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.
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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Reproductive biology of skates, Bathyraja (Ishiyama), along the eastern Bering Sea continental slope. J.
Moreover, the seasonal changes of upper-ocean stratification also play a crucial role for the amount of tidal energy transmitted onto the shelf by internal waves due to tide-topography interaction at the continental slope (e.g., Hall et al.
This is consistent with the concept that this species may not be entirely independent of continental slope habitats, since most observations and collection records were not far from continental shelves or islands [9, 26, 27] or were near a seamount [17] or an ocean ridge [60].
As the nearshore and the adjacent continental slope are almost homogeneous (that is, the bottom isolines are almost parallel to each other), it is acceptable to assume that the process generates a plane wave.
Subsequently, they are most abundant on the continental slopes and organic poor sediment cover on abyssal plain restricts their formation, it says.
Compared with the average ratios of P/Ti and Al/Ti in the study area, they are showing an increasing trend, indicating that the productivity turns better as the water depth increases from continental shelf to the edge of continental slope. It is therefore speculated that the productivity in bathyal continental slope (the central sag of the basin) was higher in Miocene.
Kennicutt II, "Deepwater program: Northern Gulf of Mexico continental slope habitat and benthic ecology," Year 2: Interim Report OCS Study MMS 2002-063, U.S.
This is due to significantly lower temperature gradients compared to gradients along the western Svalbard continental slope. No clear BSR could be identified in the analysed seismic data off East Greenland (Figures 9 and 10).
Local water circulation in this area is influenced by frontal eddies originated west of the Loop Current that propagates clockwise anticyclones that impinge the west Florida Continental Slope. In the Southern Straits these anticyclones are called Tortugas eddies (Oey et al, 2005).
36[degrees]47' N, 122[degrees]07' W) by commercial longline gear on the continental slope at a depth of 200-260 fathoms (366-475 meters).
This display exhibits on Coastal areas marine life, shallow waters marine life, continental slope, continental shelf, coral reefs and deep sea.

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