SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

ABSTRACT

Speed and direction of bottom currents induced by density underflow of two sediment-laden rivers were measured by oceanographic current meters in the Walensee (= Lake of Walenstadt), Switzerland. The apparently shooting flow of currents (up to 30 cm/s in this study) is suggested as an explanation for laminations in turbidite sequences. The current speed apparently stabilizes on slopes around 2°; this angle seems to correspond to the critical slope where the flow of the measured currents becomes steady. Current direction is controlled by bottom topography and direction of river inflow. Reversal of current direction observed at two sites is probably due to the underflow-induced backward motion of the overlying lake water. Underflow activity in Walensee is correlative with density peaks of the river water input. The currents are compared to Lake Mead (Southwestern U.S.) underflows and sporadic currents in some submarine canyons.