of tsunami hazards in the Northern Caribbean region. Abstract The northern margin of Hispaniola records the oblique collision/underthrusting of the Bahamas Carbonate Province with the island-arc. Due to the collision, northern Hispaniola has suffered several natural disasters caused by major earthquakes and tsunamis, such as the historic earthquake of 1842, the tsunami caused by earthquake-driven slumping in 1918 in the Mona Passage, the seismic crisis of 1943–1953 with five events of M 〉 7.0 or the seismic crisis of 2003 with a main shock of M6.3 and a large aftershock of M5.3. Using new swath multibeam bathymetry data and vintage single- and multi-channel seismic profiles, we have performed a regional scale analysis and interpretation of the shallow surface and active processes along the northern margin of the Dominican Republic. We have identified three morphostructural provinces: a) the Bahamas Banks, b) the Hispaniola Trench and c) the Insular Margin, which are divided into two tectonic domains, the Collision Domain and Underthrusting Domain. The southern slope of the Bahamas Carbonate Province shows a very irregular morphology produced by active erosive processes and normal dip-slip faulting, evidence of an extensional tectonic regime and margin collapse. This collapse is of major extent in the Oblique Collision Domain where there are erosive and fault escarpments with higher dip-slip fault throws. The Hispaniola Trench, is formed by the Caicos and Hispaniola basins in the underthrusting domain, and by the Santisima Trinidad and Navidad basins in the Oblique Collision Domain. They have a flat seafloor with a sedimentary filling of variable thickness consisting of horizontal or sub-horizontal turbiditic levels. The turbiditic fill mostly proceeds from the island arc through wide channels and canyons, which transports sediment from the shelf and upper slope. The Insular Margin comprises the Insular Shelf and the Insular Slope. The active processes are generated on the Insular Slope where the Northern Hispaniola Deformed Belt is developed. This Deformed Belt shows a very irregular morphology, with a WNW-ESE trending N verging imbricate thrust-and fold system. This system is the result of the adjustment of the oblique collision/underthrusting between the North American plate and the Caribbean plate. In the Oblique Underthrusting Domain the along-strike development of the imbricate system is highly variable forming salients and recesses. This variability is due to along-strike changes in the sediment thickness of the Hispaniola Trench, as well as to the variable topography of the underthrusting Bahamas Carbonate Province. In the Oblique Collision Domain, the morphology of the Insular Slope and the development of the Deformed Belt deeply change. The imbricate system is barely inferred and lies upslope. These changes are due to the active collision of Bahamas Carbonate Province with the Insular Margin where the spurs are indented against the Insular Margin. Throughout the entire area studied, gravitational instabilities have been observed, especially on the Insular Margin and to a lesser extent on the southern slope of the Bahamas Carbonate Province. These instabilities are a direct consequence of the active underthrusting/collision process. We have mapped large individual slumps north of Puerto Plata in the Oblique Underthrusting Domain and zones of major slumps in the Oblique Collision Domain. These evidences of active processes must be considered as near-field sources in future studies on the assessment of tsunami hazards in the region.
    Type: Article , PeerReviewed
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  • 2
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    Springer International Publishing
    In:  In: Submarine mass movements and their consequences. , ed. by Krastel, S., Behrmann, J. H., Völker, D., Stipp, M., Berndt, C., Urgeles, R., Chaytor, J., Huhn, K., Strasser, M. and Harbitz, C. B. Advances in Natural and Technological Hazard Research, 37 . Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp. 329-338. ISBN 978-3-319-00971-1
    Publication Date: 2017-05-09
    Type: Book chapter , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © The Author(s), 2012. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Elsevier B.V. for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Marine and Petroleum Geology 36 (2012): 70-82, doi:10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2012.05.008.
    Description: The north flowing Falkland / Malvinas Current has generated sediment drifts at a depth of 1200-1600 m in the Patagonian middle continental slope out of early Holocene hemipelagics, late Pleistocene ice rafted clastics, and Neogene fluvial sediments. Possibly there may be two generations of drifts, Pleistocene on the outer middle slope and Holocene on the inner shelf. The ice rafted debris originated in Antarctica, at a distance of 2000 to 4000 km south of Patagonia. Scattered over the upper and middle slopes, at depths ranging from 300 to 1400 m, are cold-water coral reefs of less than a meter to about ten of meters in relief. It is inferred that most of cold-water coral structures flourish as a consequence of the Falkland /Malvinas Current that concentrates the food supply at the reef sites. Growth of cold-water coral reefs, documented by digital submarine photographs on the upper slope, at a depth of 300/400 m, may be promoted by upwelling of nutrient-rich waters and associated plankton blooms created by the intrusion of Falkland /Malvinas Current onto the outer shelf.
    Description: Funding for this study was provided by IEO in collaboration with SGM.
    Keywords: Patagonian continental slope ; Sediment drifts ; Falkland /Malvinas Current ; Cold-water coral reefs ; Iceberg rafted sediments
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
    Type: Preprint
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © The Author(s), 2013. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Elsevier B.V. for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Earth-Science Reviews 121 (2013): 73-95, doi:10.1016/j.earscirev.2013.03.002.
    Description: We study an area little known of the Atlantic Patagonian margin from 44˚30’S to 47˚40’S and from 59˚W to nearly 61˚W. The multi-beam bathymetry coupled with high resolution seismic reflection profiles, have provided details on the morphology and shallow acoustic structure on this area. The main morphological characteristics of the seafloor features on the shelf and middle slope are described. The Atlantic Patagonian continental shelf north of 45˚40’S is located at a depth of 170-200 m depths, south of this latitude the shelf edge is at 128 to 200 m. The shelf surface is marred by circular depression and ridges oriented oblique to the shelf edge. The upper slope and upper middle slope are plowing by icebergs from Antarctica in Pleistocene and local reefs of cold-water coral further enhance the topography of the area. In the middle slope there are two terraces, the 20 to 60 km wide Nágera and the 15 to 60 km wide Perito Moreno terraces, showing moats, hollows, pot holes, sediment drifts and sediment waves. The terraces may have been formed in Late Miocene whereas the other forms are of Pleistocene age. Other features are a sediment swell south of 47˚S and seven submarine canyons on the middle slope. These incipient canyons have been developed in the middle slope by retrogressive erosion, some terminating on the upper middle slope, and others on the upper slope and the canyon 6 breaching the shelf edge. Individual seafloor features existing on the Atlantic Patagonian Margin have been classified into two main groups according to their origin: along and across-slope processes. These primary agents were supplemented by endogenic processes such as expulsion of gas/water, diapirism of high-pressure mud and folding/faulting. The results suggest that today down-slope processes on the slope are practically non-existent and that the morphology of the upper and middle slope is slowly being remoulded by along-slope bottom currents.
    Description: This is a contribution to Atlantis Project, which is funded by IEO in collaboration with SGP.
    Keywords: Sediment drifts ; Submarine canyons ; Falkland/Malvinas Current ; Pockmarks ; Mud diapirs ; Deep-water corals
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
    Type: Preprint
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  • 5
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