GM8.4Submarine canyons: Complex deep-sea environments unravelled by multidisciplinary research
|Convener: Aaron Micallef|
Submarine canyons are important features along the world’s continental margins, creating heterogeneity in the terrain and providing the main pathway for sediment (and pollutant) transport from the shelf to the deep sea. Although long known, their study has always been a challenge due to their complicated morphology and extreme terrain. A number of technological advances over the last two decades (e.g. the development of ROVs) have opened up new opportunities for canyon research. This, together with an increased interest in the role of submarine canyons both as potential biodiversity hotspots and as locations for the study of geohazards, has fuelled a new wave of research activities. Canyon geology, sedimentology, geomorphology, oceanography, ecology, biodiversity and habitat distribution are under investigation all over the world. This session is aimed at bringing together scientists working on these various aspects of submarine canyon research, and to stimulate discussion across different disciplines.