Spatial and morphometric relationships of submarine landslides offshore west and southwest Iberia

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Davide Gamboa , Rachid Omira , Pedro Terrinha 


Submarine landslides are ubiquitous geohazards in marine environments occurring at multiple scales. Increasing efforts have been made to catalogue and categorise submarine landslides in comprehensive databases, aiming to better understand their preconditioning and trigger factors. Using the recently compiled, open-access MAGICLAND dataset, we investigate the distribution and morphometric trends of submarine landslides observed in seven distinct geomorphologic domains offshore west and southwest Iberia. In the study area, the higher densities of submarine landslides occur on the proximal southwest margin, with higher frequency nearby earthquake epicentre clusters recorded in the area. Submarine canyons are another major location for slope collapses, with a prevalence for their mouth regions. However, relevant numbers occur within all domains with important relief, including distal regions hundreds of kilometres away from the foot of the continental slope. Landslide size range is inversely proportional to their spacing and frequency within each domain, and within the whole study area. Relevant positive correlations were obtained between the parameters analysed, but relationships between unidimensional parameters such as length and width exhibit the lower correlation coefficient. Correlations of 2D and 3D parameters such as area and volume provide better results, aligning with prior observations. The relationships obtained are, however, variable across domains and the correlation values are influenced by the seafloor geomorphology. This work brings new insights on submarine landslide distribution in the understudied west and southwest Iberian continental margin, complements previous inventories made for nearby regions, and provides valuable data with wider applications for submarine landslide databases.



Earth Sciences, Geology, Geomorphology, Sedimentology, Stratigraphy


Iberia Margin, morphometric relationships, morphological domains, geohazards, NE Atlantic, Iberian Margin, landslide morphometry, morphological domains, NE Atlantic


Published: 2021-06-08 17:44


CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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