Morphological analysis of the upper reaches of the Kukuy Canyon derived from shallow bathymetry

We present preliminary results on the morphology of the upper reaches of the Kukuy Canyon and Selenga shelf in front of Proval Bay (Lake Baikal), derived from newly acquired, high-resolution bathymetry. Numerous and varied erosional and transport features provide an interpretation framework for source to sink transfer and gravity flow processes in this shallow and active tectonic environment, suggesting on-going gravity instabilities and sediment-laden flows. Scarps in the canyon head are likely signatures of retrogressive incision of the western tributary and eastward lateral migration of the western tributary, the latter coming within about 1 km of the shoreline. Immature gullies incising the upper-slope feedings of the Kukuy Canyon indicate gravity flows with low erosional power. Large arcuate scarps on the break of the narrow shelf east of Proval Bay reveal gravity instabilities. The morphological connection between the Selenga Delta and the Kukuy Canyon suggests a direct pathway for fluvial sediment focused through breaches in the Sakhalin sand shoal, with likely occurrence of hyperpycnal flows into canyons heads during high sediment discharges. The neotectonic activity affects both the accommodation space around the prograding delta via earthquake-induced subsidence of coastal areas, and the location of incisions through slope instability triggering. Subsequent surveys allowing diachronic analysis would help determining the influence of tectonic and climatic factors controlling sediment transfer across the land-lake continuum and interpreting the morphological signature of the associated gravity processes shaping the delta and surrounding shelf and canyons.

Presented at:
Bringing Together Selenga Baikal Research, Leipzig, Germany, October 1-3, 2014

 Record created 2015-05-09, last modified 2018-09-13

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