U.S. Department of Commerce


Date of this Version



Marine Geology 371 (2016) 18–32


U.S. Government Work


Previously unknown features in Hatteras Transverse Canyon and environs were recently mapped during multibeam surveys of almost the entire eastern U.S. Atlantic continental margin. The newly identified features include (1) extensive landslide scarps on the walls of Hatteras Transverse and Hatteras Canyons, (2) an area of multiple landslide deposits that block lower Hatteras Transverse Canyon, (3) a large depositional feature down-canyon from the landslide deposits that rises 100 m above the uppermost Hatteras Fan and has buried the transition from the mouth of Hatteras Transverse Canyon to uppermost Hatteras Fan, (4) a zone of cyclic steps on upper Hatteras Fan that suggests super critical turbidity currents performed a series of hydraulic jumps and formed large upstream-migrating bedforms, (5) several knickpoints in the channel thalwegs of both Hatteras Transverse Canyon and Hatteras Canyon, one 40 m high, that suggest both canyon channels are out of equilibrium and are in the process of readjusting, either to the channel blockage by the extensive landslide deposits or by a readjustments to increased sedimentation during the last eustatic lowstand, (6) a large area of outcrop on the lower margin between Pamlico and Hatteras Canyons that previously was interpreted as an area of slumps, blocky slide debris and mud waves, (7) headward erosion in the head region of Hatteras Transverse Canyonwhere it has intercepted the lowest reaches of Albemarle Canyon channel as well as headward erosion in a small side channel that has eroded into Hatteras Outer Ridge and (8) sections of bedforms on Hatteras Outer Ridge that are partially buried by sediment from Washington–Norfolk Canyon channel as well as by sediment transported from Hatteras Abyssal Plain. The newly discovered features add a new level of detail to understand the recent processes that have profoundly affected Hatteras Transverse Canyon, Hatteras Canyon and, to a lesser degree, Hatteras Outer Ridge.