Deep-water circulation: processes & products
Fifty years ago, Heezen and Hollister published their seminal paper on deep-sea currents in the newly-born journal “Marine Geology”. By now, the study of these contouritic processes and products has reached maturity. It is a predominantly marine research discipline calling for multidisciplinary work combining sedimentology, geophysics, oceanography, geochemistry and many more. Despite the huge research progress made during the last 2 decades (e.g. IODP 339), a lot of issues remain poorly addressed. A first factor remains the poor documentation of contouritic deposits in the ancient depositional record on land sections. Secondly, the coupling with the main driver, the physical oceanography, is yet partly understood and a better integration with models, observations and simulations is needed. A promising development here is the rise of the seismic oceanography. Another driver constitutes the sediment provenance; where does the sediment comes from and how can we fingerprint the different sources? A hidden potential of the contourite depositional systems (CDS) is related to their economic importance. How do they play a role in hydrocarbon plays and can they be given a better place in a sequence stratigraphic content? Finally, whereas most of the studies examples originate from the middle to upper slope, both the shallow (shelf, lake) and ultra-deep (Mn nodules fields) domains need more attention. Even on Mars, possible contouritic deposits have already been identified. For this symposium, we welcome both posters and oral presentations addressing one (or a combination of) the issues addressed above.
David Van Rooij and F. Javier Hernandez-Molina