The continental slope is ... Features of the structure and types of continental slopes
The ocean consists of several structural elements. The continental slope is one of them. What is it and where is it located? You will learn about this from our article.
The continental slope is ...
Geography studies not only the land, but also what is located under water. In particular, the study of the underwater sea relief deals with a special scientific discipline - oceanography.
The ocean floor consists of severalstructural parts. The continental slope is a transition area between the shelf above and the so-called ocean floor below. On average, it is located at depths of 200 to 2000 meters.
Geologically, the continental slope isconditional continuation of continental land. This form of underwater relief is distinguished by a considerable steepness of the slopes, which can reach 30-40 degrees. Very often it is complicated by huge rocky steps, canyons, ridges and cliffs. Often on the continental slope there are also underwater landslides, which arise under the influence of gravity.
The continental slope is a relatively narrow part of the seabed, which, however, occupies about 12% of the area of the World Ocean.
Features of the structure of the continental slope
The continental slopes are not characterized by a smoothsurface. On the contrary, this element of the bottom is distinguished by a dense and rather deep dissection of the relief. Here you can often see the deepest hollows and hollows. From the upper part of the continental slope, large masses of rocks often slip, forming turbid streams and currents.
Mainland slopes in different parts of the worldThey are not the same and differ in depth, length and inclination. Thus, off the coast of Australia, the depth of the continental slope can reach five kilometers with a width of 150-200 km. But the continental slope near South Africa is marked by a pronounced step structure.
Huge underwater stages are revealed by oceanologists and on the outskirts of the Arctic Ocean. Here, the Chukchi Plateau is far below the water, where powerful underwater ridges adhere to it.
Main types of continental slopes
Scientists conditionally divide all the continental slopes into three genetic types:
In the continental slopes of the denudation typeprocesses of destruction of rocks prevail. In accumulative, on the contrary, the processes of accumulation of geological material dominate. The continental slopes of this type, as a rule, consist of terrigenous or sandy sediments. Denudation-accumulative continental slopes are a kind of transitional type between the above-mentioned variants of the slopes.
In general, the main "donor" of geologicalThe sedimentary material for any continental slope is the shelf. The rocks are washed away from it by underwater currents and settle below in the form of layers of various thicknesses.