Use of Manned Submersibles to Investigate Slumps in Deep Water Gulf of Mexico

by Earl H. Doyle, Shell Oil Co, Houston, United States,
Michael J. Kaluza, Shell Oil Co, Houston, United States,
Harry H. Roberts, Shell Oil Co, Houston, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Civil Engineering in the Oceans V


The Johnson-Sea-Link manned submersible was used to investigate surface slumps in the deep water Gulf of Mexico. High quality and specifically placed seafloor cores, video tapes, 35 mm pictures and manned observations were used to quantify the age and character of the slumps. Besides the two slumps investigated, cores were obtained in undisturbed areas to characterize `in slump' geotechnical and geological characteristics with `out-of-slump' characteristics. The slumps were initially identified through deep-tow, high-resolution side scan sonar and subbottom profiler records. A photographic mosaic of the slumps was created from the data to characterize the size and depth of the features. The slumps occur in clayey soils and are located in more 880 meters of water. Origin of the slumps was not identified in the study, but apparently occurred within the Recent epoch. For engineering purposes, the slumps are shown to have occurred long enough in the past that they will not be considered as a risk for future engineering development.

Subject Headings: Gulfs | Developing countries | Subsurface investigation | Soil water | Computer vision and image processing | Geology | Clays | Sea floor | Gulf of Mexico

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