Continental Margin

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Related to Continental Margin: Continental Rise, continental slope, Ocean basin

continental margin

[¦känt·ən¦ent·əl ′mär·jən]
Those provinces between the shoreline and the deep-sea bottom; generally consists of the continental borderland, shelf, slope, and rise.

Continental Margin


the peripheral area of the floor of the world’s ocean constituting, in geological structure and relief, a continuation of the continental land.

The total area of the continental margin is about 81.5 million sq km. It consists of the shelf, the continental slope, and the continental rise. The earth’s crust in the continental margin is of the continental type. In certain regions the continental margin is characterized by somewhat rugged relief and by the absence of a clear division into the shelf, slope, and rise. In tectonic terms, the continental margin is usually classified among the continental platforms, but, in some places, seismic and volcanic activity are observed. The continental margin is the arena of the most active submarine processes (wave action, tides, currents, floating ice and organisms).

Owing to the proximity of dry land, a great deal of terrigenous material is deposited in the continental margin. The thickest deposits form in the depressions of the shelf, on the marginal plateaus, and in the continental rise. The continental margin is noted for the great variety of benthic deposits, particularly within the shelf. This is explained not only by the diversity of facies distribution but also by the broad distribution of relic deposits of subaerial genesis on the shelf. The continental margin is the most accessible part of the ocean floor for development. Oil and gas deposits on the shelf are currently being exploited.


References in periodicals archive ?
The continental margin comprises the submerged prolongation of the land mass of the coastal State, and consists of the seabed and subsoil of the shelf, the slope and the rise.
In the Holocene Transgression (T), the southeast continental margin has not received any significant quantity of terrigenous supply.
Figure 9 shows wave arrivals at Halifax for tsunamis sourced from three areas of the eastern continental margin where landslides may potentially occur: 1) the area of the 1929 earthquake; 2) the central Scotian Slope, where there is thick sediment accumulation; and 3) Northeast Channel, a major ice corridor and glacial outwash depocentre during the last deglaciation.
Leg 112 confirmed that instead of beingbuilt up, the continental margin had experienced a period of subsidence, or sinking.
2007, Multiple early Eocene hyperthermals: Their sedimentary expression on the New Zealand continental margin and in the deep sea: Geology, v.
The nine extended articles, which are well-illustrated, include a survey of new data on continental margin sedimentary processes and topics such as sediment delivery to the seabed on continental margins, post-deposition alteration and preservation of sedimentary strata, oceanic dispersal and accumulation of river sediment, submarine mass movements on continental margins, the mechanics of marine sediment gravity flows, seascape evolution on continental shelves and slopes, long-term stratigraphic records on continental margins and predictions about margin stragigraphy.
This will cost tens of millions of dollars, because continental margin holes require multiple nested metal liners to promote stability for deep penetration.
In studying the continental margin of the East Coast, Lanzerotti's group monitored the voltage (from which current can be calculated) across 1,200 kilometers of the generally east-west-trending cable in February 1983.
This volume on continental margin sedimentation brings together an expert editorial and contributor team to create a state-of-the-art resource.
The ship then drilled into the continental margin off the coast of Spain until mid-June for Leg 103.
Exploration will expand from these successful plays into adjacent countries and provinces, especially on the Atlantic continental margin, where access to export markets is key.

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