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Long term evolution and internal architecture of a high-energy banner ridge from seismic survey of Banc du Four (Western Brittany, France)

Abstract : The recent completion of a coupled seismic and swath bathymetric survey, conducted across the sand ridge system of the Banc du Four located on the Atlantic continental shelf of Brittany (Mer d’Iroise, France), provided new data for the study of the long term evolution of deep tidal sand ridges. Five seismic units are distinguished within the ridge, separated by pronounced major bounding surfaces. The basal unit is interpreted to be shoreface deposits forming the core of the ridge. It is overlaid by a succession of marine sand dunes fields forming the upper units. Sandwave climbing, which combines progradation and accretion, is the major process controlling the growth of the ridge. The elevation of the preserved dune foresets reaches values of about 20–30 m within the ridge. The foresets indicate a combination of giant dunes characterized by numerous steep (up to 20°) clinoforms corresponding to a high-energy depositional environment. Moreover, the presence of scour pits linked to the 3D geometries of giant dunes allow the growth of bedforms migrating oblique to the orientation of giant dune crest lines. All of the radiocarbon ages of the biogenic surficial deposits of the Banc du Four range from 10,036 to 2748 cal years B.P. and suggest the Banc du Four has grown during the last sea-level rise. The apparent absence of recent surface deposits could be caused by a change in benthic biogenic productivity or the non-conservation of recent deposits. In contrast, the presence of relatively old sands at the top of the ridge could be explained by the reworking and leakage of the lower units that outcrop locally at the seabed across the ridge. Moreover, the long-term evolution of the ridge appears strongly controlled by the morphology of the igneous basement. The multiphase accretion of the ridge is closely linked to the presence of a residual tidal current eddy, consecutive with the progressive flooding of the coastal promontories and straits that structured the igneous basement. Therefore, the Banc du Four should be thought of as a representative example of a large-scale high-energy banner bank.
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Marcaurelio Franzetti, Pascal Le Roy, Thierry Garlan, David Graindorge, Alexey Sukhovich, et al.. Long term evolution and internal architecture of a high-energy banner ridge from seismic survey of Banc du Four (Western Brittany, France). Marine Geology, Elsevier, 2015, 369, pp.196-211. ⟨10.1016/j.margeo.2015.08.019⟩. ⟨insu-01200511⟩

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