Continental Rise

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continental rise

[¦känt·ən¦ent·əl ′rīz]
A transitional part of the continental margin; a gentle slope with a generally smooth surface, built up by the shedding of sediments from the continental block, and located between the continental slope and the abyssal plain.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Continental Rise


one of the principal elements of the continental margin; it is located between the base of the continental slope and the outer boundary of the ocean floor. (Some investigators consider the continental rise to be part of the ocean floor, drawing the boundary of the continental margin along the base of the continental slope.)

In terms of geological structure the continental rise is a deep trough filled by a thick layer of sediment at the junction of the continental and oceanic crust. The oldest deposits in the continental rise are Jurassic deposits discovered by deep-water drilling, but it is not impossible that even more ancient sediments will be found. In a geomorphological sense the continental rise is usually a rolling, sloping, accumulative plain, which formed as a result of the accumulation of sedimentary material carried down from the continental slope. The debris cones of turbidity currents, which are usually confined to the mouths of submarine canyons, are very important in the structure of the continental rise. The surface of the continental rise has hilly relief in many areas (for example, south of the island of Newfoundland). A continental rise is not always found at the base of the continental slope. The continental rise has a poorer flora and fauna than does the continental slope; in this respect it is more like the ocean floor.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Drift deposits formed from a mixture of hemipelagic mud and pelagic sediment are the result of contour-following deep-ocean currents adhering to the sides of bathymetric features, often the lower continental slope or continental rise. Their depositional history provides a record of bottom-water formation and flow that can be obtained in no other manner.
We led ODP Leg 150 last summer and drilled four sites on the slope and another site several tens of kilometers out on the continental rise. Water depth at the slope sites ranges from 450 to 1,130 meters.
A divergent margin consists of a gently sloping continental shelf (generally less than 130 meters deep), a steep continental slope (from the shelf edge to depths of 4,000 to 5,000 meters) that is sometimes dissected by submarine canyons, and a continental rise (where the seafloor gradient drops to below 1 meter in 40).