Sedimentary Facies of the Nova Scotian Upper and Middle Continental Slope, Offshore Eastern Canada

  1. Dorrik A. V. Stow
  1. Philip R. Hill

Published Online: 29 APR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444304473.ch26

Deep-Water Turbidite Systems

Deep-Water Turbidite Systems

How to Cite

Hill, P. R. (1991) Sedimentary Facies of the Nova Scotian Upper and Middle Continental Slope, Offshore Eastern Canada, in Deep-Water Turbidite Systems (ed D. A. V. Stow), Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444304473.ch26

Editor Information

  1. Department of Geology, University of Southampton, UK

Author Information

  1. Department of Geology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, N.S. B3H 3J5, Canada

  1. Atlantic Geoscience Centre, Geological Survey of Canada, Bedford Institute of Oceanography, P.O. Box 1006, Dartmouth, N.S. B2Y 4A2, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 29 APR 2009
  2. Published Print: 11 NOV 1991

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780632032624

Online ISBN: 9781444304473



  • sharp bases, characterizing classical turbidites;
  • texture of Wisconsinan muds, suggesting local dynamic conditions;
  • hummocky relief;
  • Markov sequence analysis;
  • Nova Scotian continental slope, indicating complex morphology


A detailed survey of the upper and middle Nova Scotian continental slope at 42°50'N and 63°30'W indicates a complex morphology dominated by mass movements on various scales and an immature turbidity current channel. The range of sediment facies is diverse including hemipelagic and turbidite muds, turbidite sands and gravelly sandy muds of debris flow origin. Deformed units, interpreted as slump deposits are also observed. Several facies associations, related to discrete morphological environments, are recognized. Thick turbidite sand units with minor intervening mud beds are characteristic of the high-relief uppermost slope and channel margin. Thinner turbidite sands, deformed slump beds and various mud facies are associated with small-scale, hummocky mid-slope topography. Sand beds are more abundant in the depressions than on intervening hummocks indicating the preferred transport paths of small turbidity currents. At the lower end of the main turbidity current channel, frequent turbidite sand beds with relatively minor mud beds are deposited on a depositional lobe. In areas unaffected by mass movements, alternating bioturbated mud and sandy muds make up the core sequences. A local model of sedimentation is proposed for this area and illustrates that simple models of continental slope sedimentation only apply to a limited range of settings.