Continental Slope

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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 ?
2016) found that about 12% of these low modes reach the continental slopes, compared to 31% found by Waterhouse et al.
A scheme for partial reflection at continental slopes uses the reflection coefficients of Kelly et al.
Together, the continental slope and rise compose the
coastal State first establish the foot of its continental slope.
maculata also begin to appear near the shelf break in the eastern Bering Sea, although they are much more common on the continental slope.
The continental slope of the eastern Bering Sea is a region of high skate species richness and diversity, and skates are encountered in nearly every haul.
The little gulper shark is a small, slender shark that inhabits waters of the continental slopes in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea.
The arrowhead gulper shark is a poorly known deepwater species, widely distributed in bottom waters of the upper continental slopes worldwide.
South of Royal Society Fiord, it travelled offshore along the continental slope (1000 to 1500 in), probably because of ice formation in ins hore areas.
It showed a preference for deep areas at the mouths of Royal Society Fiord (400-550 m; north of Bergesen Island), Clark Fiord (500-700 m), and Sam Ford Fiord (550-660 m), as well as for the continental slope (500-1000 m) east of Home Bay and Kangeeak Point, all of which are deeper than the shallow ([less than]200 m) banks on the continental shelf (Figs.
1998) to describe cetacean habitats over the continental slope in the northwestern Gulf.
A total of 4780 Dover sole were collected for age determination during 1984-93 from bottom trawl surveys of the upper continental slope (Raymore and Weinberg, 1990; Parks et al.

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