Maria S. Merian Cruise 32

MSM32, 25.09.-30.10.2013: Morphology, Processes and Geohazards of Giant Landslides in and around Agadir Canyon

Agadir Canyon is one of the largest submarine canyons in the World, supplying giant submarine sediment gravity flows to Agadir Basin and the wider Moroccan Turbidite System. While the Moroccan Turbidite System is extremely well investigated, almost no data from the source region, i.e. the Agadir Canyon, are available. Understanding why some submarine landslides remain as coherent blocks of sediment throughout their passage downslope, while others mix and disintegrate almost immediately after initial failure, is a major scientific challenge, which can be addressed in the Agadir Canyon source region. Cruise MSM32 therefore focuses on giant landslides in and around Agadir Canyon that evolved into the World’s largest sediment gravity flows. The results will provide new insights into the morphology, process and timing of rapidly disintegrat-ing landslides in upper slope environments, which will in turn improve our assessment of the geohazards associated with such events. The cruise will also investigate the influence of salt diapirism on slope stability off north-west Africa, and the controls on cold-water coral formation in a relatively unexplored area of the Moroccan continental slope that links the known coral provinces of Mauritania and the Gulf of Cadiz.