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Book Sections Year : 2014

Recent Morphological Changes of the Nice Continental Slope

M. Kelner
  • Function : Author
S. Migeon
E. Tric
F. Couboulex
A. Dano
  • Function : Author
T Lebourg
  • Function : Author
Alfredo Taboada
  • Function : Author
  • PersonId : 862895


Time-series bathymetric data acquired between 1991 and 2011 have been used to evaluate the recent morphological evolution of the Nice upper continental slope (SE France, Ligurian Sea). Small-scale landslides lead to a retrogressive evolution of the continental shelf/upper slope transition but their frequency, size and impact are not well known. Mapping was undertaken to identify the morphology of landslide scarps and the location of the shelfbreak. Map comparisons were performed using ArcGIS “raster calculator”. Sediment remobilization on the upper slope (up to depths of 200 m) is fast and significant; landslide scars with volumes greater than 25,000 m3 can appear with a frequency less than 8 years. Shelfbreak migration toward the coastline can reach rates of 60 m over 7–8 years where the continental shelf is over 200 m wide. Furthermore, this quantitative analysis highlights alternations between periods of strongly erosive events and sedimentation periods. On the upper slope, eroded volumes can be multiplied by 10 during periods of enhanced landslide patterns (1999–2006). Such cycle-like landslide activity raises the issue of the triggering processes. On the Nice continental slope thick poorly consolidated beds rapidly deposited on a steep slope, earthquakes and rainfall leading to fresh water circulation below the shelf were identified as potential triggers. Our 4D bathymetric study suggests that over the last 20 years the greatest impacting factor may be freshwater outflows.


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hal-01218436 , version 1 (21-10-2015)



M. Kelner, S. Migeon, E. Tric, F. Couboulex, A. Dano, et al.. Recent Morphological Changes of the Nice Continental Slope. Engineering Geology for Society and Territory - Volume 4, pp.221-225, 2014, ⟨10.1007/978-3-319-08660-6_42⟩. ⟨hal-01218436⟩
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