Rheological considerations for the modelling of submarine sliding at Rockall Bank, NE Atlantic Ocean

D. M. Salmanidou, A. Georgiopoulou, S. Guillas, F. Dias

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Recent scientific research indicates that the Rockall Bank Slide Complex in the NE Atlantic Ocean has formed as the result of repetitive slope failures that can be distinguished in at least three major phases. These sliding episodes took place during and before the Last Glacial Maximum. This work attempts the modelling of each sliding episode with the incorporation of the landslide's rheological properties. The objective is to study the landslide kinematics and final deposition of each episode under a rheological framework that comes in agreement with the field observations. To do so in the present work, we use different types of rheological models to compute the total retarding stress and simulate submarine failure. The Bingham rheology and the frictional rheology are used to model the flow behavior. The scope of this approach is to understand the effect of the two classical laws in landslide kinematics. A rheological model that combines the two regimes is also used. To account for the hydrodynamic drag, the Voellmy model is employed. The results are validated against the field observations on the seabed of the Rockall Trough. The simulations show that for this particular case the Bingham rheology with a small or negligible basal friction produces the best results. The tsunamigenic potential of the episodes is also briefly examined.

Original languageEnglish
Article number030705
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2018

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