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Flashcards in Chapter 5 The Continental Margin Deck (6)
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salt domes

It may have a hummocky or bumpy seafloor due to the presence of salt domes at depth


Turbidity currents

avalanches of fine sediment that flows down a continental slope. Earthquakes or any kind of disturbance can trigger these flows. Since the sediment is saturated it can flow a long distance.



fine silts, sands, and mud that is deposited as a result of turbidity currents. These deposits are formed from avalanches and slope failures on the continental slope. Usually, these deposits will fan out at the bottom of a canyon on the continental slope and come to rest on the continental rise.


Passive margins

these are fully developed continental margins with all the features described above (shelf, slope, and rise). Characteristics of these margins include:

Lack of tectonic deformation
Lack of seismicity
Examples include the east coast of North and South America, the Gulf of Mexico


Active margins

these margins may be missing some or all of the features of the continental margin described above. Characteristics of these margins include:

Presence of tectonic deformation
Presence of seismicity
Examples include subduction zones like the west coast of South America and the northern part of the continental coast of the United States


The continental margin

The continental margin is an extension of the continent below sea level that meets the ocean crust.