What is it about?

Mixtures of water and sediment underwater can move down-slope rapidly under the effect of gravity because of their greater density than the ambient water. These "sedimentary flows" have been suggested to erode much like rivers on land and perhaps are responsible for creating or deepening submarine canyons found on Earth's continental slopes. The forces (or more exactly the shear stresses) involved in removing particles from bedrock under rivers are known in the geomorphology literature. Assuming that similar shear stresses are responsible for eroding submarine canyons, incidences of outcropping bedrock in such canyons were used in my article to work out the weights of the flows.

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Why is it important?

This article considers the mechanisms by which canyons are eroded by sedimentary flows, in particular, showing that shear stresses needed for bedrock plucking are as expected from present knowledge of flow properties.

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This page is a summary of: Bedrock erosion by sedimentary flows in submarine canyons, Geosphere, September 2014, Geological Society of America, DOI: 10.1130/ges01008.1.
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