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Unusual coastal flood impacts in Salmon Valley, McMurdo Sound, Antarctica

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 May 2016

Paul K. Dayton*
Affiliation:
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, mail code 0227, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA
Kamille Hammerstrom
Affiliation:
Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, 8272 Moss Landing Road, Moss Landing, CA 95039, USA
Shannon C. Jarrell
Affiliation:
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, mail code 0227, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA
Stacy Kim
Affiliation:
Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, 8272 Moss Landing Road, Moss Landing, CA 95039, USA
Walter Nordhausen
Affiliation:
European Maritime Safety Agency, Praça Europa 4, Cais do Sodré, 1249-206, Lisbon, Portugal
D.J. Osborne
Affiliation:
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, 7700 Sandholdt Road, Moss Landing, CA 95039, USA
Simon F. Thrush
Affiliation:
Institute of Marine Science, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand

Abstract

Large floods bringing significant sediments into the coastal oceans have not been observed in Antarctica. We report evidence of a large flood event depositing over 50 cm of sediment onto the nearshore benthic habitat at Salmon Bay, Antarctica, between 1990 and 2010. Besides direct observations of the sedimentation, the evidence involves a debris flow covering old tyre tracks from the early 1960s, as well as evidence of a considerable amount of sediment transported onto the Salmon Creek delta. We believe that the flood was sourced from the Salmon Glacier and possibly the smaller Blackwelder Glacier. Such floods will be more common in the future and it is important to better understand their ecological impacts with good monitoring programmes.

Type
Biological Sciences
Copyright
© Antarctic Science Ltd 2016 

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