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Submarine landslides along the Malacca Strait-Mergui Basin shelf margin: Insights from sequence-stratigraphic analysis

Lin, Yu‐nung Nina and Sieh, Kerry and Stock, Joann M. (2010) Submarine landslides along the Malacca Strait-Mergui Basin shelf margin: Insights from sequence-stratigraphic analysis. Journal of Geophysical Research B, 115 . Art. No. B12102. ISSN 0148-0227. doi:10.1029/2009JB007050.

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The enormously destructive tsunami of December 2004, caused by sudden motion of the Sunda megathrust beneath the Indian Ocean, raised concerns about tectonically induced tsunami worldwide. Submarine landslides may also trigger dangerous tsunami. However, the potential and repeat time for such events is in most places poorly known due to inadequate exploration of the sea floor and age constraints. The high sediment flux and tectonic subsidence rate of the Malacca Strait-Mergui Basin shelf margin NE of northernmost Sumatra provide a favorable environment to generate and preserve submarine landslides. From ten seismic reflection profiles acquired in 2006, we identify three sediment packages that exhibit sliding characteristics such as headscarps, distorted beds and debris-toe structures. We assign lowstand marine isotope stages to the paleo-shoreline indicators observed in the profiles. We then determine the ages of these submarine landslides as 20–30 ka, 342–364 ka and 435–480 ka by the paleo-shoreline indicators that bound the top and bottom of the slide bodies. This sequence-stratigraphic approach shows that these events occurred near times of sea-level lowstands, which implies that a large amount of direct sediment influx during glacial periods is an essential precondition for basin-margin submarine landsliding. Spatiotemporal variations of sediment input due to lobe switching or Asian monsoon intensity changes also control basin-margin instability. Because we are currently at a highstand stage, and sediment flux to the continental margin is relatively small, so the chance of having a repeat submarine landslide and landslide tsunami along this basin-margin is low.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Sieh, Kerry0000-0002-7311-2447
Stock, Joann M.0000-0003-4816-7865
Additional Information:© 2011 American Geophysical Union. Received 14 October 2009; revised 15 June 2010; accepted 21 July 2010; published 2 December 2010. We thank Petroleum Geo‐Services (PGS), Asia Pacific center in Singapore for providing the seismic reflection profiles used in this study. We also thank Seismic Micro‐Technology (SMT) for providing to Caltech a university grant for the Kingdom Suite software used to process these data and generate figures. This project was funded by a grant from the Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS grant number M61580001) and is EOS Contribution Number 5. Tectonic Observatory Contribution Number 135.
Group:Caltech Tectonics Observatory, Seismological Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS)M61580001
Subject Keywords:Malacca Strait; Mergui Basin; submarine landslide; landslide tsunami; paleo-shoreline indicator
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Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Caltech Tectonics Observatory135
EOS Contribution 5
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110104-091738151
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Official Citation:Lin, Y. N., K. Sieh, and J. Stock (2010), Submarine landslides along the Malacca Strait-Mergui Basin shelf margin: Insights from sequence-stratigraphic analysis, J. Geophys. Res., 115, B12102, doi:10.1029/2009JB007050
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:21567
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:05 Jan 2011 19:59
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 15:58

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