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Comparison of earthquake-triggered turbidites from the Saguenay (Eastern Canada) and Reloncavi (Chilean margin) Fjords: implications for paleoseismicity and sedimentology

Abstract : High-resolution seismic profiles along with physical and sedimentological properties of sediment cores from the Saguenay (Eastern Canada) and Reloncavi (Chile) Fjords allowed the identification of several decimeter to meter-thick turbidites. In both fjords, the turbidites were associated with large magnitude historic and pre-historic earthquakes including the 1663 AD (M > 7) earthquake in the Saguenay Fjord, and the 1960 (M 9.5), 1837 (M ~ 8) and 1575 AD major Chilean subduction earthquakes in the Reloncavi Fjord. In addition, a sand layer with exoscopic characteristics typical of a tsunami deposit was observed immediately above the turbidite associated with the 1575 AD earthquake in the Reloncavi Fjord and supports both the chronology and the large magnitude of that historic earthquake. In the Saguenay Fjord, the earthquake-triggered turbidites are sometimes underlying a hyperpycnite associated with the rapid breaching and draining of a natural dam formed by earthquake-triggered landslides. Similar hyperpycnal floods were also recorded in historical and continental geological archives for the 1960 and 1575 AD Chilean subduction earthquakes, highlighting the risk of such flood events several weeks or months after main earthquake. In both fjords, as well as in other recently recognized earthquake-triggered turbidites, the decimeter-to meter-thick normally-graded turbidites are characterized by a homogeneous, but slightly fining upward tail. Finally, this paper also emphasizes the sensitivity of fjords to record historic and pre-historic seismicity.
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G. St-Onge, Emmanuel Chapron, S. Mulsow, M. Salas, M. Viel, et al.. Comparison of earthquake-triggered turbidites from the Saguenay (Eastern Canada) and Reloncavi (Chilean margin) Fjords: implications for paleoseismicity and sedimentology. Sedimentary Geology, Elsevier, 2012, 243-244, pp.89-107. ⟨10.1016/j.sedgeo.2011.11.003⟩. ⟨insu-00648918⟩

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