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The Heart Beat of the Megafloods Public Deposited

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  • Marine sediment core OC1706B-02J ( 46° 15.4178 N, 125° 42.4543 W, at water depth 2263m), was collected on the lower continental slope near the base of the Willapa Canyon. It is a rapidly accumulating site (~30cm/kyr) located near the thrust front of the Cascadia Subduction Zone. The site is also adjacent to the mouth of the Columbia: the largest river to discharge to the Northeast Pacific Ocean. As such, sediment delivery to the core site could be sensitive to earthquakes and/or extreme discharge events from the Columbia River. Dozens of coarse-grained layers reflecting energetic sediment deposition have been identified in the core via CT-scan. To understand the origin of these events we evaluate variability in sediment composition via X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and magnetic susceptibility on a chronology informed by a combination of foraminiferal stable oxygen isotopes, and radiocarbon. By comparing the timing of the energetic deposits preserved in the core to the known timing of large regional earthquakes in the Holocene and megaflood events through the late glacial, we evaluate the extent to which either of these processes influence sediment transport to the site.
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