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 ?
GulfCet I surveys occurred from 1992 to 1994 over continental slope waters in the western Gulf of Mexico between the United States and Mexico border (25[degrees]57'N) and the Mississippi-Alabama border (88[degrees]25'W) and were conducted during all four seasons (Mullin et al.
In the eastern Alaskan Beaufort Sea, bowhead whales occupied outer continental shelf and slope depth habitats, without regard to ice cover, while white whales selected continental slope and basin habitat and were primarily associated with 1-10% and 71-100% ice cover.
North of the Blake Plateau, the continental slope from 200-2000 m deep is steep and most of the study area has water depths >2000 m.
The Mississippi River Delta protrudes into the Gulf in a region where the continental shelf is narrow and the continental slope is steep.
To demonstrate some applications of the constructed maps of various coefficients of Gardner's equation, we consider the process of the formation of internal waves from the baroclinic internal tide in typical conditions of the northeastern shelf of Sakhalin and the adjacent continental slope in the winter (January) and summer (July) seasons.
2013) estimated the fraction of incoming mode-1 energy flux transmitted, reflected and scattered into higher modes for two-dimensional sections across the continental slope for the entire global coastline.
The pronounced gullies visible in IBCAO along the Alaskan continental slope are not at all portrayed by the contours of Sheet 5.
A total of 525 specimens were collected from bottom-trawl research surveys and commercial trawl fishery along the southern continental slope of the Iskenderun Bay between June 2012 and May 2014.
Researchers hauled them up from Australia's continental slope but preserved them in fluids that shrank tissues and damaged DNA, making genetic analysis impossible.

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