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ABSTRACT: A Study of the Stability of Seafloor Foundation on a Gently-Sloping Continental Shelf

Liang Yuanbo, Lu Bo, Huang Schaojian

The possibility of seafloor slumping and sliding under external loading on the continental shelf with a gentle slope is controlled to a large extent by geotechnical characters of seafloor sediments, such as shearing strength, compressibility, and liquefaction potential, as well as by structural factors, such as stratification and intercalation of sediment layers. By means of undisturbing-coring, in situ acoustic measurements, and subbottom profiling, the authors investigated factors of seafloor instability and the possibility of sediment slope failure for the continental shelf off Pearl River mouth--one of the most important areas of offshore development in the northern South China Sea. The analyses were made on the basis of systematic measurements and tests on the physic l properties and acoustic characteristics, as well as static and dynamic behavior of sediments. In the present paper, emphasis is put on the liquefaction potentials of sediments under the influence of earthquakes and sea waves. This may provide an example for assessing the possibility of seafloor failures on gently sloping continental shelves elsewhere.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90097©1990 Fifth Circum-Pacific Energy and Mineral Resources Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii, July 29-August 3, 1990