Deep-sea sedimentation offshore eastern Taiwan: Facies and processes characterization

Rémi Lehu, Serge Lallemand, Shu Kun Hsu, Nathalie Babonneau, Gueorgui Ratzov, Andrew T. Lin, Laurent Dezileau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Recent sedimentary facies and processes along the offshore slope of east Taiwan are investigated using a large set of geophysical and sedimentological data. The Taiwan orogen is often considered as one of the most tectonically active regions in the world and also suffers important climatic activity with an average of four typhoons per year. We have mapped in details the morphosedimentary features and characterized the sedimentary facies along offshore eastern Taiwan. There, we show that the slope is driven by a variety of erosional processes from mass wasting to turbidity current. Mass movements such as slides or mass transport deposits (MTDs) are ubiquitous and affect the whole east coast off Taiwan. Detailed core investigations, such as grain size analysis, chemical and mineralogical composition, revealed that turbidite facies range from thin fine-grained turbidites to thick massive turbidite facies. The detailed analysis of turbidite beds allow us to discuss the controlling factors of turbidity current generation. Turbidity currents represent an important sedimentary process that governs the slope morphology off east Taiwan. Triggering mechanisms likely range from slope instabilities related to earthquakes shaking to failure relative to climatic-controlled pulses of sediment supply. We propose that at least two end-members are characteristics in our turbidite records in term of controlling factor:. 1)Turbidity currents likely generated by tectonic activity and earthquakes shaking in particular; and2)Turbidity currents likely generated by climatic activity such as typhoon-induced floods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalMarine Geology
StatePublished - 2015


  • Active margin
  • Morphosedimentary mapping
  • Slope instabilities
  • Turbidites


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