Continental Slope

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Related to Continental Slope: canyon, Continental Rise, Continental margin, Ocean basin

continental slope

[¦känt·ən¦ent·əl ′slōp]
The part of the continental margin consisting of the declivity from the edge of the continental shelf extending down to the continental rise.

Continental Slope


one of the principal elements of the continental margin; it is located between the shelf and the continental rise. The continental slope has a steeper gradient than do the shelf and the ocean floor (an average of about 4°, but often 15°-20° and as much as 40°) and very rugged relief. Typical forms of rugged relief are terraces parallel to the lip and base of the slope and transverse hollows, or submarine canyons that usually begin on the shelf and extend to the base of the slope or the continental rise.

Through seismic research, dredging, and deep-water drilling it has been established that in terms of geological structure the continental slope is a direct continuation of the structures developed in adjacent areas of the continent. Because of the steepness of its surface the processes taking place in the upper part of the continental slope result in the movement of large masses of sedimentary material that take the form of subaqueous slumping and turbidity currents. Accumulation processes are more typical for the lower part of the continental slope. The types of deposits on the continental slopes include terrigenous sediments that are usually of silt composition, carbonaceous biogenic silts in the warm seas, and iceberg deposits and diatomaceous silts in the antarctic zone of the world ocean. The continental slope is a zone that is highly productive of organic matter and is singled out as a special bathyal zone.


References in periodicals archive ?
2 (taking the position that the general rule is to calculate the foot of the continental slope by finding the point of maximum change); Nelson, supra note 74, at 1242-43; Second Report, supra note 61, at 222-23 (describing the flexible definition of "foot of the slope" under Article 76).
Lagenorhynchus acutus is rarely observed in the deeper waters of the continental slope south and east of New England (Selzer and Payne, 1988; Waring et al.
Environmental distribution of Recent benthic foraminifera on the northeast United States continental slope.
Sablefish were tagged and released on the seamounts during 1999-2002 to determine the extent, if any, of emigration from the seamounts back to the continental slope and movement between seamounts.
This continental slope typically supports a stable, thick, unconsolidated sediment overburden (Mosher et al.
General information contained in Norway's Submission and regional considerations, indicate that the Loop Hole lies completely landward of the foot of the continental slope in the region.
5 km long and were deployed in an east-west direction perpendicular to the continental slope.
Clarke says that he and several other biologists were just piggybacking on a mission primarily designed for glaciologists and geophysicists to examine the deep continental slope and seabed beyond.
The continental slope in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) supports communities of metazoans containing chemoautotrophic bacteria, comprised mostly of tubeworms (Seepiophila jonesi Gardiner, McMullin & Fisher 2001 and Lamellibrachia luymesi van der Land & Norrevang, 1975) and mussels (Bathymodiolus childressi Gustafson, 1998).
The number of kilometers surveyed in all different locations of the bay--including submarine canyons (Dume, Santa Monica, Redondo), escarpments/ slopes (Palos Verdes continental slope, west of Los Angeles slope, south of Malibu montain slope), flat areas and plateaus--was calculated to determine the evenness in the coverage of the study area using a grid comprised of 82 3.
Then the waves met the sloping incline of the seafloor, known as the continental slope, and approached shallow water near shore.

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